It's Tricky! No, It's Slopecrashers.
Snowboarding games will continue to be a rare genre of sports and racing games that there needs to be more of. Since 2022 began, we've seen somewhat of a renaissance beginning with Shredders, a light-hearted spin on Steep. During the 00s, one Snowboard racer trumped over everything else and set the stage for future titles. That game, of course, was SSX, with SSX Tricky and SSX 3 being the trilogy that would define a lifestyle. Bringing the spirit of downhill snowboard racing complete with stunts and aggressive speed, Slopecrashers sets to make its own mark on the genre.
While it's easy to define Slopecrashers as the spirit of SSX, it takes most of its inspiration from another Snowboarding racer. Released in the late 90s as a Nintendo 64 exclusive (in the West, anyway), the Snowboard Kids series was born from the inspirations of the Mario Kart series. The original was successful enough to warrant a sequel and a spinoff successor on the Nintendo DS. Unfortunately, SBK: Snowboard Kids would be the last game in the series as it was radically different from the original titles. How does Slopecrashers compare to this series? What are its similarities and differences?
Snowboard Kids (Except the kids are animals, obviously)
There are several game modes introduced in the demo, including a Race mode, Time Trial, Salom-style, and Trick Attack. Depending on the course, there are unique variations of each game mode. Each course is also split into several tracks that feature unique layouts, yet the demo only features two courses with one unique layout per course.
Slopecrashers is an item-based Snowboard racer where using power-ups and boosts are key to winning races. Much like Snowboard Kids, the AI is a challenge and will require the usage of shortcuts to even have a fighting chance. Some of its power-ups are also similar to Snowboard Kids, including an item that hoists target in the air via balloons, throwing firecrackers, and turning racers into snowmen.
A Snowboarding Experience That Takes To The Skies
One unique element to Slopecrashers is the gliding mechanic. Whenever a rider is in the air, the player can jump and engage a glider to travel across distances. Adding boost to your meter by doing tricks and attacking riders and using it to increase your speed helps on a grounded level. The game encourages the player to take to the skies, find sections of the track that would otherwise be inaccessible, and take commanding leads.
It's important to note that the player glides, not flies, so the air physics will try its best to work against you rather than with you. With enough practice, it's thrilling to pull stunts in mid-air for longer than usual. This also helps correct the player's trajectory should they be close to an out-of-bounds area. Even in the midst of peril, the player always has an option to get away from it.
Don't Wait To Crash Your Way Into The Wishlist For Slopecrashers
The Slopecrashers demo offers tons of challenges for players, demanding them to use the skills offered to achieve victory. There are four distinct characters ranging from a Penguin, Lemur, Chicken, and a Parrot. You can even use a pan as a snowboard if you wish. Certain elements from SSX Tricky are included in Slopecrashers, specifically how the alpine boards are handled. While they are the fastest boards, landing fakie will severely halt your speed, adding a layer of challenge to the game. These little nuances make Slopecrashers an enjoyable experience. This is definitely an animal-filled Snowboard racer to try during Steam Racing Fest.
Slopecrashers currently has a playable demo on Steam and will release later on in 2022.