Snowboarding games haven’t truly been fashionable for many years, and it is questionable whether they really took off in the first place. While these sorts of games may have been popular with snowboarders themselves, they didn’t really penetrate the market and indeed the lives of many young individuals in the way that other board-sports games like Tony Hawk’s Pro Skateboarding did. Nevertheless, the snowboarding “profession” has long since penetrated the flash game market and there are quite a few titles that provide some flash-based, snow-draped fun. Combining the balancing concerns of a physics-based game with the skills and manoeuvres of classic snowboarding title, Downhill Snowboard is a challenging little number with many peaks to conquer and many 360 flips to be performed.
Unlike many classic snowboarding titles such as Shaun White Snowboarding, Downhill Snowboard is set from a side-view perspective and movement is heavily based on the laws of physics. The point of the game is to score as many points as possible in each level by choosing the peak you wish to ride down and performing as many moves and flips as you can on the way down. Using the directional controls for movement, you must balance the snowboarder as he travels down the slopes and also make him jump at the right time in order to gain enough air to perform the limited selection of tricks available to you. At the end of the level, your score is tallied up and you get to do it all over again as many times as you wish.
During your downhill rides, you can use the upwards arrow on the keyboard to make your snowboarder perform a small jump, and the left and right directional keys let you control his orientation. It is essential that you maintain proper balance of your snowboarder and ensure that he lands any tricks that you perform properly, since landing them awkwardly will lead to falling over and having to restart the level all over again. The moves you perform are on the basic side, and the selection is extremely limited to say the least. Pressing A lets you execute a tail grab while S lets you do a nose grab. Though the move selection is a little disappointing, the act of balancing and flipping the snowboarder is entertainment enough to carry this game over the 15 minute longevity mark, though it doesn’t have much more a lifespan than this due to its limited scope of tricks.
Downhill Snowboard from Karolina Games isn’t hugely addictive, largely due to the lack of moves to perform and also the fact that the moves you perform aren’t displayed or defined once you perform them, leaving you in the dark as to whether you have successfully performed move combinations or not. The game could do with notifications when you perform each move or flip as is the case in Snowboarding Supreme 2. The graphics aren’t abysmal but nor are they spectacular in any way either, and the guitar melody playing over the top can become tiresome as well. This game is definitely a short-term piece of entertainment that can be played in short bursts, but definitely doesn’t have the longevity or likeability of other rival titles.