For the third year in a row, my snowboarding holiday has been cancelled! COVID-19 is a deadly menace that ruins everyone’s lives and plans. So, am I going to throw my toys out of the pram and complain, or will I find a solution? The answer? Horatio Goes Snowboarding!
Developed and published by Infinite State Games and Eastasiasoft Limited, this is a simple sports title. It’s a no-frills, amusing, points-based game about near misses and surviving for as long as possible. Therefore, it’s mindless fun, casual as hell, and will scratch that winter sports itch.
Horatio Goes Snowboarding is all about luck!
You control a snowboard loving Welshman who has no concept of risk and fears nothing. His day begins by avoiding traffic while attempting to get to the chopper. You must evade the cars, collect your snowboard, and make it to the piste. If you manage this, you’ll carve your way down the mountain, avoiding the obstacles, while hitting the skiers, slaloming through poles, and escaping a rampaging yeti.
The objective is clear! Get from the summit to the chequered flag without dying. However, this is easier said than done. The action flows from bottom to top and trees quickly appear in your path. You’ll narrowly miss them if you are lucky and staying alive rarely happens. If you are fortunate enough to complete a run, you’ll earn a small amount of cash and the action starts again. If, however, you die, you’ll be airlifted to a hospital where you must pay $100 to be revived. The moment you run out of cash, it’s game over and your score is recorded.
No gnarly tricks.
It was clear from the start that Horatio Goes Snowboarding was a simple, fun title. Yet, I expected a bit more depth to the action. It was wonderful to slice through powder while narrowly missing rocks, trees, or smashing through boxes. But Horatio cannot jump. He performs no tricks, and this leaves you wanting.
A small rudimentary list of tricks would have added mountains of depth while improving the basic gameplay. This was an oversight from the developers and one that may undermine the potential. I enjoyed what was presented, but the desire to survive day after day with little change could become tedious. Therefore, I yearned for a further challenge that didn’t make the core concept almost impossible to achieve.
Horatio Goes Snowboarding transports you to the mountains.
If you love skiing or boarding, you’ll know the joy of absorbing the beautiful crisp environment. Luckily, Horatio Goes Snowboarding captures this essence in its imagery. With contrasting cool colours, you are transported to the mountains instantly. The cartoon art style combined with interesting level design also keeps you focused. No stage is ever the same and you are always on edge. Subsequently, this was an excellent decision by the developers as it reduced monotony considerably.
Winter sports are fast-paced and fuelled by adrenaline. Therefore, a loud and banging soundtrack is a must. Luckily, the developers delivered this with a variety of tunes that demand you ride faster. Alongside the wonderful music are some crunching and amusing sound effects. Horatio has a hilarious, thick Welsh accent and some brilliant stereotypical one-liners. Smashing into trees, hitting skiers, or colliding with cars will make you wince. Moreover, the OTT noises are brutal, ear-splitting, but perfect for the theme.
Basic commands = basic controls.
Horatio Goes Snowboarding can’t be accused of being complex. There are limited commands to learn and a simple layout makes it easy to play. You must move Horatio with either the bumpers or analogue stick, and that’s it! Fortunately, the controls are responsive, accurate, and this helps to keep you alive. Its simplicity may not be for everyone, but it makes it accessible to a larger audience.
The game’s core focus is to stay alive while scoring the maximum amount of points. However, an endless mode can be unlocked to test you further. This additional option increases longevity if you can stomach the repetitive nature of the gameplay. Alongside the two modes, there is a challenging achievement list to unlock. Therefore, there is some replay value and longevity to be had and this makes it good value for money.
Horatio Goes Snowboarding is a casual title.
If you want an in-depth and serious snowboarding title, then look elsewhere. However, Horatio Goes Snowboarding is a casual, fun game that understands its limitations. It’s great to pick up between major titles and will scratch that winter sports itch. I liked it and I recommend you to buy it here! Avoid the traffic, grab a board, and hit the slopes.