Developer: Unity Games
Price: FREE (in-app purchases)
Version: 1.1
App Reviewed on: iPad Air

Graphics / Sound Rating: ★★★★☆
Gameplay Rating: ★★★☆☆
Playtime Rating: ★★½☆☆
Replay Value Rating: ★★★☆☆

Overall Rating: ★★★☆☆

I remember when I was a kid, Cool Boarders was one of my favorite games on the PlayStation. The idea of being able to surf the snow as much as I wanted without leaving the comfort of my home was a dream come true. FRS Ski Cross is in fact an iPad game centered around skiing – on the screen they’re greatly similar, just without all the tricks and glamour. That said, for as much as I was excited for FRS Ski Cross, I was left feeling nothing short of disappointed. FRS Ski Cross lacks something on a grand scale.

IMG_0747For a freemium game it’s not all that bad, provided waiting twenty minutes for a ticket to race after the initial ten tickets are used doesn’t put one off. Visually, the game stands out as nothing short of “beautifully rendered,” and there’s also a choice of changing the graphical output in the menu to ‘fast,’ though I’m not sure how large a difference this makes. I had no complaints where the user-interface was concerned either; it was altogether fairly smooth sailing, and the tutorial was, for the most part, incredibly helpful.

One thing that griped me the most was the inadequate lack of gameplay. The game has no tilt mechanism (though I haven’t tested this theory on an iPhone yet), so controlling the skier involves simply tapping and holding whenever reaching a specific colored line and releasing upon reaching the following one. In the frame of time I had to play before my race tickets ran out, I literally learned how to turn and how to jump; and both of them didn’t exactly require huge amounts of brain power.

Each race earns creds, which thereafter can be exchanged for gear and/or accessories. It’s a good idea, and navigating the Gear Shop and working out what’s what is as simple as it gets, but as it happens it still doesn’t feel like any of the gear I bought made a huge difference to my gameplay. Perhaps this was again because the time I got to play after buying my new gear was hugely limited. On the other hand, coins are earned from getting a perfect score whenever hitting those colorful lines flawlessly. These can thereafter be exchanged for wax, and that’s about all I could figure out.

IMG_0756Keep in mind that messing up on a race will not be as simple as just hitting retry. This game is in no way forgiving, and instead involves spending another ticket just to replay a course. There isn’t a whole lot of replay value to the game simply because it feels kind of boring. That said, there’s some potential to perfect skills and grab hold of those silver and gold medals, but I also imagine this would take more time than it’s worth for such a lifeless game.

In the world of gaming, beauty isn’t everything. Sadly FRS Ski Cross is no Coolboarders and it’s highly unlikely I’ll be picking this up again anytime soon.


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