Version Reviewed: 1.3.0
Device Reviewed On: iPad Mini 2
Replay Value Rating:
Huck It: Freeride Skiing 3D is pretty. It looks real cool (literally) and it's especially easy on the eyes, what with the excellent use of artistic perspective. And as for gameplay? I'd describe it as delightfully complex.
The game puts virtual mechanics on the front burner here, with joystick control and pinpoint timing being major elements to consider. The developer doesn't make the ski area overly easy (even on the "easy" setting), and as such it's an aspect that adds to the overall gameplay. The idea is to control the skier downwards to a natural snow-covered cliff, jump, perform a point-garnering trick or two and land upright in a special area.
To do this, the entire device becomes part of the controls. Tapping gets the skier in motion, and tilting the device guides the skier downhill in the direction of the player's choosing. Snapping the device (or using the virtual Jump button) at the right moment causes the skier to jump, and once airborne the virtual joystick can be used to brace the skier, perform funky tricks, and otherwise effect a tidy landing. Again, there's a premium for landing in specially designated areas, so taking off at the right take-off point is especially key.
It's easy to understand in theory, but it's tougher to master. As noted, timing the jump takes a bit of practice, and landing proved to be a bigger challenge than I envisaged. The developer incorporates levels, so getting through current levels successfully so as to advance is pretty much key.
Gear has attributes, and to get better gear that helps with easier handling, the ski shop - which accepts real money - can be utilized. There is a race mode, and bonus material as well; real money can expedite the process but isn't mandatory. Leaderboards and sharing is also incorporated for those that enjoy bragging rights.
It's hard not to admire the realism. I like the optional features, like the use of shadows. Simple things like the ability to see previous ski tracks (which can help with in-run adjustment) are also quite welcome. And I have to note that the developer is probably one of the most engaged I have ever seen (based on some platform app sores).
Huck It: Freeride Skiing 3D boils down to a fun game that doesn't insult adopters by being too easy.