Developer: Greentube IES AG
Price: $1.99
Version Reviewed: 11.2

Graphics / Sound Rating: ★★★★☆
Game Controls Rating: ★★★★½
Gameplay Rating: ★★★½☆
Re-use / Replay Value Rating: ★★★½☆

Overall Rating: ★★★★☆

Metro Ski Challenge is an odd little skiing simulator that moonlights as a contest dispensary. At its core though, Metro Ski Challenge has everything that any downhill skiing fan would ever need.

Here’s the catch though. Metro Ski Challenge costs a very reasonable $1.99, but then then asks for some odd info to play most of the game. At the start, you can play only one hill, and only on the practice mode. To play the additional maps and to experience the online global challenge, you have to go through a fairly intrusive sign-up process. Aside from the normal user name and password entries, you also have to enter your home address in case you win one of the admittedly big prizes. For instance, right now they have a pretty awesome looking trip to Austria that you can win, but it feels a bit odd to be placing your home address into an app.

Aside from the odd privacy concerns, Metro Ski Challenge is a pretty nice game. Being a simple downhill skiing game, the controls are limited to a button for crouching, a button for stopping, and accelerometer movement for control, but that’s just fine for what the game is. Each race consists of a simple downhill path that you must skillfully weave through in order to complete. To prevent the crazies from going crazy, you have to stay within the path to qualify for any sort of real race, but not the practice.

Once you’ve mastered the controls (they really aren’t that hard), you can go on to race qualifications so that you can actually start racing for prizes and such. In an effort to ease the organizational load on the prize giveaway, the official races can only be completed on certain days, and the days will only be given to you once you qualify. Until then, it’s just you trying to beat the global, and your own, qualifying high score.

Metro Ski Challenge really is one of the strangest experiences that I’ve had in the App Store. The game is pretty fun (it could use a bit more variety) and everything looks clean and polished, but I just can’t help but to expect this all to be part of a big Orbitz ad campaign. Let me know if you get the same feeling.

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