Version Reviewed: 1.0
Device Reviewed On: iPhone 5
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There's a charm to Skiing Fred that is never quite cemented by its gameplay. While fun, there's a certain sense of excitement missing throughout proceedings.
Those opposed to connecting everything to their Facebook accounts will immediately be disappointed by Skiing Fred. Although it's not essential to do so, that connectivity makes a world of difference in terms of the game's functionality and options. It's strongly recommended and at least there are options to hide any content posted on the social network.
A tutorial puts players through their paces but it's straight forward enough stuff. Tilting is the order of the day here, with some light controls meaning it's pretty simple to dodge from side to side. Starting out, the game is pretty easy too, giving players plenty of time to master everything. Tapping once on screen causes Fred to jump, with sprinting initiated by holding a finger to the screen. At times, this can cause some minor issues, proving particularly annoying when trying to sprint ahead of the game's Grim Reaper. While, for the most part, Fred is attached to his snowboard, there are moments in which one can control a snowmobile or snowball, each adding some fun, but ultimately the same kind of experience, albeit reskinned.
As is often the way with both Endless Runners and Free To Play games, there are plenty of upgrades to purchase. It's possible to change one's looks and equipment, as well as buy upgrades. Coins are accrued through playing the game, but it's quite a slow process at first, making the allure of an in-app purchase quite tempting.
Given the Facebook connectivity plus Game Center support, Skiing Fred's strength comes from the competition provided by friends. In-game challenges offering up extra coins for those who complete certain objectives such as jumping over a trap in the nick of time also provides reason to come back for more.
It's all quite fun for the Endless Runner fan, but Skiing Fred doesn't exactly revolutionize. It sticks with what players expect of the genre, never really deviating from the usual motif. At times, that can be fine, but other times, that desire for Skiing Fred to be more refined comes to the forefront.