Version Reviewed: 1.1
Device Reviewed On: iPhone
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Snowboard Hero features impressive 3D visuals, a full-length career mode and gameplay that reminds of the SSX series. In the career mode, there are four different characters to play as (two more are coming in an update soon), each featuring its own courses and challenges. At the start of the game, only Dude, a cool-guy snowboarder, is available, but as you complete his challenges, you'll unlock and move onto playing as other characters and their own challenges.
Challenges come in many flavors, including time trial, freestyle, slalom, race, gate-time bonus, and combinations of these disciplines. Each course also features three different kinds of runs, such as piste, halfpipe and open alpine area. While there is a good variety of challenges overall, one issue is that you can't skip any you don't like. If you're up against a challenge you don't like, you have to finish it before you can progress. This can dampen the experience, as some of the challenges are more exciting than others.
For the most part, the course design is varied. You'll snowboard during the day, night, everywhere in between and the background scenery is always changing. Visually speaking, this is easily one of the most impressive, gorgeous iOS titles out there. And the production values here really are console quality.
The game's controls – built around tilting and using the touchscreen – are intuitive and work well. In order to pull off tricks, you swipe your finger in a particular motion. The system is solid enough, although many of the different grabs and tricks recycle the same old swipe motions.
The biggest thing holding Snowboard Hero back is that it's, well, a little tame. Compared to the SSX series, it feels a little dull at times. This is not because it's more realistic or less whacky. The game has many of the unrealistic characteristics of SSX, so it can't be that. It's just that it never feels as intense or spectacular as EA's series.
Although it's no SSX, Snowboard Heroes is still a solid iOS game and has enough to it to keep you busy for a lengthy period of time. Any snowboarding fan will especially enjoy being able to play something of this quality on the go.