Developer: Mikengreg
Price: $2.99
Version Reviewed: 1.1

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

Overall Rating: ★★★★½

There are some ideas for iPhone apps that really just don’t work, and I can spot them a mile away. These apps are filled with glossy graphics, fairy music, and no way to lose. Slolipskier is not one of these apps. It is entirely fueled by awesome. Solipskier is the culmination of all that is great for those that enjoy skiing and awesomeness. Put super-fast downhill skiing, hard rock, and some great style into an app, and this is what you get.

Sometimes the greatest games are the most simple, and Solipskier falls into this category. The game starts you as the line drawer, guiding the path that your skier must take. As you slide your finger up and down on the screen, the path moves with you, causing the skier to move with it. As gravity demands, if you put a downhill slope on the screen, the skier will go faster, and if you put a sharp hill in front of it, the skiier will jump.

Along the way, there are rings and tunnels that you must go through for points, as well as some bad red rings and canyons that you must avoid. There’s no end to the chaos, just a high score goal to reach.

There are little moments of joy though that make Solipskier a better game than most. Little touches like the All Star Dunk Contest-like scorecards given for big jumps and the random loss of the skiers headphones if he goes too fast make everything seem a little bit more lovable.

Speaking of the headphones, the sound in Solipskier adds a lot more to the game than most soundtracks. It’s nothing too complex, just a simple hard rock guitar tune, but the real joys are the moments when the headphones do come off. For a period of time, you get that clean, carving down the mountain sound that you hear when you are actually skiing. The effect wouldn’t really be all that great on its own, but the striking contrast of the hard rock tune with the freeing sound of the mountain without the rock music is fantastic.

The only flaw I see in Solipskier is the complicated nature of the scoring system. Being a high score game, it’s hard for me to really grasp how I’m getting to a particular score. Unlike a game like Ninjump that definitely correlates time played with score, Solipkier puts in all sorts of bonuses, making the score a tough thing to analyze.

All in all, Solipskier is a fantastic game that should have a place on anyone’s iDevice. It’s innovative, fun, and looks/sounds oh so pretty. If you want to try it out before you buy, check out the flash version here. It’s not quite as pretty as the iPhone retina display version, but it plays the same.

For those that have the game, check out this great video of the developer kicking the crap out of any high score that I’ve ever gotten. It is on the flash version of the game, but the strategy definitely translates. The fact that he gets over 100 km/hr is amazing.

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