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Developer: Traction Games
Price: $0.99
Version: 1.0.1
App Reviewed on: iPhone 4S

Graphics / Sound Rating: ★★★½☆
User Interface Rating: ★★★½☆
Gameplay Rating: ★★★½☆
Re-use / Replay Value Rating: ★★★★☆

Overall Rating: ★★★½☆

Stickman Snowboarder is the third installment in a series of games developed by Traction Games. Instead of performing tricks on bikes or grinding on a skateboard, players must now spin, slide, grind and grab their way through 60 levels spread across four different location that range from a lumber yard to a ski slope. It has the same game play style as its side-scrolling predecessors, making it tough to decide if it’s worth adding to the collection.

If you’ve never played the previous games, the goal is to successfully make it to the end of a level while performing as many tricks as possible. There is an arrow on the left side of the screen that users must tap repeatedly to move their snowboarder and a button on the right that allows them to perform tricks. The beginner button lets players do random tricks, while the advanced swipe button located in the options menu allows gamers to have full control of the types of tricks that they perform.

There are checkpoints on each level so players are automatically placed back at the last check point when they die. If gamers use all five of their lives, they’ll have to restart the level from the beginning. There are three goals in each level that players must master: collect all the tokens, complete a level without crashing and collecting the stars. Since players can go back and replay a level at any time, this gives Stickman Snowboarder a fairly high replay value.

Where the game falls short is that it just doesn’t set itself apart from the other two games. Of course the environments and levels are different, but the game play still feels repetitive—especially since there are no awesome power-ups or different objectives that keep it from feeling dull. However, what I particularly didn’t enjoy about this game is that there was no tutorial (at least one I could easily find) to help gamers figure out what they are doing, and it seems too overloaded with in-app purchases. There’s no way to actually unlock items like new characters or the extra-tough pro pack by earning them. You’ll have to shell out even more cash.

While it does need some improvement, Stickman Snowboarder isn’t a complete bust. Despite these issues, I still enjoyed playing the game because it has an addictive element to it. Performing multiple tricks in the air, trying to top the Game Center leaderboards and working hard to make it past a checkpoint on a particularly difficult level are all elements that kept me from putting this game down. Whether you’re a fan of the series, an avid snowboarder or a casual gamer just looking for something new, Stickman Snowboarder is worth exploring for less than a dollar. It’s also available separately for the iPad if you’d prefer to play it on the larger screen.

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