Do you want to ski and snowboard with the skill and finesse as seen at the Winter Olympics? SNOW is an open-world skiing and snowboarding game that allows you to trick your way down runs without the worry of broken bones or pride. Not only does SNOW provide some challenging courses to run, it also lets you go off piste to dodge trees, jump off the side of mountains and explore abandoned castles and lodge areas. SNOW is still in early alpha, but already has a more finished look than some beta releases, with great potential for an amazing finished game.
The gameplay style of SNOW caters to all gaming styles, letting you play as seriously or as ridiculously as you want. You can kit your character out in the latest and best branded gear, or opt for a top-hat for some distinguished winter sports, showing that SNOW understands the fun to be had with their game. During actual gameplay the world is very impressive with hours of potential exploring, and the option of multiple start points makes every run different. The controls are easy to master, using WASD to control the speed and tricks your character performs. Whilst gamepad controls are still in the works this option already works surprisingly well, allowing for precision jumps and really sticking the landing. As SNOW is still in it’s early stages there is no audio, but it is easy to put on music from other snowboarding games such as SSX or some dubstep to complete the experience of the game.
SNOW too caters to the competitive gamer with a multiplayer mode, allowing for races and trick battles as well as showing off those remote areas of the map that take some exploring to find. Another sign of the enjoyment to be had comes from an achievement only obtainable by finding a troll hidden in the vast snowy world, giving players another objective to pulling off stunning tricks and taking some beautiful screenshots.
At the time of writing the graphics leave something to be desired, with your ski’s often becoming glitchily submerged in the snow and at high speeds your character seems to jolt their way down the slope, but there is the option to jettison your character, leading to some hilarious moments as your rag-dolled character slides down the mountain, head high-fiving every tree and rock possible along the way. SNOW is one of the most promising early alpha games available on Steam’s Early Access, having great potential for being a game that everyone will want to play and genuinely enjoy.
Words by Louise Egan