Canabalt, Tiny Wings and Madcoaster are the first three endless running games that come to mind. Do we really need a room for one more?
If you’re really into these casual running games, I believe you’ll be satisfied with the changes/additions they made to the formula. Looking at it in the big picture and see how it stacks with the competition, Ski Safari is enjoyable though it’s lacking innovation which can make the game and the gameplay really old fast.
Visually this game is flawless. The game supports both retina displays on iPhone 4S and New iPad. Ski Safari is also universal, so you don’t have to “pay for the same game twice”. The sounds match the theme, but the background and general artwork doesn’t change much.
Unlike games I mentioned above, at least the backgrounds change after a certain period of time giving you a feel of a brand new game. It makes you strive harder to see what else new setting can the game deliver. Unfortunately the background very rarely changes in Ski Safari and you see the same blue skies, log cabin and clouds over and over.
The game uses a one tap system. Tap to make backflips and multiple taps recover your skiier from tumbling. The controls are very easy to use and go hand in hand with the very self explanatory and simple gameplay.
As with any running game, the goal is to ski for as long as you can. Along the way, you’ll experience obstacles in the form of log cabins, rocks, billboards and obviously the avalanche your skiing away from. You’ll also see penguins and yetis you can actually ride for multipliers and/or shielding yourself from obstacles.
There are chain combos, multipliers and coins to collect. Multipliers change as you level up. Leveling up is done through completing challenges (i.e. piggybacking on penguins, collecting x number of coins etc). There are also powerups in the form of a snow mobile and a bird (what I’ve seen so far).
I’ve been playing for a while now, and I haven’t really encountered any new game mechanic, new “level”, powerups or other twists to the gameplay. Ski Safari is really well made but either I’m tired of this genre, or the game is lacking something to make it really stand out and enjoyable for long periods of time.
What are the coins you collect for? I’m assuming some sort of shop system is currently being worked on just like Madcoaster. Eventually I want to see some day and night changes at the very least, but I prefer new locations and/or settings to make the game more visually exciting.
Ski Safari is more than enough of a safe buy at $0.99. It looks like Defiant Development is pretty dedicated to their craft and hopefully they’ll consider some of the changes I requested/pointed out. If you’re looking for something fun, this is the game for you. If you’re looking for something unique and/or a genre changing game, this isn’t the game for you.
For me, the game doesn’t have to be a game changer. I’d just like to see creativity at work enough for any game to really leave a mark on their players. With a couple of updates, I’m hoping Ski Safari leaves that mark.