Whether you’re an avid fan of taking a board or some skis up a mountain and hurling yourself down the slopes, or you’re really more of a bedroom boarder and skier, there are some great ski and snowboarding games out there that can help you hone your skills – or just pretend that you have some. The advanced technology of today’s games means that you can play on real courses, using realistic equipment and step into the shoes of some of the most famous players in the ski and snowboarding scene. There’s a whole range of different ski and snowboarding games out there, but here are a few of the best.
SSX (Snowboard Supercross) is a snowboarding game that uses real locations, such as the breathtaking Himalayas or the Antarctic. The content for the game was created from satellite data, which SSX manufacturer EA Canada borrowed from NASA to make sure that the mountain ranges and slopes that are featured in the game are as real and accurate as possible. The game has both male and female fictional characters, including Zoe Payne, Eddie Wachowski and Ty Thorse, alongside the option of boarding as real life snowboarding champ Travis Rice. Players can choose to race down the course of their choice – complete with challenges such as ramps, rails and jumps – or take part in a competitions to perform various snowboarding tricks. The game has consistently received high ratings and was described as the best launch title for the PlayStation 2.
Ski Challenge was one of the first ever virtual ski world championships and since it was launched in 2004 has gone from strength to strength. Ski Challenge is available as a free download for Mac or PC and providers gamers with the chance to test their skills against others from all over the world. There are a number of different courses available, including Whistler Mountain, Kitzbühel and Beaver Creek, and manufacturer Greentube has created a game that integrates TV content and user generated content, making it quite a unique experience. During the week participants can train in offline mode, with online races taking place at the weekends to compete for the championship titles.
Shaun White Snowboarding is a game that has been designed for the Nintendo Wii and bears the name of real life boarder and legend, Shaun White, who holds several Olympic gold medals and in 2011 at the Winter X Games was the first person to score a perfect 100 in the men’s Snowboard Superpipe. The use of the Wii balance board means that the gamer gets to physically play the snowboarding game, making it one of the most realistic experiences on the market (except without the snow…). The game includes 75 different challenges, such as a half pipe in Times Square in New York, and participation in major tournaments in locations such as Japan, Canada and France.
Whether you want to participate in an online championship, practice some neat competition tricks and tips, or simply get to know a simulation of some of the world’s best ski and snowboarding courses, these PC and console games are great entertainment. Who knows, with enough gaming practice, you might even find that a Double McTwist 1260 comes quite naturally to you when you’re actually out on the slopes…
Amy is a skier and gamer working for Alpine Action in Meribel, France