Game: Skiing Yeti Mountain v1.2
Category: Action / Arcade
IAP: $1.99 - $2.99
Skiing Yeti Mountain is a fast-paced arcade title that places the player on a breakneck slalom ski course down a most treacherous mountain known to be inhabited by a legendary abominable snowman. Most ski resorts offer a relaxing day traversing the powdery slopes while chasing vivacious snow bunnies and sipping brandy by night. On the contrary, Yeti Mountain is better suited for adventurous types seeking thrills in a furious attempt to survive the more hazardous perils of this engaging sport. The mountain earns its fitting name from the mythical snow beast that inhabits the dangerous peak, inspiring the natives to either flee in terror or scurry through the woods to catch a single glimpse. With grim remnants of unlucky skiers throughout the mountain, daring wildlife darting in the way and unyielding trees and cliffs peppering the course, this is an ideal setting for a courageous romp in the snow. Sharp reflexes, stoic endurance and keen sense of direction will all be put to the test without risking a broken leg or even getting off the couch. Strapping on the custom pink skis and my alarmingly colorful eighties outfit, I set out to bravely investigate this phenomenon to see what the fuss is all about.
Yeti Mountain offers a staggering amount of sights to see and numerous play modes to test your reflexes and resolve, though all very similar in nature. Your task is to maneuver down the mountain through the slalom run, interweaving through the flag posts on the designated sides, while attempting to make the quickest time possible. Adding to this seemingly simple feat, wild elk will cross your path, ice and clumpy snow will affect control, flocks of birds can disrupt concentration, cliffs will engage jumps and trees will ultimately end everything. If that wasn't enough, an angry Yeti is on the loose creating more tension and leaving organic remains to discover in your travels. Story Mode is where you start your elongated athletic venture that consists of a whopping 841 levels of slalom goodness. As you navigate through these courses and attempt to better their designated finish times, you will accrue points to gain levels and earn new sporting gear along the way. This will also unlock groups of levels in the elective Challenge Mountain for you to test your skills to make the best time and to compete with other players. Viewing the screenshot below and this seasonal reward, it's clear just how fashionable and tragically hip your wardrobe can become over time. As the player's character is nameless and completely covered with skiing sportswear, either gender may apply and be respectively represented in all fairness. It would be nice to name the skier and have that mentioned in the dialog that comes up periodically, but the clever wardrobes make up for it.
Art design is provided in a lovely and popular pixel art style that works quite well with all given elements in the game. Everything is created uniformly and blends together nicely from the environmental settings to the occasional wildlife that will literally cross your path. Day and night cycles are featured with an option to toggle on and off, along with enchanting rain and snow particle effects to give the course some life. Obstacles in the form of tricky terrain are obvious to spot as you need to adapt control methods to certain areas. Animations are very well done globally, though it is advised there is some minor violence and blood in the game that might not be suitable for young children. Those who have a morbid sense of humor will enjoy colliding with trees in violent glory, and the trails of blood in the snow from the insatiable hunger of the elusive Yeti, which I have not yet encountered. There could certainly be a bit more interaction with wildlife and other various distractions to cause failure in a run, just to keep things interesting. Even rare falling timber, lightning strikes, frightened rabbits, wolves chasing the player or hunters with vision problems could add to the humor factor. It would be most comical in rare occasions, and indeed welcomed, to have a mischievous Yeti attack the skier or throw debris to attempt to foil the player's run. There is a great opportunity here that appears to be missed that would literally send this game over the edge with a desired sense of absurdity. As the idea of a Yeti in a game like this created such a popularity frenzy, it would be nice to actually be engaged by the legendary creature for added amusement. The developers seem to keep adding content, so perhaps there are more surprises yet to come in the future to make it a bit more charmingly ridiculous. We shall see what the future holds for this game, but my expectations are high that the developers will deliver what the fans truly desire.
Controlling the skier is amazingly simple, extremely effective and very sensitive as you rock your thumb at the bottom of the screen to move direction. An alternate finger mode is provided in options for phones, but either way you choose has a remarkably smooth and realistic feel. Negotiating the flags will have your body tense up as some of the levels are diabolical in design, usually requiring a few attempts for a successful run. The physics, particle effects and sense of movement are some of the best in any game of the sort; to the point where you will forget about the pixel art in lieu of a realistic experience. The balance of difficulty between courses is good, giving you a mixture of relaxing and comfortable runs to insane flag placement that will result in some guaranteed choice expletives. A few of the courses had me humorously wondering what kind of drugs the developers were using and if they had any left, but persistence will always yield success in the long run. The Story Mode is extremely long at 841 levels; finishing this completely is required to unlock most everything in the game and to progress into the Endless Mountain that offers a popular hardcore difficulty. In that mode you ski until you either miss a flag or collide with a tree, similar to a Rogue-like game with just a single life. Needless to say, you will need to master control of the skier and learn adaptive skills through Story Mode first before achieving a decent score in the other elective modes. Combining the remarkably smooth controls, rigorous action and often sadistic level design, these uncanny aspects will beckon you to pick up the game and try just a few more courses. There is a definite complexity within simplicity by design in Yeti Mountain; the developers struck a great balance to provide a different sort of addiction factor.
As Yeti Mountain has over one million downloads on Google Play alone, it is quite popular and for good reason since it's such a solid title. However, the game is best suited for short periods of time as it can be physically tiring and a bit repetitious in long sessions. As I very much agree with the commentary I have read, the game will keep drawing you back during breaks and relaxation periods occasionally as it is addictive with the great feel and controls. Although, similar to the likes of Minesweeper, it's not something that will engage you all day or night due to the sheer simplicity of the game. Also of note is the fact that there are no cloud saves through Google Play services, which means each device will not sync with your current progress. With such a large campaign involved, as well as other stats and records, this truly needs to be implemented in the future. Given that fact, there is ample challenge, interesting characters along the way, three main modes of play including Leaderboards and lots of scenery to behold as you attempt to cheat death and elude the angry Yeti. With the Endless Mountain and Challenge Mountain available after you finally complete the main campaign, Yeti Mountain in its relatively small package size will stay on your devices quite a while. There is an abundance of content available that offers a great deal of replay value over time for the asking price, with more content being added including seasonal perks and other interesting bonuses. Overall, the sheer character and responsive control of this title is enough to keep playing until the end and far beyond, though the premise of encountering a Yeti is alluring in itself.
- A humorous and smooth slalom skiing simulation.
- Amazingly fluid controls requiring only a single finger.
- Varying modes of play with Leaderboards and hardcore mode.
- Gradually earned rewards can alter the player character's appearance.
- Interactive environmental elements, weather, wildlife and an elusive Yeti!
- Can be physically tiring and repetitive over time.
- Needs more interactive elements in settings and wildlife.
- The ability to name the player to give personality would be nice.
- No feature for cloud saves through Google Play is currently available.
Device/OS used: Galaxy Nexus, Galaxy Note 3, Nexus 7 2012, Nexus 7 2013 / KitKat v4.4.2, KitKat v4.4.4, Lollipop v5.1.1
Purchase at Google Play
Mobilism: Skiing Yeti Mountain v1.2