Grand Mountain Adventure Wonderlands Review thumbnail

Grand Mountain Adventure Wonderlands Review

Ski hard

A.J. Maciejewski

Reviewed by playing a Nintendo Switch on ⛷️

Grand Mountain Adventure Wonderlands is rated Everyone by the ESRB

Soaring downhill on a snowboard or pair of skis is a thrill and Grand Mountain Adventure Wonderlands is here to capture that feeling.

│ Just like in nearly all our reviews, you can watch A.J. play Grand Mountain Adventure Wonderlands below so you can judge accordingly. ▶️

Grand Mountain Adventure Wonderlands screenshot 1
What a lovely little pond

Before playing Grand Mountain Adventure Wonderlands, I didn't quite know what to expect. Upon booting it up, you're given the option to use a snowboard or skis and from then on, you explore a mountainside while taking on challenges and trying to outdo your previous efforts. After tinkering around with this formula for what feels like hours, I must say that I'm very impressed with this open-ended approach to its campaign. Sure, there are many set courses but the fun is in discovering the world for yourself. v1d30chumz 44-210-77-106

The core gameplay of Grand Mountain Adventure Wonderlands is generally what you'd expect from a downhill snow-filled adventure as you tilt the stick left and right to steer and gain speed and you can brake and hop by the tap of a couple face buttons. I also discovered a push button that lets you hit other folks who are just minding their own business which is pretty funny although I'm not entirely sure if there's a practical use for doing so. Anyway, you essentially move around while taking lifts up to your next run and as you discover runs and lifts, you can fast-travel to them from then on which is excellent as it makes exploring quite streamlined and intuitive.

Grand Mountain Adventure Wonderlands screenshot 2
You know this run is going to be epic when the chairlift ride is this long

The various runs that you'll come across task you with different goals such as reach the finish line in a certain amount of time, perform tricks to maximize your score, and weave through gates without missing a single one. The better you perform on these runs, the more ski passes you'll earn which unlock additional runs and lifts but most importantly, you'll acquire access to completely new mountains when you reach a particular threshold at the previous mountain with 12 mountains to play on in total which is an impressive amount. 🏔️

Besides being an excellent experience that lets you enjoy yourself at your own pace with rewarding exploration and challenges, Grand Mountain Adventure Wonderlands can also be played with up to 4 local players. That being said, I prefer playing solo because the core gameplay lends itself well to single player as you attempt to outperform yourself as you take in the chill ambience of the atmosphere. Speaking of which, the visuals are excellent complete with plenty of small details that make up the game world such as tracks that form wherever you ride. Plus, the audio is filled with spot-on sound effects, occasional bursts of relaxing beats, and rewarding chimes. 😊

My main issue with Grand Mountain Adventure Wonderlands is that the general loop of exploring mountainsides and attempting runs gets a bit repetitive after a while and I would have loved to be able to play additional modes and perhaps even some mini-games. As it is, it's still a great game but there could have been more content to really help mix things up. Finally, I regularly found it difficult to work out which direction my character was facing and that's problematic because when you're in mid-flip, you might not make the landing. You can zoom the camera in but doing so restricts how much you can see ahead. Instead, there could be better onscreen indicators.

Grand Mountain Adventure Wonderlands screenshot 3
Time to jump off a cliff and hope for the best

Grand Mountain Adventure Wonderlands is one of those indies that's far better than you'd imagine. With an open-ended campaign that you'll relish exploring while finding the next suitable challenge, the hours will pass on by as your skills become better and better.

  • + Intuitive yet challenging downhill fun that lets you play at your own pace
  • + Great sense of reward and exploration
  • + Spot-on visuals and ambient audio
  • - Could use extra modes such as mini-games
  • - It's sometimes hard to see your character
8.1 out of 10
Gameplay video for Grand Mountain Adventure Wonderlands thumbnail
Watch A.J. play Grand Mountain Adventure Wonderlands
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