I love it when an indie game releases that I spend way more time playing than I thought I would so here's Horatio Goes Snowboarding.
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Horatio Goes Snowboarding is a simple game that consists of 2 gameplay modes. As soon as you begin a run, you have to cross the street a few times on your way to a helicopter and the cars don't stop at crosswalks so you really have to be careful. This part of the gameplay is simple and very Frogger-like but where the gameplay really shines is when the helicopter drops you off on a mountain and you start to actually snowboard. The controls are simple and intuitive as all you do is tilt the left stick to steer. However, there are many tricks that you'll learn as you hone your skills which makes the core gameplay a lot more complex than you'll initially expect and once you master the slopes with finesse, you'll be quite happy with how your skills have grown over time. In other words, it's an impressively rewarding game. v1d30chumz 35-172-230-154
Some tricks that you'll adopt are things like consistently steering left and right to slow down and gauge the dangers ahead as well as discovering which hazards can be utilized to your advantage. For example, bashing the side of a stack of logs will grant you a healthy chunk of points while staying out of a yeti's reach is crucial if you don't want it to snag you. Considering there are loads of ways to earn bonus points in addition to clearing gates in perfect succession, earning high scores is a supremely gratifying experience, especially when you climb the leaderboards. I'm currently in 3rd place! Well, I'm sure that won't last long but you know what I mean. 😅
On top of the satisfying gameplay, there is a fantastic sense of humour with Horatio's goofy one-liners whenever he hits the slopes as well as adorable visuals. Now that I mention it, Horatio Goes Snowboarding was developed by the studio behind the delightful Don't Die, Mr. Robot! and I think this is their first game with 3D visuals so good job, Infinite State Games; it looks great! Horatio himself is a cute little blue fellow with a white moustache and it's fun watching him waddle around and wipe out. Meanwhile, the city scene looks excellent although the slopes are a little more on the generic side. Of course, this helps with making the visuals less ambiguous but I wish there were more graphical embellishments to add life in the snowboarding scene. On the plus side, the drum and bass music is superb.
Back to the gameplay; Horatio Goes Snowboarding has a clever health system in that you're given money at the start of each run. You'll have to use a bit of that cash to rent a snowboard and whenever you wipe out or get hit by a vehicle, you'll have to pay a good chunk of change for hospital fees. Is this set in the USA? If so, why is the currency British pounds? Anyway, if you complete courses without crashing then you'll receive extra cash and the goal is to master as many procedurally-generated slopes as possible in order to maximize your score. Throw in additional hazards and steadily increasing difficulty and you're left with a winning arcade formula. 🏆
With that in mind, Horatio Goes Snowboarding is essentially just the one single-player mode with no multiplayer component so it would have been a more fulfilling experience if it featured additional challenges. The only extra comes in the form of the unlockable Endless Mode which doesn't really add much to the core gameplay. For the record, I much prefer the main mode. I also think it would be nifty if there was an upgrade system where you could spend earned points on more starting cash or shields to protect you from hazards. That would have been cool, especially if they separated it into its own mode and had the current main mode be Arcade Mode or something. Even though the lack of content is slightly disappointing, I'll still pick this up whenever I want a quick fix of arcade-style fun.
After playing Horatio Goes Snowboarding for hours, I must say that I'm impressed with its intuitive albeit challenging gameplay as it keeps pushing you to achieve higher scores. In fact, I had so much fun that I hope to see a sequel; hopefully featuring much more content.
- + Incredibly fun core gameplay that requires a surprising amount of finesse
- + Silly sense of humour and cute visuals
- + Climbing the leaderboards is rewarding
- - Primarily consists of one arcade-style mode that you play over and over
- - The slope visuals could use sprucing up
- - Unlockable upgrades would have been cool