Tame the mountain in Com2uS' semi enjoyable sports game, so long as you invest a lot of time, or money.
At this point, it's a bit of a surprise that iPhone and iPad users don't have a go to snowboarding game, especially one along the lines of EA's SSX series (you listening, Gameloft?).
To that end, we crossed our fingers in the hopes that Com2uS USA's SummitX Snowboarding would fill the void, delivering the sort of arcade experience we've craved for years.
To be fair, the developers got a lot right. SummitX is an attractive and addictive snowboarding effort that challenges you to speed down 36 different paths spread across six mountains, with names like Glacier Lake, Diablo and Mt. Payne.
As you narrowly avoid rocks, pass through time gates and fly off ramps, you must execute tricks to score huge points, pressing on-screen buttons that only appear while in the air to pull off spins, rolls and tail grabs, where the goal is to kick the multiplier into high gear and keep that baby going as long as possible.
Hit one of three score totals, and you earn a bronze, silver or gold medal, as well as a modest amount of cash. The former helps unlock new stages, while the latter gives you the opportunity to purchase different boards and tricks.
The controls, meanwhile, eventually become second nature. What we have is a steering system with two on-screen thumb pads that you'll need to use in tandem to steer your character (male or female) to safety. Odd at first, but you quickly get the hang of it.
Unfortunately, SummitX suffers from choppy play, despite a recent update to improve overall performance. Things don't flow smoothly enough, which puts a slight damper on hitting intended spots with ease.
Not only that, but characters tend to get turned around and stuck, a glitch that results in precious seconds flying off the clock. Considering the remaining time gets factored into the run's final score, you'll probably restart more times than you'd like.
Finally, the developers shove the in-app purchase down your throat. Scoring a gold medal pays out a measly 50 bucks. That's a bit silly, considering some tricks cost in excess of a thousand.
This ultimately creates a situation where the designers made achieving gold medals so difficult (and the reward so pathetic) that most gamers will probably quit playing in frustration.
It's a shame, because SummitX Snowboarding has quite a few positives, from varied courses to detailed riders and solid controls. If Com2us is smart, it'll release a second update that not only increases performance yet again, but makes gold medals mean something.
Requirements: Compatible with iPhone 3GS, iPhone 4, iPhone 4S, iPod touch (3rd generation), iPod touch (4th generation) and iPad. Requires iOS 4.0 or later.
What's Hot: Thirty-six levels, six unique mountains, impressive touch controls, great variety of tricks, universal.
What's Not: Not enough money earned per stage, tricks too expensive, glitches, choppy play, $4.99 normally.