Ride penguins, land backflips and conquer the mountain.
There's no shortage of endless running games on iPhone and iPad, with new ones appearing every month or so. These apps have grown a bit stale, but at least on the positive side, developers have come up with unique ways to keep them somewhat fresh. Case in point, Ski Safari from Defiant Development, a game that combines the joys of outrunning an avalanche with animal friends.
This probably sounds a bit strange, but it works. Your missions is to help a tiny dude named Sven avoid the huge mass of white powder charging down a mountain. To do this, you must keep him upright while performing backflips mid-air (press and hold the screen) and landing them successfully to acquire boost.
Meanwhile, skiing through a certain number of cabins makes various animals appear, and you can hitch a ride on these creatures by simply running into them. Penguins, for instance, give Sven additional speed, while yetis are stronger; the better to smash through rocks with. Then we have the eagle, which carries Sven high above the carnage.
These critters also provide an extra hit to absorb damage, where striking an object won't impede Sven's progress. Otherwise, doing so kills his momentum, forcing you to frantically tap the screen to recover as the avalanche moves closer.
Taken for what it is, Ski Safari provides several hours of snow-carving fun, and this is made even cooler with the inclusion of in-game achievements and, most importantly, leaderboards via Game Center, where the desire to rise up a few levels will definitely fuel your virtual skiing addiction.
What still needs improvement, sadly, are the graphics, which look a bit fuzzy on the new iPad. Not sure what the developers can do on their end, but retina support could go a long way to improving the game's appearance.
Aside from that, this is another quality App Store runner with simple controls and quality play. Besides, considering the dangers of skiing (smacking into boulders, for instance), better Sven than us.
What's Hot: Hitching a ride on a yeti, rocketing up the leaderboard, landing backflips for extra speed.
What's Not: Visual quality could use a boost.