Rants and Reviews while drinking brews!
Alright my friends, it is time to go back; and by back, I’m talking about the mid-1990s. Most of you who read my blogs and follow me on Twitter may know that I am not big on computer games. Something about playing games with a mouse and keyboard just doesn’t appeal to me. I love my controllers, and I love my consoles. I understand that I can configure a controller on a PC, but it just doesn’t feel the same. I’m not to say that I haven’t enjoyed computer games in the past, but the number of actual titles I’ve enjoyed could probably be counted with my fingers. There is one game however that stands out above all the computer games I have played in my childhood. And believe it or not, it’s a game that I didn’t even own. That game, released in 1991 for Microsoft Windows, was SkiFree.
I grew up loving to play computer games like Oregon Trail in grade school. Heck, I was even a fan of the still popular, Civilization, which I would play at my friend’s house. My family had this beat up Windows 3.1-running computer with a single 8” floppy disk drive that contained only two games; Secret Agent and California Games. I enjoyed those games, but they didn’t compare to the awesomeness of the Nintendo and Sega Genesis I already owned. So why exactly did I enjoy SkiFree as much as I did without even owning it? Because every single store in America that sold computers had demos containing the game. I’m talking Costco (formerly Price Club), Circuit City, Best Buy, name it, they had it. My mom would take me and my brother to these stores and just leave us at the computer section while she did her shopping. We spent countless number of hours in a span of a few years playing SkiFree and never got tired of it. How much can I actually say about SkiFree however in this retro review? I’m half way through the review and have yet to touch on the actual game.
So the premise of SkiFree is that you are a skier going down the world’s largest mountain and by large I mean it never ends. Sounds a bit tedious, but if you have played this game growing up like me, you most-likely would have gone through the same emotions I had. You’d ride the highs from skiing long distances without crashing into anything, and you’d ride the lows from constantly running into obstacles like trees and other skiers. You even got the crap scared out of by the infamous Yeti that almost immediately ended your run if you weren’t careful. Oh yes, that Yeti was one scary monster that still haunts me even today. As far as controls are concerned, just hold the down arrow and use the left and right keys to dodge stuff. Again, sounds boring, but I actually found it fun and very addicting. As a side note, I did some additional research on this game just so that I can say I covered all aspects of it. There are apparently three other modes you can choose from; a free-style course, and two different slalom courses. I never knew that however as the only mode I ever played at the stores was the “SkiFree” mode.
To conclude, I would like to apologize if this retro review did not come off as the kind of review you usually would expect from me. I wrote more about my experiences with the game than the actual game itself. But that is exactly why I decided to write about it. I loved the game because it gave me some of the most positive gaming memories and experiences as a kid growing up in the 90s. As I do with every other game I review on this site, I will give it a grade. Based on my personal enjoyment of the game, as well as the nostalgia that comes from playing it today, I will give it a B-. I’m not going to come out recommending this game as I would with others that I review because you either have played SkiFree, or you haven’t. If you have never played the game, it probably won’t make much of an impact now, and you would probably be over it in 30 seconds. Either way, I am out of here folks, please leave some feedback below or hit me up on Twitter. I would love to read about what you have to say about SkiFree or the review itself. You’ll either love it or hate it, but it’s all good, cheers!
Mike H., the founder of BarroomGamer.com is a 30 years old, married-with-kids, undergraduate at the University of California San Diego. He enjoys playing and talking video games with anyone, as well as enjoying delicious alcoholic beverages to accompany him in his gaming experiences. He’s new to the realm of blogging, but loves the idea of sharing his thoughts about video games, or anything related to them,with the world. He loves to discuss, find him on Twitter @barroomgamer