Skiing Fred

Skiing Fred is an action packed skiing game for Windows Phone 8 that has you try to navigate down a trap riddled ski slope, keeping one step ahead of the Grim Reaper.

It is the first of the Fred series of games to land in the Windows Phone Store.  The Fred series of games have seen a nice amount of success over on iOS and Android.  Based on the short time we have spent with Skiing Fred, it should have similar success here.

Skiing Fred
Skiing Fred's Main Menu

Skiing Fred is an action sports game that takes Fred down the slippery slopes, collecting gold coins, avoiding a wide assortment of death traps and enduring a vast range of weather conditions.

The main menu offers options to play the survival mode, challenge a friend online, visit the game’s shop to buy upgrades, boosts and avatars, enter cheats, and access the game’s settings that cover turning on/off the gore, adjust the sound, and adjust the video quality.

Quick note on video quality is that while you have a high, medium and low setting, the low setting works out rather nice.  The high end will let you see the individual snowflakes as they fall but also is more demanding on system resources.

Skiing Fred
Skiing Fred and His Downhill Run

Game play has you controlling Fred’s movement with your Windows Phone tilt sensors, tapping the left side of the screen to slow down, tapping the right side to jump and tap/holding the right side of the screen to speed up.  A double tap of the right screen will let Fred perform a few mid-air stunts for added height.

Scoring is displayed at the top of the screen, as is your coin count and bonus meters.

Along the downhill journey, you will have to maneuver Fred around a wide assortment of death traps that include spiked rocks, saw blades, and lava pits.  To add to the challenge, the weather conditions will change as you advance through the game to add apocalyptic meteor showers to dodge and blinding blizzards to navigate through.

Skiing Fred
Catching a Ride On Your Friendly Pterodactyl

At some point the Grimmy Reaper will make an appearance and Fred will have to out run him to continue his ski run.  You also have a Pterodactyl that appears throughout the game that will swoop down, snatch Fred up and carry him down the course.  The Pterodactyl is controls much like Fred with your Windows Phone tilt sensor steering it as it soars down the course.

As Fred dodges the dangers, he can take out wandering penguins and collect gold coins.  The penguins add bonus points to your score and the gold coins can be used in the game’s store to buy upgrades, boost and avatar characters to swap Fred out with.

Skiing Fred
Skiing Fred's Game Shop

The goal is to make it as far as possible before you crash and burn (or get impaled by one of those spikey things).  The further you go, the more points you earn.  Skiing Fred also has several missions that you have to complete as well.  These range from buying a bonus item in the Shop to taking out a certain amount of penguins.

Overall, Skiing Fred is a fun game for Windows Phone 8.  Graphics are well done, animations add to the gaming experience and the game itself is rather challenging.  While I liked the game, it could use a little fine-tuning.  Nothing detrimental but just a few tweaks that would improve the overall gaming experience.

Load times were noticeably longer (lowering the graphic quality helps) and instability issues were present that caused the game to crash from time to time.  The crashes weren't to the level that it will drive you crazy but noticeable.

While the game does have a tutorial that walks you through the gaming controls, Skiing Fred lacks a help section.  A help section would come in handy to explain the online play, what some of the gauges on the gaming screen mean or how the Survival Mode differs from the main gaming mode.  

You also have an intro scene that you have to deal with every time you play the game.  There needs to be a setting to disable it at some point.

While there is room for improvement, Skiing Fred is a welcome addition to the Windows Phone 8 gaming library.  Think of it as Minion Rush on a snowboard just without the quirky sound effects.

Skiing Fred is a free game available for Windows Phone 8 with a few in-app purchase opportunities through the game’s shop.  It does require 1GB of RAM so it will not run on low-memory devices such as the Nokia Lumia 520.

You can find Skiing Fred here in the Windows Phone Store.

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