Ski Safari 2 is an action-packed endless runner styled game that is available for both Windows Phone and PC. The game has you in a downhill race against an avalanche of snow, an avalanche of lava or a tumbleweed twister.
Escaping these forces of nature, you choose between a pair of skis or a snowboard to zip downhill ahead of the dangers. There are plenty of power-ups and bonus items to help you survive, along with plenty of add-on items to purchase in the gaming store with the coins earned during gameplay.
Graphics are colorful and full of detail, gameplay keeps you on your toes and overall, Ski Safari 2 is a fantastic title to have in your Windows gaming library.
When you first launch Ski Safari 2, the game sends you through a short tutorial that highlights the basics of gameplay. As new features become available, additional tutorial screens appear. After the tutorial is complete, you choose your gaming character (Sven or Evana) and gear (skis or snowboard). Once these selections have been made, the game transitions to gameplay. After your initial run, a proper main menu greets you prior to gameplay.
That menu has options to visit the gaming map, view your gaming profile, view any gameplay photos (highlights), view your gaming challenges, visit the gaming store and access the game's settings.
Ski Safari 2 has four gaming locations that are accessible from the gaming map. You begin gameplay from Penguin Peaks where you have to outrun a violent avalanche that consumes everything in its path. You also have Jurassic Lark where you face a tidal wave of lava, Twisted Canyon where you race a tornado, and Monster Mountain where a giant pumpkin is trying to chase you down. Each of the locations beyond Penguin Peaks are progressively unlocked as you earn stars by completing challenges during gameplay.
Coins are also earned during gameplay that can be used in the game's store to purchase ski/snowboard upgrades, outfits for your characters and boosters to aid in Sven's or Evana's performance.
Gameplay with Ski Safari 2 is universal throughout the locations, save the danger you are racing against and the power-ups available. You begin the game being violently awoken by the avalanche or danger and it is a downhill race from there.
The forward momentum is automatic and screen taps cause your gaming character to jump to avoid hazards. Dangers that slows your gaming character down just enough to allow the avalanche can catch them. While your character is in mid-air, various screen gestures cause them to perform stunts. For example, tapping and holding the screen while in mid-jump causes the skier to perform a back flip. Just be careful to time the stunt to allow the skier to land squarely on the board or skis. Otherwise, they may tumble and get caught by the dangers chasing them.
Should your skier fall, tapping the screen causes them to jump back up on their skis or snowboard with a slim chance they can get going before the danger overtakes them.
Along the downhill path coins can be collected, ramps used to catch a little air and friendly animals become available to help you on your journey. You ride the backs of the animals for a boost of speed and a little forgiveness if you hit an object. For example, in the Penguin Peaks location you can ride the backs of penguins and if you hit a boulder, the skier continues forward with the penguin taking the brunt of the impact.
In addition to the help you can get from the local animals, Ski Safari 2 also includes a rocket booster and a turbo booster available (purchased through the gaming store) to give Sven or Evana a temporary boost of speed and invincibility.
Gameplay with Ski Safari 2 plays out in endless runner fashion. There are a series of performance challenges (perform a backflip, ride a penguin, travel a set distance, etc.) to provide a little depth to the game and as you master these challenges, stars are earned. These stars eventually unlock the additional locations as you collect enough of them.
Overall, Ski Safari 2 is a fun game to pass the time with. Graphics and animations are top notch with plenty of color and detail. Gameplay is fast-paced and keeps you on your toes.
The only frustration experienced (other than crashing far too many times) is that the text graphics disappear from the screen as you transition to and from the main menu. This makes it impossible to read about gear you are considering purchasing, determining what challenge you need to master or read up on a map location. This bug is present in both the Windows Phone and PC versions.
Speaking of which, the Windows PC version does have keyboard support that is a tad bit cumbersome. While you do get the hang of keyboard controls, Ski Safari 2 is much more enjoyable when played on a touchscreen device.
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George is the Reviews Editor at Windows Central, concentrating on Windows 10 PC and Mobile apps. He's been a supporter of the platform since the days of Windows CE and uses his current Windows 10 Mobile phone daily to keep up with life and enjoy a game during down time.