Reviewed: March 12, 2010
Released: February 20, 2010
App Store Price: $2.99
Out in time to capture the hype generated by the Winter Olympics, Ski Jumping 2010 arrives on the iPhone with relatively little fanfare and a $3 price tag that might actually have you thinking there is a game lurking somewhere behind the flashy opening movie..
Sadly, once the spectacle that is the title montage is over you are left with very little to do. Itís certainly not for a lack of trying. Vivid Games has included all the ingredients; 26 jumps from around the world, 49 jumpers of various skills, and equipment shop, integration of real world ski jump records, a career mode with a skill-building system for your character, and even a 4-player pass the phone mode as well as OpenFeint leaderboards. So why does this game suck so much?.
Frankly, the game isnít much fun, not that I expected a ďsimulationĒ to be terribly fun in the first place. There are a few ways to mix up the control scheme but at its core the game consists of tap-tap-tilt-tap and repeat for every jump you make. Youíll want to spend some time in the training mode to get the timing perfected and turn on those visual assists otherwise youíll be eating snow and breaking bones with every jump..
Tap to start rushing down the chute then at the end of the ramp tap again to launch then tilt your iPhone to keep the green balance indicator within the safe zone. Tap a final time at the moment of touch down then check your distance. The more accurate your timed taps and ability to balance in the air the farther you go and the higher you rank. Itís a fair sterile concept that has nothing to do with actually skiing. You can substitute this same input system for a golf swing..
Visually, the game comes off like a flash animation Ė one of those free games you can play in a web browser. Those opening movies might look next-gen but once you get into the simplistic 2D sprite style animation youíll be sorely disappointed. This is the iPhone. I was expecting something in 3D and perhaps from a first or 3rd person chase view; something like the skiing on the Wii.
If I can say anything good about the title it would be the music. The opening track is catchy and there is some cool electronica in the menus and some breezy techno and trance going on during the jump sequences -not much though in the way of sound effects other than a few bells and buzzers and the wind whistling through the trees..
I might make a cautious recommendation if this app were $.99 but $2.99 is ridiculously overpriced for the complete lack of engaging gameplay. The computer never fails and is practically impossible to beat, and donít hold your breath on beating any of the real world records. The 4-player mode might offer a bit more group fun, but even then you wonít play for long. The game is mindless and boring, and wonít hold your interest long enough to even bother with the skill building or the pro shop.