Amped Snowboarding
| Amped Snowboarding

Games based on extreme sports can be a bit too, well, extreme for some. On home consoles, the likes of Tony Hawk's require all sorts of dexterity, combo-memorising and quick reaction skills that basically you've either got or you haven't. Or you're going to have to spend many humbling hours trying to acquire.

Good old mobile games. They have a habit of simplifying genres whether their makers wanted to or not, just through sheer lack of buttons or graphical horse power.

And this means that games like Amped, which on the home consoles are finger-twisting marathons of misty flips and chicken salads (which is a grab trick apparently. Amped, as far as I'm aware, has never featured combos that let you tuck into a spot of lunch mid run) are far more accessible on mobile phone.

It's so accessible that on your first few jaunts down the mountain, you'll get away with mastering few more skills than jumping onto rails, veering out of the way of rocks and pressing left or right when you get some air to spin about a bit.

Not that any of this is easy as such - Amped Snowboarding (which, lest you become confused, is the sequel to Amped) is fast-paced right from the start, so you need to react to approaching hazards and trick opportunities quick to avoid a tumble. It does mean, though, that getting to grips with the basic art of staying upright comes before memorising a brain-load of key-presses.

Another plus point: the game doesn't rely on all the obvious bits of snowboarding to create a good game. Clearly there are mountains and tricks and slopes and jumps. And snow.

But there are also challenge sections scattered along each mountain, which have you doing things not commonly related to the sport of snowboarding - like collecting presents for Santa Claus and going through slalom courses, to name a couple.

These challenge areas are strictly for notching up your score and trick directory so, if you fail one, you have the choice to skip it and carry on down the mountain, but they're compulsive enough that it's likely you'll keep at them until you're successful.

Other additional extras are the chance to unlock new togs to dress your boarders up in, and also a 'mystical object' to locate and pick up on each mountain.

There are also a couple of extra modes on top of the story one, which is a good inclusion since the Story mode, while it's varied and tricky to complete, is also fairly short with six runs.

A Free Ride mode lets you slide down any of the mountains and notch up tricks for points without having to faff about with anything else, while Race mode pits you up against three other boarders for a straightforward and fairly fun one-off race.

Amped Snowboarding is a feature-packed experience for a phone game. It doesn't scrimp on course sizes, its amount of modes and boarders, or on tricks and extra challenges.

In fact, the only criticism to pick out are that tricks can be fiddly to pull off purely because of the quick reactions needed to register both an upcoming rail or jump and which buttons you need to press.

Even so, Amped Snowboarding bravely throws itself into delivering a comprehensive and fun snowboarding game on a format not perfectly suited to such a thing, and the results - as a snowboarder and not me would say - are rad.

Amped Snowboarding

A feature-packed snowboarding game with three different modes of play and plenty of tricks to master. Amped Snowboarding is one of the best you'll find for your phone, even if it can be a bit fiddly to get to grips with all the tricks