Snow Moto Racing so desperately wants to be cool. It's got the music: a typical collection of faux rock dirge playing in the background during each and every stage. It's got the set-up: brightly painted snowmobiles. It even has the literal temperature: the snow that coats the ground is as cool as it gets.
The problem is, actually playing the thing is hardly a trendsetting experience. Snow Moto Racing tries way too hard. It never finds the balance or originality to stand out from the crowd, despite being the first iPhone racer to hand you the keys to a snowmobile.The Sasquatch in the room
In reality, you might as well be racing a sledge picked up from your local garage. That's because, visuals aside – those are smooth running and certainly not to be sniffed at – there's little to set this apart from the average racer.
With just six tracks on offer, you use the accelerometer to steer a snowmobile around the circuits, most consisting of tight bends with the odd jump thrown in for good measure.
The trick is to use these jumps to your advantage. With acceleration taken care of, there's very little to separate you from the five other mobiles on track other than your chosen racing line, trips off circuit encountering heavier deposits of snow that naturally slows you down.
As a result, performing tricks as you fly over each jump is key. Either holding your finger in the centre of the screen or flicking the iPhone back mid flight to executes a trick. If you manage to pull one off, you're rewarded with a boost when you hit the ground.
Heart of ice
It's hardly a unique set up, but Snow Moto Racing seems overly reliant on such exploits, performing mid-flight routines often the only way to inject a bit of pace into proceedings.
They're not always the best move, either. Such is the height of said jumps that it's often impossible to see the track as you head back down. It's a factor that plays out regularly across the tracks, all too often it not being clear where you're headed.
Off-course adventures are just as problematic, the game resetting you to the track should you miss the checkpoints that mark your progress. Sometimes the game gets confused, plonking you back on another part of track entirely or setting you up at a funny angle so that heading straight off course again is almost a certainty.
It's an annoyance that has the potential to wreck races, but then Snow Moto Racing is keen that you never get left behind, employing an elastic band approach to the race that's so strict, it's almost impossible to trail your rivals for too long.
Likewise, it's just as improbable that you'll get too far ahead, making each and every race a question of getting to the last corner first, the rest of the encounter meaningless. That's rarely a good quality for any racer.
A little bit generic and a touch unspectacular, Snow Moto Racing doesn't disappoint to a cataclysmic degree, but this brief glimpse of winter sports is nowhere near the finished article it thinks it is.