Game Reviews

Downhill Xtreme

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| Downhill Xtreme
Downhill Xtreme
| Downhill Xtreme

If you're of a certain age, the phenomenon of longboarding might have escaped you. It basically involves gliding down a hill on a very long skateboard.

That's what you do in Distinctive Games's Downhill Xtreme, a game so simple in concept and execution that you might be amazed you haven't played it already.

Jumping into the shoes of a polygonal lady or man at the top of a hill, and you have to skate to the bottom using your iOS device's tilt controls. Easy.

Keep your head down

But there's more to it than that.

You can push on the bottom-right of your phone's screen to make your rider 'tuck'. This is a crouch, essentially, and it lets you rattle down the hill at an increasingly dangerous pace. It's trickier to turn when you're tucked, so each race is a delicate balance of speed and manoeuvrability.

You'll spend most of your time racing against fairly tricky AI opponents, who are pretty adept at getting from the tops of hills to the bottoms of hills. Thankfully, they appear to be ghosts, as you can ride straight through them without colliding.

The edges of the road are less forgiving - the slightest graze will send your rider headfirst into the tarmac. Judging very tight turns with tilt controls is tricky at the best of times, and trickier still when the track is lined with steel, but once you're accustomed to Downhill Xtreme's chastening boundaries it becomes an enjoyable challenge.

The best things in life

Best of all, it'll cost you absolutely nothing. The whole thing's supported by unobtrusive ads (from surprisingly mainstream sources like Vidal Sassoon), and it doesn't beg you to pay for in-game upgrades or force other in-app purchases down your throat (although they're available, if you want them).

There's plenty of content, too, with plenty of boards to unlock and tweak to your heart's content.

Quite whether Downhill Xtreme captures the true essence of longboarding is a question for a younger, braver man than I. But what's clear to anybody is that it's a good game for a great price, and you have no excuse not to download it.

Downhill Xtreme

Downhill Xtreme is fun, good looking, and doesn't require a penny to play