It's nice when a game takes a well worn template and does something a little different with it. Snowboarding The Fourth Phase isn't your generic Cool Boarders-a-like.
Instead it mixes ideas from mobile and console games to create something that clicks really pretty well. You're carving through massive slopes, pulling off ridiculous tricks, and doing it all with swipes and taps.
There are a few niggles here and there, but they're mainly with the structure of the game rather than the actual experience of playing it. It's not perfect, but it is an awful lot of fun.
Slidey tricky radical dude flipping yeah?
Er, yeah I guess so. The game is split up into a variety of different tracks on a variety of different mountains. There are a bunch of challenges on each of the runs.
You can only complete them one at a time in career mode though. So each track requires you to slide down it at least three times. It makes things feel a little bitty, and there doesn't seem to be any reason for it.
The actual snowboarding feels pretty good. It's slick, and there are some interesting camera angles going on as well. You can switch how you're looking at your boarder thanks to a drone that follows you around.
But the game likes to swoosh the angles around itself too. Sometimes you're sliding into the camera, other times it swaps to a side-on view. It gives the whole thing a delicious cinematic look, and means your runs always feel epic.
You perform tricks with buttons that appear on the screen when you're in the air, and can combine them with flips and spins by swiping and holding the screen.
There are different modes as well. Quick run gives you a bunch of challenges to complete on a regular basis, but you'll need to spend tickets to get them done. There are events as well, but they don't appear to be up and running yet.So it's worth a crack?
It really is. The way you have to do runs multiple times can be a bit annoying, especially when some of the tasks are as simple as landing a single trick, and the way you buy new gear is a little confusing, but there's still an awful lot going on here.
There's a simple joy to sliding down the mountains and then pulling off gravity defying feats of flipping madness. And the game understands that. It wants you to go out and have fun, it just sometimes has a funny way of showing it is all.
The free to play systems are implemented well, there are some neat replay functions, and while there are rough edges on the UI, there are some truly gorgeous graphical flourishes here and there that'll make you long for a life on the slopes.
It's not essential playing, but if you like the feel of the wind on your cheeks and the crunch of the snow on your other cheeks, you should definitely get it downloaded.