Note: Shout out to Maximum Games for giving Dashing Nerds a playable code to write this review. I have been enjoying a lot of the creation elements in the world editor and seeing what other players have created.
Let’s Shred Some Powder!
If you have never played a snowboarding game, then Infinite Air is the perfect starter. The physics in the game are fantastic and the graphics really pull it all together to make it an immersive simulation experience. For newbies, the menus and tutorials are very clear and easy to understand. In no time you’ll be on an adventure down the mountain sides. There are more advanced techniques you can learn after you master the basic skills, but let’s see what else is in store for the players.
Look! I’m All Powerful!
One great element in the game is the ability to create your very own mountain! There are settings that can be changed to adjust the size, steepness, ruggedness, amount of powder, wind speed, and where the trees generate on your path. There is even an option to seed the mountain to create a new variation of the settings. You can use the same seed with different setting changes to come up with different mountain ranges. This is YOUR mountain until the decision to publish it to the world for everyone to see.
Once the mountain is built, some minor adjustments can be made to adjust the slopes to a more specific style. There are tools to shape and smooth the snow so it can be rugged or easy to ride with powder. There are a decent amount of items of different shapes and sizes that can be used to customize the mountain, like ramps, boxes, rails, and other objects that can be used to jump off of, grind on, or used for decorations.
Share the Mountain
The very first mountain is shared by a large community of players that come together to create new runs and variations of slopes in order to challenge others. This world editing tool gives the player the freedom to make changes and save them for others to enjoy. The world editor will have its own section below, but thanks to its capabilities, many runs have already been posted. There are plenty of trees, hills, slopes, bumps, and even fallen trees to ride on. If the player comes across a section that they would like to edit, they can! The end result is a ton of content available for the player to enjoy.
ALL THE SLOPES!
Let’s talk about making the five different types of runs:
• Slopestyle is a type of run that has no additional elements besides the hills, bumps, and environment that is in the designated path. Waypoints mark the sections that a player can accrue points, which then are posted on a leaderboard for that run when completed.
• Big Air is simple. You score points off of a large ramp. This is to make it more competitive for max speeds and decisions on spin, moves, and other techniques that could give the max amount of points possible while in the air.
• Halfpipe is very well known since it’s in BMX, skateboarding, snowboarding, and other familiar sports. You create a start point, put the waypoint on down if it’s a long, shifting halfpipe, and then the end point where the run ends. Points are gained while the player does tricks off of the side of the halfpipe and then the total is posted on a leaderboard for others to see and try to beat the highest score.
• Backcountry is similar to Slopestyle, but is not limited to a certain number of spots that the player can gain points. There is a lot more freedom to use the path to an advantage for tricks off the ground, hills, bumps, or other surfaces that could be used.
• Race is also pretty straightforward. The goal is to get from the beginning to the end of the path in the fastest time. However, there is a time limit of 10 seconds if a player leaves the path, which can be a bad or good thing depending on how many secret shortcuts are lying around.
Woohoo! I got Gold!
Like a lot of competitive games, there is a circuit available to challenge the player in how well they can execute the techniques. The challenges can vary between getting a certain number of points before the end, landing a certain move, getting the number one spot on the leaderboard, or completing a race before another character. They can even be specific to landing a number of tricks or riding rails before completing a race or other type of run.
After completing a number of challenges, the player can earn new characters or gear for a customizable character. The customizable character can be male or female with a variety of clothing options to choose from. Some, however, are locked until certain requirements from the circuit are completed or achievements are unlocked. The roster of characters lists Mark’s brother, Craig McMorris, as well as a number of other pros, including Silje Norendal, Torstein Horgmo, Ulrik Badertscher, and Danny Davis.
Well, That Was A Fun Run
Overall, the game is pretty straightforward as far as what you can do for gameplay thanks to the realistic physics. There is plenty of customization that can be done to make your run ideal, and being able to share that perfect slope with others online is a definite pro. The controls can take a little bit of effort at first, but those eventually become second nature. If you’re a fan of snowboarding, you’ll love exploring the endless slopes of Infinite Air.