The release of Bode Miller Alpine Racing is no doubt timed with the prolific and brash skier’s appearance in the Winter Olympics at Turin. This is not a Torino 2006 Olympic game where skiing is an afterthought or a minigame though. Mobile developer Abandon has focused on delivering a well rounded alpine skiing title.
The mechanics of Bode Miller Alpine Racing rests on Bode Miller Alpine Racing is a top down 2D game. The mechanics of the game try to mimic the actions of downhill skiing. There is a running meter at the top of the hill for your push off so you can get some headwind into your descent. Beyond that, you will need to navigate down the hill without hitting any trees or obstacles. You’ll also have a regenerating stamina meter that enables you to hunker down for extra speed. This turbo is limited, though, and the game is designed so that you can’t hit the turbo all the way down the hill. You’ll have to make judicious choices on when to use it, especially since too much speed on turns can land you in trouble.
The game comes with a total of twelve hills, although the simpler graphics of a 2D game don’t really illustrate much in terms of visual differences. They are different in terms of how the course is laid out, though, which is important to gameplay. It’ll take awhile for you to go through every run and even then, a few times to actually master it. Added to this, there is the option to play downhill, Super-G and slalom. Curiously, the Olympic event of giant slalom is missing.
Controls are, of course, paramount to a game like this. A slight over steer or insensitive controls can lead to gaming nightmare. Bode Miller Alpine Racing gets most of the controls right but it felt like they got it right by slowing the game down a little. Except in slalom, you won’t get the feeling you’re actually careening out of control going downhill. There’s no sense of pushing things right to the edge.
That might have a lot to do with Abandon’s approach with Bode Miller Alpine Racing. Not too long ago I got to see Massive Snowboarding from Gameloft. It’s a different venue and really a different type of game (style and tricks versus speed and time) but one got a better sense of speed with the 3D approach.
Bode Miller Alpine Racing is a competent title. It, ironically, doesn’t razzle dazzle like the game’s namesake. However, the developers might find a bigger audience staying simple and being consistent versus the topsy turvy performance Bode Miller is giving right now at the Olympics.