Nintendo was asking for trouble when they designed these awe-inspiring noses

Nice backgrounds like this sunset make SK a great looking game
You can start by picking from 5 little freaks, er.. kids, but there are a couple hidden treats
The four player split screen does very little to the frame rate

Snowboard Kids

In what is becoming a more trendy market by the day, it is hard to find games that use old school concepts that actually are superior to old school games. That is why I was skeptical about playing a game that used a bunch of long nosed kids on snowboards to carry out its design. Honestly though, after I put this game through its paces, I realized that even the most simple of concepts can turn out being great fun.

You start by being greeted by truly the most hideous bunch of kids that have ever starred in a game. A mighty turn off for the average hard core gamer, but it gets better, I promise. There are plenty of appealing options, but the games true fun does not come until you hit the slopes. The N64's controller makes the game control like a dream, and fortunately there is not much of a learning curve for beginners. At the same time even the experts will have a challenge, making this the perfect balance. You have a horde of tricks at your disposal, and although you will not get much use out of them, there is just something about doing a standing triple flip and landing on your feet (er ... board) that makes you feel nice and warm inside. Overall, the game feels a lot like an updated Mario Kart, although set on a boarding premise ("Snow"-boarding hardly seems like a good use of the word, as most of the tracks are set on more unconventional surfaces).

The graphics in Snowboard Kids are nice, if not a little dated. The game does a nice job of keeping the frame rate decent in multi player modes, and sometimes the screen fly's by at wicked speeds. Proposably the most laughable feature in the game is the fact that most of the characters are stuck with huge noses that can only be related to unmentioned parts of the male anatomy. The animation is slick, even with the clunky wipeouts, and the backgrounds are nice and perdy.

And what would an N64 racer be without cute music? SK has a lot of it, and some of it is so cute that it makes ya wanna scream. The music combined with the voices of the little punk kids makes for one frightening gaming experience. I suppose that it is all tolerable in the end, but I often find myself turning the volume down and popping a CD into my stereo. Music was never the N64's strong point anyway.

As a serious racer, SK falls short. But lets face it; who wants a serious racer? SK is a lot of fun (both in single and multi player respects), and I will probably be playing it for months to come. It will be a turn off for gamers who judge a game on its cover, but if you give it a while to grow on you, you will be sucked in to its charm and coolness. I highly recommend that you give this game a try. There's simply nothing more to say.

~Andrew the Game Master

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