Ski Hard: Lorsbruck 1978 is an Olympic skiing simulator. The aim is to reach the end of the track, going through the gates placed to help you reach the goal. Beating the times of the other teams will allow you to place higher on the leaderboard. These teams include many of the expected skiing teams, ranging from the USA to Japan. Nine of the tracks must be unlocked however, requiring training and skill to beat times that kind of feel impossible. Minus these impossible goals, Ski Hard’s controls are relaxed and simple compared to other ski simulators, and overall gave a pretty enjoyable gameplay.
I’ve never really enjoyed ski or snowboarding simulators, simply because they do not much more than mimic real-life skiing situations, and while skiing is fun, being able to ski using a controller isn’t helpful. Ski Hard seems to understand this, and ensures that this is a fun keyboard gaming experience. I feel this makes the experience all that much better, by not having the simulation being about learning and mastering skiing, via controller. It was simple to jump right into and kept a nice laid back feel throughout it; even in harder levels of the game. I needed a game like this after playing a lot more fast-paced games, so Ski Hard gave me that relaxed peaceful fun I needed. Something I think we all need more of in our life.
Music and themed colors, along with the simplistic graphics of this game, create a beautiful relaxing experience. Unlike a lot of games that aim for the brightest graphics and the most complex skill required controls, Ski Hard is smooth and agreeable. While a harder ski slope can cause some annoyance, it is hard to stay upset while enjoying the smooth jazzy music and simple colors put in front of you. The music in this game is beautiful, I haven’t enjoyed such upbeat music like this in some time. Music having a happy feeling, but keeping the overall gameplay session at a peaceful mood, is not something I’ve seen done great. Ski Hard, however, ensures that the music is going to give you that experience. The only aspect that caused some confusion, was the stage select menu, as the background is a bit noisy and everything requires a minute to grasp an understanding of what everything does. The GUI is pretty minimalist in set up, as is the graphics. This does cause some confusion on what is a button and what is just a text label.
During gameplay, players are faced with a standard skiing slope, not having to worry about any crazy bombs or insane moments. Some of the corners you’ll have to maneuver can be a bit of a headache at first, but a game without challenge is just a walk on the sidewalk in early autumn. I did find myself about to scream at the computer screen once or twice; but a game this peaceful and wonderful, it’s hard to stay angry. I’ve played games where I’ll be upset about something for a few rounds of the game; but with Ski Hard I found myself not being as stubborn as I normally am with negative emotions towards level design. Every learning curve didn’t feel like poor programming or design; it felt like I needed to put my nose to the grind and master a turn on that track. If I couldn’t figure out how to get around a corner, Ski Hard also makes sure to give you the choice of skier; in the event that a playstyle doesn’t work for you.
The game includes four members of the Team Fjordskerland; Anni Go, Kress Go, Olif Go, and Unar Go. Anni is a good start and has balanced controls, while Kress is able to turn sharper but has a lower overall speed. Olif is a slow turner, but mainates his speed while turning. Unar is said as agile and the one with the highest speed, but is more likely to fall down. According to the Global leaderboard, Olif is the most useful, with other members being able to take the lead on certain tracks. I personally enjoyed playing as Unar Go; making minor changes to direction wasn’t an issue, to ensure she didn’t fall over, and she didn’t seem to lose a lot of speed in those changes.