Snowboarding TNT - MB - Preview
On June 15, TiltnTwist will launch Snowboarding TnT, an iPhone snowboarding game with a twist. That’s literally a twist – in addition to the steering controls, which have you tilting your iPhone (or iPod Touch) left and right to command your boarder, you’ll twist the device forward to perform front flips.
The result is a game that’s part old-school arcade, part Game Boy Advance. Tricks are easy to pull off; a simple twist forward worked every time, and a quick tilt to the left (or right) caused my boarder to spin. Landing a trick – or multiple tricks in a combo – was more of a challenge, as you have to keep your boarder balanced. This seemed to be accomplished by keeping your iPhone steady while performing each stunt, which essentially boiled down to making sure the blue dot on the bottom of the screen stayed within the balance circle. The time when the stunt was executed counts as well – obviously you won’t land any trick that’s performed just before hitting the snow.
Due to hardware limitations, Snowboarding TnT isn’t that far beyond the 3D effects of a high-end Game Boy Advance game. But considering what the developers had to work with, the game looks good. The snow path appears to be on a 2D plane but the backgrounds are three-dimensional, creating somewhat of a mixed 2D/3D illusion. Rock formations and mountainous environments were the most common shapes in 3D. With six courses available in the final game, there should be plenty of other bits of eye candy to watch out for.
More significant than the graphics is how precisely Snowboarding TnT controls. If you remember what it was like to go from a D-pad to an analog stick for the first time, particularly with racing games, you’ll no doubt have flashbacks of those days when checking out Snowboarding TnT’s motion controls. Though your gut instincts will be to move the iPhone very quickly, the game requires you to be more precise. Similar to an analog stick, slight movements are often more effective than haphazard reactions while trying to maneuver through a bunch of rocks or trees.
Thirty tricks will be included in the full version, along with two playable characters (one man and one woman; both share the same stats, mechanics, etc.) and power-ups to increase your speed and multiply your score. Look for it to launch in just a few days.