Fans of endless high score games have a lot of options in the App Store nowadays, but Solipskier‘s chilly winter theme seems to be the first to add a touch of line-drawing into the mix. Offering a unique combination of Canabalt and Line Rider, finger-friendly gamers can take to the slopes in this fast-paced, mostly monochromatic adventure.
While we can’t quite tell you what a “solip” is, it’s easy to see how the word “skier” worked its way into the title. Solipskier is an endless game about skiing. Players will draw the landscape that the on-screen skier will navigate, creating peaks and valleys to slow and quicken the character as needed.
The character moves fairly quickly in Solipskier, so while you may be in control of the landscape, your finger will usually be stuck at the far right of the screen moving up and down to create the terrain as it speeds across the screen, just to be sure to stay in front of the skier. Multipliers can be earned by guiding your character through a series of gates and tunnels, and you can earn big points by completing massive jumps across canyons that you create simply by lifting your finger.
The gameplay is technically as simple as it sounds, but the speed and gate placements keep things feeling frantic enough that even the most seasoned gamers will be playing this one from the edge of their seats. It’s the sort of experience that will keep players constantly coming back for just one more round – a perfect quality for the high score/endless/survival genre.
The presentation in Solipskier is a unique mashup of artsy black-and-white, brightly colored rainbows, and a speed metal soundtrack. This may sound a little eclectic, but all the pieces combine to form a more than satisfactory whole. The soundtrack is an especially good fit, as the goal in Solipskier is to get your skier moving as fast as he can. If you manage to get him moving fast enough, his headphones will blow off and the music will be replaced by the sound of wind passing by at an incredible speed for the rest of the game. Little touches like this, and the rainbow-colored scarf that appears during multipliers, help to create Solipskier‘s winning personality.
In addition to being available on the iPhone, Solipskier was released as a universal app. This means that if you own both an iPhone and an iPad, you’re getting two games for the price of one. The game plays the same on both devices, with the only exception being how much larger your finger movements will need to be on the iPad. When you’re constantly sweeping up and down, you’ll be glad to be doing it on a smaller device.
Few developers have been able to successfully remix the Line Rider concept into something new, so it’s a breath of fresh air when a game like Solipskier comes along. Mixing that in with a healthy dose of side-scrolling survival gameplay was a smart move, and the presentation here smacks of indie/hipster awesomeness. If you’re looking for your next “can’t put it down” addiction on the iPhone, Solipskier is definitely worth checking out.