SNOWHORSE is many things, but the thing I love about it most is that it has no qualms about what it is: it is a game about a snowboarding horse, and is meant to be taken as seriously as you can imagine that should be taken.
Like the sub-genre of games that have been on the market for quite some time embracing the ridiculous and the bizarre (I’m looking at you Goat Simulator), SNOWHORSE is a bit one-note, and will have fanatical fans, while many won’t see the point.
Let’s just say this: If you’ve wanted to see a snowboarding horse, this is the game for you.
SNOWHORSE’s controls are dead simple: arrow keys or WASD control pitch and rotation, and IJKL are your four basic tricks. I actually got quite nostalgic while playing SNOWHORSE for the old middle school afternoons I spent playing Tony Hawk Pro Skater with my friends. Now, that’s being pretty generous considering in SNOWHORSE you’re on rails and have no ability to explore the incredibly linear levels, but I got pangs of nostalgia nevertheless.
There are 5 maps in the game, and all are rather glitchy. Hitting certain jumps causes them to cease to exist, I snowboarded through more than one house, and textures can be very wonky at times. However, there IS an official Twitch level, so much of this can be excused.
Customization options are suitably hilarious, There are 11 hats your horse can wear, 9 different snowboards to choose from, and a number of colors you can choose for your tail streamer.
Some might say that SNOWHORSE is a joke, thinking it an insult. But, SNOWHORSE is a joke. Developer Christopher Figueroa has said as much, and that’s okay. Not every indie game needs to be a narrative masterpiece, or a social commentary. Not every game needs to be art (though there’s a strong case to be that this sub-genre is the video game equivalent of dadaism). SNOWHORSE isn’t going to give you the 100+ hours of gameplay you would get out of a massive Bethesda title, but sometimes, you just need a laugh for an hour or so.
SNOWHORSE is stupid fun. It’s stupid and it’s fun. Sometimes, that’s exactly what you need.