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Like Knee Deep, a little game called Skibum, being created by Quebec City based development team Blobstone, was a surprise find for me at PAX East 2016.

Skibum sounds like, and in many ways is, a very simple game: a snowboarding/skiing game with a Minecraft meets the 80’s aesthetic.

However, when the first laser-shooting mecha-godzilla starts following you down the slopes, that’s when you realize you’ve stumbled on to something truly unique.

 

 

This years PAX East was Skibum’s first showing after 3 years in development, and it’s pretty clear that this has been a passion project for the team. Skibum has amazing clarity of design and incredible focus on being the best “It” that it can be. While the mechanics of the game are relatively straightforward, they’re well polished, handle very well, and ultimately serve the purpose of the game.

The purpose just happens to be have a (possibly…ok, probably) drug-fueled, psychedelic adventure while snowboarding or skiing down a mountain….so, I mean….stuff gets weird.

 

skibum_cover

 

Currently, you have three characters to choose from: two snowboarders and a skier. Mechanically, there’s not much difference, though the skier can go backwards very easily, and the snowboarders can dismount and use their boards as a club to fight off neon snowballs  (yes, that’s a thing). The mechanics for piloting around and performing tricks are all tight and easy to grasp, which is a brilliant move: more complex controls would take you away from experiencing the gorgeous madness and insanity happening around you.

 

skibum_4

 

 

The visuals and music in the game play off each other perfectly, and in many places are tied together, with environmental visuals moving and shaping to the music as you progress. Things get crazier and crazier as you progress, showing no signs of ever stopping, and I felt myself getting into a pseudo-zen state while playing Skibum. The rhythm of the music, the smooth controls and the psychedelic visuals work so well together that you very easily just slip into a groove, coasting through neon colored valleys, weaving through multicolored avalanches, and following a mysterious dragon to who knows what end.

 

Skibum_6

 

Skibum is still in the pre-alpha stages of development, but will be coming to Kickstarter Soon(tm), so you’re sure to hear more from us about the game in the future.

 

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