Setup & Timing
All menu options are labeled and items are in locations that make sense. "Vs Mode" is right on the main menu and "DS Download Play" is on that one. The opening credit sequence can be skipped. The download time is between 35 and 40 seconds.
Menus & Navigation
The menus in the game are easy to read and have large tap-able areas with enough buffer space that you're unlikely to be tapping the wrong options.
Ease Of Use / Play Control
While there are a lot of button options to remember, only a few of them are basics and need to be remembered for the basic race. Everything else is, as they say, gravy. You don't need to know how to do complicated tricks to win. The points really are worthless in this mode when it comes to winning, but it does let you know more about what you'd be aiming for in the standard game. If you can learn the basics, you can then play with the tricks and not feel overwhelmed. The touch screen is only used for Special Tricks, and you never know for sure what simple task it's going to ask you to perform - you just have to be ready.
SBK: Snowboard Kids has a decent 3D look and feel to it. It's not the greatest 3D in the history of Nintendo DS games, but it's above average - especially for a game released so early on in the Nintendo DS's life span. The music won't help you or hurt you (only the host gets music anyway), but the sound effects can be very helpful. There are no selectable options in the Single-Card Download mode, but the game plays well enough that it just may be enough of a motivation for fans of the series to go out and track the game down.
When I initially picked up SBK: Snowboard Kids to review it, I wasn't sure exactly what to expect. I knew that the game was done early on in the Nintendo DS's life span, and that usually means games that aren't the best (rushed production, etc.) and this title was not an overtly hyped title at the time. I found, upon playing it, that I was very pleasantly surprised. Compared with some of the games I've played recently, this one was a non-puzzler with replay value built into its Single-Card Download offering. I understand that every game has limited replay value (at some point, you'll get tired of it or another game will steal your attention away), but SBK: Snowboard Kids is so different from any other game I've played on the system that it's found its own niche. It's in-game physics consistently work well and are so different that there's nothing quite like it. I'm going to keep SBK: Snowboard Kids in my itinerary and keep playing it, especially when I want to show off the Nintendo DS's wide variety of gameplay. While I can think of several new/alternate ideas I'd like to see in a sequel (listed below), I'ver very happy with what was included in this title for a first-time out on the Nintendo DS.
Allow the host to select from two or three different courses to extend the replay value.
Include an up-to-four player cross-country snowball-gun battle mode.
Add in Nintendo Wi-Fi Connection play.
Program a single-player downloadable demo with one-on-one, demo-vs-demo racing.
Offer a touch-screen-only control scheme.
Category Score: 12.5 / 15
Overall Single-Card Download Rating: 83 / 100 (a.k.a. 41.5/50)
Other information available:
If you'd like to contact this website:
to return to the DSSingleCard.com SBK: Snowboard Kids profile.
to return to the DSSingleCard.com main page.