- JP release: 12th December 1997
- NA release: February 1998
- PAL release: 16th March 1998
- Developer: Racdym
- Publisher: Atlus (JP/NA), Nintendo (PAL)
- N64 Magazine Score: 86%
In the tutorial, Snowboard Kids makes it clear that this is a racing game without a brake button – it also lacks an acceleration button. Gravity does all the work, leaving you to focus on turning, items and tricks. It has a charming visual style and nice slopes to snowboard down.
The turning mechanics are quite unique to Snowboard Kids, as tilting backwards allows for sharper turns. If you hold A to prepare for a jump, you will be unable to turn until you’ve finished jumping – you can also perform tricks to earn coins.
These coins (along with those on the tracks) are used to collect weapons and items, and you have one slot for each. I quite like this mechanic, although I found them to be quite unbalanced – some weapons, such as the parachute, sends people flying into the air and keeps them there for a bit too long. There’s also an unavoidable pan item that squashes all of your opponents.
This seems to create a situation where one player will often end up in front, with the other three pelting each other, unable to catch up with the leader. It’s a shame as I do like the game’s mechanics, as well as the levels.
Instead of lots of similar looking snow tracks, Snowboard Kids mixes things up with other themes, with the cutesy style managing to not make snowboarding on desert slopes look odd. There are six tracks to start with initially, with three more to unlock.
When you reach the end of the slope, a chair lift will take you back up to the top – however, the barrier will only open if a chair is ready. If second place isn’t ready, they’ll bonk off the railing just after 1st place enters and 3rd place can sneak in while they recover. It’s a nice little mechanic.
There are a few minigames to try out as well. One has you rushing down a slope quickly using the hard-to-steer fan items, one is a target practice challenge and the last is a stunt run – although that doesn’t work very well.
Snowboard Kids is a charming game. It’s not one of the best games on the system, but it’s still worth checking out.
Snowboard Kids’ strengths though are its subtle handling – where diagonal pulls back on the analogue stick see your snowboard’s edge catch the snow, dig in and pull you around – and it’s incredibly competitive racing.James Ashton, N64 Magazine #14
Remake or Remaster?
A remaster of both games combined would be nice – perhaps even throw in the tracks from the very different DS game.
Official Ways to get the game
There’s no official way to play Snowboard Kids
N64 Games by Date