Do you find yourself looking longingly at your lift ticket between ski vacations? Do you wish you could execute a triple axel like Evan Lysacek? Perfect your winter-sports moves with these home, mobile and arcade gaming options.
Alpine Racer(1995, 1997, 2002) Arcade
Before Wii changed the way we game, your best virtual skiing option was this cabinet’s use of poles and foot pedals, which swung back and forth to simulate downhill skiing. The on-screen avatars look ancient by today’s standards, but darting around on Alpine Racer — which can still be found in many modern arcades — still feels fun.
Mario & Sonic at the Olympic Winter Games(2009) For Wii
Almost every major winter sport — even curling — gets digitized in the most family-friendly game on this list, and some modes get arcadelike twists (e.g., snowboarding with weapons). The game, which was also released for Nintendo DS, really shines on team elements like the luge, where all players have to steer in tandem to reach top speeds.
Shaun White Snowboarding: World Stage(2009) For Wii
Many snowboarding games have slapped America’s best-known redheaded rider on their covers, but this is the most impressive of the bunch. Whether they’re using the Wii’s motion controller or the optional Balance Board (see Best Accessory, right), World Stage players will enjoy gaming’s most precise ways to snowboard down zany, trick-filled courses.
Touch Ski 3D(2009) For iPhone
Like most iPhone skiing games, this title sends you down basic slopes with a range of slalom, trick and jump challenges. But instead of tilting the device in order to turn, as you would with most other offerings, players place two fingers on the screen, each controlling one ski’s aim. The game also comes with news and video updates from the Ski Channel.
Adrenalin Misfits(2010) For Xbox 360 Kinect
The new Kinect motion-control rig has yet to see a perfect snowboarding game, but this title comes the closest. As you lean your body in front of Kinect’s cameras, your cartoon character does so in kind. While the motion sensor misses more gradual movements, it’s still a cool example of the snowy games we can expect in the near future.
Good to KnowArc (ärk) n. When you’re slowing down on skis, a full, round turn “around the arc” puts less weight and pressure on your legs than skidding.
A glossary of terms you’ll need to learn to play these winter games (and win).
Bi•ath•lon (b ath'län') n. A winter sport in which contestants must race on cross-country skis, then stop at designated points to shoot targets with a rifle.
Ca•mel Spin (kam'l spin) n. In figure skating, spinning on one foot while bent forward and lifting the free leg back, parallel to the ice. Typically the easiest move to pull off in skating games.
Goof•y (goo'f) adj. To ride “goofy” in snowboarding is to use your right foot as the lead one on the board. Stunt riders often hop from normal to goofy footing and back.
Sweep•er (sw'pr) n. In curling, the person who rapidly brushes the playfield’s ice with a broom to guide the game’s “stones” to higher-scoring spots.