Over the weekend one of the developers of Grand Mountain Adventure made a few successful posts on Reddit. Being the homebody that I am, I, of course, saw those posts and gave the game a quick look. Let's just say I came away very impressed, and despite the unfinished state of the title and its limited amount of preview content, I dare say it's one of the best skiing games on Android to date.
I would first like to make it very clear that Grand Mountain Adventure is still in development and that this preview build is currently available on the Play Store for the purpose of showing off current progress and gaining interest. So far there are only two mountains that you can explore, and plenty of planned features are still missing. Things like tricks are only halfway implemented. You can perform backflips, frontflips, and spin if you drag pole before jumping, but the trick challenges these maneuvers would be useful for are not yet to implemented in the current build.
Once you boot up the preview, you will be greeted with a quick tutorial that walks you through the necessary controls so you can make your way to the first lift. On each side of the screen are two ski pole handles, and if you press on both at the same time while you are standing still, you will push off to start skiing. You can also tap on each pole individually to turn your character to ensure you push off in the correct direction. Once you are moving, you can steer by tapping on the same pole buttons. Left to turn left, right to turn right. You can also push both directionally downwards on the screen at the same time to brake.
When you make it to the first lift, you will learn that a ski pass is necessary to catch a ride. Luckily there is one located right around the corner. Once you have ridden up your first gondola, you will notice a challenge marked in green to the left. Just ski through that green marker, and you will start competing in a downhill slalom challenge where you have to ski as fast as you can through a set amount of gates. Depending on your time when you get to the finish line you will either earn a bronze, silver, or gold medal. Winning medals is how you unlock more ski passes.
The first mountain functionally serves as a short tutorial to get the hang of the gameplay loop. There are only three challenges, and they are pretty easy. The second mountain is where things really start to open up. There are multiple gondolas and challenges scattered about this busy resort, not to mention a few hidden secrets. So make sure to spend some time exploring the entire mountainside to get a feel for the non-linear gameplay.
Since this is a preview build, there are no advertisements or in-app purchases to deal with. You are free to play the entirety of the release without any such worries. This does not mean the end product won't have a price attached. There is just no way to know what that future monetization will bring. Let's just hope it's something fair like an upfront price or a full IAP unlock.
I'm always on the lookout for good Android games, and after stumbling across the developer's Reddit posts, I was quite eager to see what Grand Mountain Adventure had to offer. Now that I have played, I must say I'm very impressed. Sure, the game is nowhere near finished, and the two mountains that are available can be completed in under an hour, but what is there shows a heck of a lot of promise, and I have to say I'm very excited to see what comes of it. If you are a fan of winter sports games and have been searching for a solid offering in the genre, make sure to keep an eye on Grand Mountain Adventure's future development over on the devs Facebook page, and definitely give this preview build a thorough playthrough. You won't be sorry.