Snowboard Hero Hands-On Preview and Video

Remember SSX, the fast-action snowboarding game that required you to focus just as much on outlandish tricks as winning the race to the bottom of the mountain? Fishlabs, the creators of Galaxy on Fire 2, certainly remember SSX, and their upcoming snowboarding game is as close as we’ve seen to it on the iPhone.

The game will launch with six characters, with two more advanced characters coming in a later update. Each character has a unique set of clothes and tricks, which you’ll have to unlock using money you earn from completing challenges. These include races, but also slaloms and trick-filled courses. Overall, there will be 90 challenges in the game.

In a great use of the iPhone’s hardware, the controls are as hassle-free as possible. You steer your snowboarder with the device’s tilt controls, and press and hold on the screen to crouch before a jump. When you’re in the air, you can swipe or tap on the screen to perform tricks, and if you grind a rail, you’ll have to keep your balance with the accelerometer. We were shredding confidently in no time flat.

Landing tricks and snagging power-ups will give you boosts, which can be activated with an upward swipe. You can hold up to four of these boosts at a time, and they come in very handy for a last minute burst of speed if you’re trying to beat someone in a race.

Unfortunately, that someone will have to be a computer-controlled opponent for now. Snowboard Hero is only a single-player game, but we’re hoping some form of multiplayer will be added soon after launch.

Snowboard Hero will launch on March 31 for $6.99 on the iPhone and iPod Touch. That’s right, you’ll be snowboarding in spring. If their pattern with Galaxy on Fire 2 holds, and we’re told it will, the price will get a temporary boost upwards when it becomes a universal app in an update. So if you love SSX like we do, you’ll want to download this game as soon as it comes out to get it at a lower price.