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In Touch Ski 3D, two of your fingers act as the skier’s legs, and you see the tips of your skis poking out. You control your speed and direction by putting the skis parallel and pointing ‘em straight down the mountain to go faster, moving the skis on the slant to turn, and pointing the ski tips in toward each other slightly to slow down. (We kept thinking of the South Park ski instructor’s “If you French fry when you should pizza, you’re going to have a bad time” mantra, but if you haven’t seen that episode, trust us, it’s too silly to explain.)
Anyway, the game includes seven modes (training, race, slalom, freestyle park, tight slalom, distance jump, and freestyle jump) and 42 courses in all, so there’s lots to do. In the freestyle modes, you hit jumps, and then while in the air, take your fingers off the skis and tap one quadrant of the screen to perform a trick. The object is to vary the tricks and not crash—it’s fun to watch the scenery spin around like you’re really doing a 360. In all modes, the MPH indicator turns green when your skis are exactly parallel, and your job is to keep it that way, even when turning.
The 3D graphics are gorgeous, and they combine with the pleasant swooshing sound effects to give you a real sense of speed. The menu music is OK, but we’d rather be able to listen to our iPod tunes. And it took us a while to be able to see the ski tips poking out from under our fingers--the trick is to keep them very low on the screen, and it helps a ton if your iPhone is lying flat on a table.
Swish. Swoosh. Crash.
This isn’t a great game to play in line at the grocery store. But Touch Ski 3D has enough variety to keep us coming back for more.