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Dudeski asks just one question: are you rad enough to be a Shred Lord? Evoking fond memories of classic Windows game SkiFree (or MacSki for veteran Mac-heads), the game at its core is an arcade-style take on downhill skiing. Red and blue gates check your progress against a pursuing avalanche and a host of gnarly obstacles waiting to trip you up, while fast-moving pixel graphics and cheery chiptune music lend a light, playful air to what is an inherently difficult game.
Even at the top of the mountain—where your speed is relatively breezy and there’s room to breathe between obstacles—Dudeski keeps you on your toes. Passing through bushes or missing a gate will slow you down, increasing the risk of the avalanche catching up. Your only recourse against a multitude of trees, rocks, crevasses, sliding penguins, and wandering yetis is jumping, although some enterprising penguins will happily exchange helmets, propellers, and faster skis for pinecones collected along the way.
It’s the little touches that make Dudeski delightful: the way your skier's hair/beanie (it’s tough to tell with the tiny pixels) flaps in the wind behind him, the sense of weightlessness when you jump, and the excellent dude-speak uttered by the penguins. The four mountain sections are distinct in both appearance and feel, and they change slightly each run. It’s a shame that there’s only the one game mode—barring a few cool secret zones that seem to only be available one time—but Dudeski is surprisingly deep, and it remains fresh far longer than the limited content on offer would suggest.
Shredding the slopes has a feeling of exhilaration that’s boosted by tight and responsive controls, and you can always get an extra thrill by taking the more difficult left path each time the course temporarily splits down the middle. You can’t do tricks or get eaten by an abominable snow monster here, but Dudeski’s rad in all the right places.
The bottom line. Dudeski pits your shredding skills to the test in a race against an avalanche—and totally nails the run.
iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch running iOS 7.0 or later
Rad penguin dudes. Tight, responsive controls. Partial randomization of the slopes keeps them fresh. Surprising depth.
No tricks or freestyle mode. Can’t replay secret zones.