A snowskate is a cross between a skateboard and a snowboard, allowing you to do skateboard flip tricks at the expense of actually being strapped to the board with bindings. In real life, just riding a snowskate down a slope can be pretty challenging. As I learned playing Stomped, the latest game released by Noodlecake, mastering the snowskate is almost as difficult in the digital realm, too.
While the core concept feels similar to another game published by Noodlecake, Alto's Adventure, it's a significant departure that ditches the endless runner format and focuses more on landing tricks and executing gold medal runs through each levels.
You will live and die in this game based on your handle of the touch controls, which definitely take some time to get used to. Mastering the game will largely come down to nailing the timing, whether you're looking to "stomp" your tricks or extend combos by doing a tail press or bounce off the ground. Flip and grab tricks are easy to pull off but you'll need to keep your tricks varied to get the highest scores.
The left side of the screen is dedicated to grinds and manuals, while the right side is for ollies, nollies, and to control various flip tricks while in the air. You use both thumbs to pull off grab tricks, holding down with your left while swiping your right thumb for modifiers.
You're required to collect medals to unlock the five other mountains available in-game, and that will require replaying levels over and over again until you're able to basically link one clean combo of unique tricks across all the ramps, rails, and gaps. With all that repetition, it's good that Stomped is backed by a solid soundtrack that's chill and perfect for getting you into the zone, so to speak. Seriously, you have to get pretty damn good at this game in order to progress.
I'm happy this is a premium title because if this was an ad-supported game with those non-skippable video ads that pop up each time you fail, it would absolutely ruin the experience. Some level of character customization would have been nice to see, but overall Stomped is a polished and fun game to kill some time with.