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1 Player

Game Type


Mem. Card

Review Date

April 1997

Setting the Scene

Winter sport simulations are sadly lacking on the Playstation, but now Sony is hoping to change all this with Cool Boarders. Fortunately skiing is more of a participating event than a spectator sport therefore Cool Boarders should allow you to witness first hand the sheer speed and balance that is required to complete the slippery downhill courses provided.

Although there are very few who have attempted this dangerous pastime, Cool Boarders will allow you to sample the art of snowboarding within the safe confines of your home where the worst injury that can befall you will be a bruise or two if you fall from your armchair. Unfortunately in the real world a collision with a pine tree at breakneck speed will result in a visit to casualty with several limbs being coated in plaster but we have yet to see a video game that incorporates every aspect of a dangerous sport and lets hope we never will, although vibrating backpacks may only be the start of things to come (just turn those boosters up ten fold and hear those bones crack, you have been warned).


Basically, the game is a downhill racing tournament on a surface of snow and ice, that incorporates all the acrobatic tricks associated with winter sports. For the uninitiated, snowboarding has the participant surfing down a snow covered mountain with a plank of wood firmly strapped to their feet, wearing loud colored clothing and bragging about the size of their piste.


Cool Boarders features some superb scenery and the snow covered runs look quite realistic, but the character graphics look a little messy. The players sport the latest fashion in winter attire, and you even get to match your snowboard with your clothing. The screen gives a constant reminder of your course time, speed, record time and trick points.

The first thing that you will notice about the graphics is the realistic appearance of the snow, non of those cotton wool surrounding, just an accurate account of a snowbound course in the mountains. The background scenery is also impressive with snow covered peaks surrounded by a cloud of mist while the course itself is spotted with the odd spectator and some strategically placed pine trees. There are also a couple of ancient landmarks that run along side the course and if you fail to make it over those big jumps you will find that your snowboard was not designed to travel along roads or rivers.

Although Cool Boarders lacks competitors to race against, this can be justified by the speed that the game moves with no slow down at all and the smooth movements of your skier is so realistic that you feel as if you are actually on the slopes, participating.

The game offers two viewing angles, behind the skier and an type of 'in-car' view. I personally preferred to look over my characters shoulder as the other view leaves you quite disorientated after performing a triple-by-pass stunt, but the choice of a skiers-eye-view is quite an experience.

Sounds and Effects

Thrashing guitar music accompanies your trip down the slopes while the announcer borders on the irritable as he namecalls you "chicken" if you do not perform a stunt at the given time. "Redeeeeyy, lets go!"


The selection of your snowboard is imperative, as each board varies in their abilities, with some suited to speed runs, while others are perfect for performing stunts. For the undecided, there is a selection of boards that combine both skills.

There are only three courses to select from, ranging from novice to expert, but there is a bonus track available for those who reach the standard. The novice course is a straightforward downhill run, which allows plenty of opportunities to build on your trick repertoire. The advanced course features many tricky turns and a choice of routes, with a hazardous tunnel to negotiate and the wind factor must be taken into account. The expert course is extremely difficult, being very long and cramped, with many 90 degree turns and a river to avoid.

Essentially, the idea of the game is to control the direction of the board as you descend down the slopes of the snow covered course, avoiding various obstacles and occasionally defying the law of gravity, to perform a selection of tricks. The aim is to top the tables in trick points, total points or speed points.

When approaching a jump, you must hold down the jump button and your character will move into the crouch position, then you must release the button at the lip of the jump to allow maximum lift. While airborne, press down, then just as you are about to land, press R1, for the perfect landing. Extra points will be awarded when stunts are executed in flight, but you must land correctly or a fall will incur a loss of points and time. In effect , you must make a choice between a fast time or a spectacular trick points total.

Sadly the game lacks a two player mode, therefore you must compete against the computer opponents, but the inclusion of a ghost runner, which is your previous attempt, is a good way to gauge your performance.

To be honest, Cool Boarders without the tricks would be like Salamon Rushdie with out the Fatua, boring. The beginners course is ideal for boosting your score in the tricks department and will amuse you for many hours while the advanced and expert courses will require a great amount of concentration just to complete. Persevere and you will succeed and with the bonus of extra boards and secret courses to play for, Cool Boarders playability will last a lot longer than you first imagine.

The first winter sports game on the PSX offers superb scenic graphics but the characters look rather messy. There are three courses available with a bonus track for those that complete the game as top dog. The music is suitable but the announcer can become quite annoying. Overall Cool Boarders is great fun while it lasts.

Value for Money

Cool Boarders is great fun while you are in the mood, but sadly, three courses is not a massive amount and the lack of different playing modes and two player option will mean that it will lack lastability. Saying that, it looks great, runs fast and plays well.





Cool Boarders is great fun while you are in the mood, but sadly, three courses is not a massive amount and the lack of different playing modes and two player option will mean that it will lack lastability. Saying that, it looks great, runs fast and plays well.








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