Publisher: Electronic Arts
Developer: EA Canada
Release Date: 7/31/1999
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The late ’90s was home to extreme sports on consoles. There was a huge boom in this genre and it led to many great games. Sled Storm is kind of an oddball as snowmobile racing isn’t a huge hit in the US. However, EA managed to pull off a responsive and fun little racing title.
Sled Storm is similar to most arcade racing games from its time. There are several modes such as championship, single race, and multiplayer. Championship has two different modes. One mode is an open circuit with natural courses and you can upgrade your ride. The second one is a snocross closed-circuit event in which you just need to win. Sounds simple enough right?
Wrong. You need to get first place in every race to advance. There are 4 other racers on the track and the game is subject to frustrating rubber band AI. You can be ahead all through the race and on the final lap, everyone seems to zoom ahead of you. One crash and it’s restart time. The other annoying thing is that you only get 3 restarts and then have to restart the entire championship.
It’s rather annoying but tolerable. The crafts handle really well and the visuals are great. Powder flies up behind the vehicle into the camera every time you bounce or take a turn. There’s snow blowing toward you and the track is nicely detailed. The controls are what steal the show here. They feel smooth and very responsive and make you want to keep playing.
There is no fancy trick system here, but a point system is used for knocking down objects on the track and other reasons I couldn’t figure out. That’s about all there is to this game. The tracks actually vary, but after beating the championship there’s really no reason to come back. Think of this as a quick little 2-3 hour racing game and back on the shelf it goes.