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Snow is for suckers: Play these winter sports games on Android

Evan Dashevsky | Jan. 27, 2014
Despite the sun's stubborn insistence on playing hide-and-seek with the Northern Hemisphere, people still manage to brave the winter temperatures and stay active. As you read this, athletes from around the world are gathering to compete at the Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia, as well as at the Winter X Games in Aspen, Colorado.

The game tasks your radical-dude snowboarder with maneuvering through a series of increasingly outlandish courses. Your only controls consist of tilting from side to side and grabbing your board to perform midair acrobatics and land in the proper orientation. The game is free to download, but you can buy the full ad-free version for $2. Additionally, you can choose from a number of in-app (or earnable) purchases, such as replacing your character with a polar bear.

As far as gameplay goes, iStunt 2 is a basic forever-runner that has just enough to keep you interested for those little moments when you want to escape, and it isn't so difficult that it becomes frustrating. This gaming snack food will delightfully tide you over. 

Playman Winter Games
Price: 
Free

This collection of five winter games is less about physical prowess than mental agility: You compete in most of the games by reacting correctly to quickly presented stimuli.

For example, in the ski sprint competition, you tap a circle when it shows up on the screen. The circles appear in random patterns, so keeping pace becomes difficult. The slower you are to respond or the more mistakes you make, the faster your competition will zoom ahead. Playman Winter Games is the thinking man's winter-game suite.

Hockey Fight
Price:
Free (lite version), $1(full ad-free version)

Although hockey fights are proactively discouraged in most European leagues as well as in Olympic play, fighting is one of the prized, thuggish traditions of the NHL. And the aptly named Hockey Fight cuts right to the fisticuffs-on-ice.

At its heart, Hockey Fight is more of a boxing game than a hockey game. In fact, this may be the first game with hockey in the title that never features a puck at any point.

The player can touch one of four areas on the screen to launch left and right punches to either the head or body, while blocking to retain energy. Anyone familiar with fighting games that employ energy bars will be accustomed to the underlying strategy of when to punch and when to dodge. Hockey Fight is a goofy ode to one of the strangest officially sanctioned aspects of professional sports.

As a side note, be sure to turn off the fight commentary in the settings, as the robo-commentator's limited pool of chatter gets grating fast.

Crazy Snowboard
Price: Free

This easy-to-play 3D snowboarding game will make the clumsiest of people feel like Shaun White — if only ever so briefly.

The simple, tilt-based gameplay allows you to perform any number of "crazy" acrobatics by using a combination of buttons when you are airborne. If you grow weary of the snowy mountain vistas, the freeboard action gives you the option to "shred" a Christmas village or a Halloween-themed graveyard.

 

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