View Full Version : ATK Review - Project Powder

2nd January 2009, 04:07 AM


Developer: Studio Bluecat
Platform: PC
Multiplayer: 8 players in one room at a time. Server limit unknown
Single player: All multiplayer content can be played Singleplayer, but no bots to flesh it out.

Project Powder is a snowboarding game currently in open beta, with up to 8 players competing against each other individually or in teams through a selection of pretty unique maps.

Lets do this one section at a time. First up, there are three game modes, all of which involve going down a slope at high speeds. Race is straightfoward, with everyone speeding down as fast as they can to get that coverted gold medal. Coin is a strange game, with people rushing to grab various coins lying around. Bronze being the small common type, and silver and gold being the bigger, harder to reach ones. Rust is also there, and deducts from your score, switching with either gold or silver when certain pickups are taken. Finally, Battle mode is best described as mario kart on snowboards, with regular pickups ranging from ice spears to frost strikes.

Another fairly interesting feature of Project Powder is it's boost system, fueled by tricks performed with the movement controls (arrow keys) and WADSQE. Boost is essential to winning a race, and also comes in quite handy in battle too, so tricks are often the best way to win... and there's a lot of them. To avoid swamping new players, they are required to perform some very basic challanges to unlock even most basic tricks. This normaly involves getting a virtual looking slope and having to pull off a certain number of the trick within a time limit, while avoiding falling on your arse. The tricks range quite vastly too... from simple grab tricks, to much more impressive moves, often involving detatching one or both of the feet. So quite similar to SSX, if anyone has played that.

After a race, certain players are awarded gem shards, which can be refined and added into a wide variaty of equipment, providing stat boosts to help them shread the slopes. This equipment is also bought, or rather rented, and has one or more preset gem slots, for instance, a trick or boost gem can be put into a cheaper snowboard, while the more expensive ones allow you to place both into them. It really adds depth into a game that would otherwise be constant racing.

Being an online game it, of course, has a leveling system. But unlike most, it really dosen't matter if your a higher level. A level 3 can (and has) beaten level 7s (me). The gems, which are considered rare, since only one or two are awarded after a game, don't provide that much of a bonus. 90% of it is your own personal skill.

So, to wrap it up, ProPow is a game crossing some MMO elements, leveling and improving your equipment, with snowboarding gameplay previously only seen in console games such as SSX and Shawn White's. For a free game, the engine and hit detection are very good, as is the ability to enter any room without fear of lag issues. A great achivement for a free game by any standards. So give it a try if your interested in the game, but it won't be much fun if you don't like the whole snowboarding thing.


3rd January 2009, 12:27 AM
Yeah, it looks like a good original game, might try it out. Nice review too, GJ.