A game released the day it was announced When Ski Lifts Go Wrong brings physics-based construction puzzles to the Nintendo Switch. It’s a fun game with a lot of charm that is sure to impress anyone who picks it up. Developed by Curve Digital, this title has plenty of content and complex gameplay mechanics that can keep one invested for hours. It can, however, run poorly when too much is happening on-screen.

When Ski Lifts Go Wrong Review

Challenging Gameplay

Once booting up the first few levels, players are shown to a very detailed tutorial about the game and its mechanics. A plethora of different items must be used in order to take the resort visitors to the top of various slopes. Building bridges, establishing foundations, and hooking ziplines to the goal are just a few things that users can mess around with. It’s not easy getting from point A to point B, however. There are obstacles that need to be overcome, such as steep slopes, tall trees, or huge boulders. Running into these can cause the ski lift to topple over and cause riders to crash and fall to their deaths. The concept is incredibly entertaining and can allow for a variety of designs to reach a solution.

Levels can be very challenging as they go on since solutions aren’t always exactly clear. There’s a lot of trial and error that occurs to arrive at the end goal, but that’s where all the fun is had. Trying to figure out what to do next and even scrapping entire builds can cause some mind-boggling creations. Getting to the end is only part of the difficulties that lie ahead. Medals are introduced that can be picked up from completing different objectives like being under budget or having a skier go through a certain path. It’s fun and adds to the perplexing puzzles that are introduced.

Designing ski lifts is where the game shines and provides hours of fun because of how much depth there is. Builds are very much designed around the physics-based concept that is introduced which is incredibly appreciated. For instance, particular pieces of a structure can have too much stress on them requiring workarounds. Also, finding a solution means that ski riders need to survive, so you’ll need to see exactly where and when the ski lifts “go wrong.” Moving the camera to see how things went how they did is a must and adds another level of complexity. Doing all of this, means there are numerous controls that have to be utilized which can be a bit cumbersome at times. I haven’t played the PC version of the game but would imagine it feels a bit better to control on there than with a controller.

When Ski Lifts Go Wrong Review

Performance Issues

This game can run very poorly, though, when there’s a lot going on on-screen, as previously mentioned. Instances like this rarely occur, but when it does it can become very annoying. For example, I created the bridge seen below and, almost immediately, after taking the screenshot the game crashed. Running into crashes and slowdowns happened a decent amount of the time which hindered the overall experience. Hopefully, a future patch could deter this later down the line, but right now it is an issue.

Crashes occur less consistently but do show up every now and then. The main problem was the dips in framerate. Lower framerates tend to happen when in handheld mode compared to docked so if you plan to play this on the go, then be prepared for a lesser experience. It does still run decently here just not as great as it should. I played through plenty of levels in handheld and this didn’t become a major obstacle to enjoying each section, only when the screen has a lot of items in view does it turn into a slog. Deleting these objects helps performance issues and allows the system to ease up since it can cause the Switch to rev up its internal fans.

When Ski Lifts Go Wrong Review

Plenty of Content

Content in this release is far from sparse. There’s over 100 levels and a variety of different areas to work through. It’s really nice to see new aspects of the mountain and construct accordingly. Doing so makes it feel like you are crafting your own ski resort and helping the visitors accordingly. Depending on one’s skill level, finding solutions to every level can bring hours of gameplay in itself. It’s not the best title on the Switch, in terms of pick up and play, but it is incredibly fun and is a great time sink.

Aside from the main levels of the game, there is also a Sandbox Mode. Here, players who aren’t into the objective based gameplay that is introduced can do as they wish freely. Everything is unlocked from the start so there isn’t a need to try and get through various hurdles to obtain new items. Those who enter this mode can craft their own resorts from the ground up or just make crazy death traps for the AI visitors, which is part of the fun in this game.  Sandbox Mode is very enjoyable and lets the player construct freely without the challenge of gameplay.

When Ski Lifts Go Wrong Review

One other cool feature that is found here is its community presence. Finding all the medals contributes to an overall high score that places the user on an online leaderboard. Competing with friends for the top spot can be fun and provides a bit of replayability to levels already completed. The game also allows for screenshots and video captures to be taken that can be uploaded via the Switch’s photo mode. There are so many funny and crazy moments that made myself burst out loud with laughter that I wanted to share online. It’s a standard feature in most games but feels right at home with Curve Digital’s latest.

When Ski Lifts Go Wrong is an incredibly entertaining game found on the Nintendo Switch’s eShop. It does run into a few performance issues here and there, but it provides a unique experience that I haven’t seen on the Switch yet. Controlling everything can become a bit cumbersome and most likely handles better on PC with a keyboard and mouse rather than with joy-cons. This title does have its problems but the good does outweigh it for an overall enjoyable time.

Curve Digital’s When Ski Lifts Go Wrong is available on the Nintendo eShop for $14.99.


Thank you to Curve Digital for providing us with a review copy of the game.

When Ski Lifts Go Wrong Review (Nintendo Switch)
When Ski Lifts Go Wrong is an enjoyable experience but does contain some performance issues.
Overall Score7.7
  • Fun Gameplay
  • Plenty of Levels
  • Challenging Designs
  • Performance Issues
  • Lots of Controls
Reader Rating: (0 Votes)

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