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Power Hover Reviewed by Cyril Lachel on . Despite having almost no snow or mountains, Power Hover is the best snowboarding game I've played in years. I wish it had a proper trick system and a little more variety beyond collecting batteries, but none of that gets in the way of the slick gameplay and action-packed level designs. Power Hover is an immensely satisfying extreme sports game masquerading as an action game. Rating: 78%
Power Hover
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  • Review Score:

  • B+
Hey video game industry, you're letting me down. No, it's not because you release incomplete games or offer on-disc DLC. I mean, all that sucks, but I'm still sore you can't seem to get your act together and release a good snowboarding game. You had three chances last year, and every one of those chances was wasted on crap like Snow, Steep and Mark McMorris Infinite Air. How did it come to this?

In a lot of ways, Power Hover is the best snowboarding game I've played in years ... and it barely has any snow. This is a Steam port of a 2015 iOS game, featuring adorable robots slicing their way through the vaguely-futuristic landscape picking up batteries. It may not have any tricks and you're never actually barreling down a mountain, but the fast-paced action and creative level designs helps scratch that snowboarding itch.


The premise is simple: All the electricity in your town has been stolen, and it's up to a speedy robot to race through 35 challenging stages in order to collect all of the batteries and save the day. Along the way you'll discover that things are worse than they appear, but the goal always remains the same -- ride that hoverboard as fast as possible and grab the floating batteries.

This is a premise that could have led to an incredibly repetitive action game, but there's an astonishing amount of variety in Power Hover. You'll start out boarding through a hostile desert location filled with massive sand worms, followed by a tense race through underground pipes and a dizzying 360 degree stage where you're straddling what looks like a giant bean stock. Every level comes with its own batch of obstacles to avoid and quirks to memorize.

The fast-paced gameplay reminds me of the more linear parts of Sonic Adventure and Ratchet & Clank, especially when you're grinding across miles of railings. This is the type of game where you can't slow down; you're constantly at the whim of the hoverboard. The good news is that there are plenty of checkpoints scattered throughout the stages, making it easier to work your way through the more challenging obstacles. This is also good when you're trying to collect every single battery a level has to offer.

Power Hover (Steam)Click For the Full Picture Archive

I'm not the kind of person who absolutely needs to find every last item in a game, but I found myself doing that in Power Hover. Part of the reason for this is because it's so damn fun flying around on the hoverboard. The game feels great with a standard game pad, making it easy and painless to quickly swoop around and avoid the game's many obstacles. I know that this originated on mobile phones, but it truly feels like the game was designed with an analog stick in mind.

That said, there are times when I wished it would break free of its mobile phone roots. For as much as I loved racing around the screen on the hoverboard, I do wish there was a trick component to the game. It's a shame there isn't more scoring, and the whole thing is basically you grabbing batteries for 35 stages. That's certainly fun, but there's so much more the developers could do with this formula.

I am also cold on the game's boss stages, which is little more than a variation on a generic infinite runner. The goal is to survive as long as possible, all while random obstacles get thrown in your path. These levels are fine, but a big step down compared to the hand-crafted stages. On the other hand, the game comes with a bunch of challenge stages to unlock, something that helped make up for my disdain of those infinite runner levels.

Power Hover (Steam)Click For the Full Picture Archive

Minor complaints aside, I really like the look of Power Hover. It has a nice clean look that is constantly changing from one stage to the next, and there's a nice sense of speed throughout most of the game. The game is at its best when it's making us avoid massive creatures native to whatever alien planet we're boarding on. There's probably an argument to be made that the developers could have gone even farther in that direction, but I like the few touches we're given throughout the adventure.

Despite having almost no snow or mountains, Power Hover is the best snowboarding game I've played in years. I wish it had a proper trick system and a little more variety beyond collecting batteries, but none of that gets in the way of the slick gameplay and action-packed level designs. Power Hover is an immensely satisfying extreme sports game masquerading as an action game.
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