LifeisXbox’s Instant Sports: Winter Games review | It’s getting colder and darker outside, so you know what that means… winter is coming! No, I’m not talking about Game of Thrones, I’m talking about BreakFirst S.A.R.L. and Just For Games their newest release called Instant Sports: Winter Games. As you probably guess by the title, this isn’t the only game in the Instant Sports series. There is Instant Sports Paradise, which is basically the summer version that was released earlier this year, but there is also the Instant Sports Tennis and the Instant Sports Summer Games from last year. Seeing as we haven’t been able to do much winter sports due to this ongoing pandemic, this might just be a fine replacement for the time being. Seeing as this is my first experience with the Instant Sports game, I will not be comparing this game to the previous games.
It’s perfectly possible to enjoy Instant Sports: Winter Games by yourself. But just as is the case with real life skiing, snowboarding and snowball fights, you’ll probably have a better time when you’re with friends or family.
ℹ️ Reviewed on Nintendo Switch | Review code provided by PR/publisher, this review is the personal opinion from the writer.
What we liked!
- Seven different winter sports | Seeing as this game is a collection of multiple (extreme) winter sports games, we get to enjoy various sports. This is a first feature that I really liked. Rather than just focusing on one type of sport, you can actually choose which sport you like best and switch things up a little if you feel like doing something else. I think this works better than, for example, the Instant Sports Tennis game (again, I have never played Instant Sports games before so I can’t really compare but offering multiple sports is a plus to me). Now, let’s go over the sports quickly, shall we? You can freely choose between alpine skiing, slopestyle, bobsleigh, ice cross, ski jump, curling, and the snowball arena. I was not familiar with all of these names, but playing the different sports was pretty easy and there was a certain level of variety between all the sports, so that was great.
- Quick play and challenge session | I started out in the quick play. This just lists all seven winter sports and their two slopes/tracks/levels. It’s the perfect mode to practice your skills, or to just focus on one specific sport if you really love a particular sport. I would have loved to see more variation in the tracks you’re playing on, but seeing as there are seven sports and each of them has two tracks, I can’t complain that much. The Challenge Session offers four different session, and each session has four sports with a specific track. There is a fifth, customizable session where you can freely choose which sports and which of their two tracks you will include. I was kind of missing a ‘random’ feature here for sessions, but then again, that’s just nitpicking.
- Character customisation | When you’re playing the sports, you will also earn money. This money can solely be spend in the shop where you can customize your character(s). Why not give yourself a cool hairstyle or hat. There is plenty of choice here, ranging from basic hairstyles, to duo color hairstyles and even special ‘hats’ like having a bag of fries as head. You can also purchase glasses and a beard (if you maybe want to look like santa when you’re out there snowboarding). And of course, you can also buy jacket (including one with a ninja sword on the back), pants, and shoes. I enjoyed the silly customisation possibilities, and it really makes a game more attractive when developers do this.
- Local co-op with 4 players | It’s perfectly possible to enjoy Instant Sports: Winter Games by yourself. But just as is the case with real life skiing, snowboarding and snowball fights, you’ll probably have a better time when you’re with friends or family. Instant Sports: Winter Games can be played with up to four people, making the game a lot more interesting. An online mode is missing, but that’s not what games like these are aimed at, so the local multiplayer option suffices here.
- Graphics and sound | Sure, Instant Sports: Winter Games has enjoyable tracks, and the character customisations look alright. However, it’s not like they are anything special. The art style is pretty basic. Everything is covered in snow, but said snow just looks really fake and bland, and the characters also have average and simple look. An audience on the side would’ve been nice to cheer the players on, although this might not be very realistic. But hey, it’s a game so it would’ve been really cool. The soundtrack is okay and serves its purpose but again, it’s not something that really stands out. All in all, both the graphics and sound are fairly basic, but they do the job.
- Motion play | Instant Sports games can be enjoyed one of two ways. When firing up the game, you can pick a control selection. Either you play with the buttons of your Switch, or you take off the joycons and enjoy some motion play. The motion play strongly resembles the sports games I used to play on my Wii and gives an extra dimension to the gameplay. I quickly checked and unless I’m mistaken, there were Instant Sports games that only had this motion control option. This means that owners of the Nintendo Switch Lite can not play all Instant Sports games. The Winter Sports edition is one of the expections, it seems, as you can still play using the buttons. I enjoyed both the motion and button play, even though I had a better experience with the buttons. I think this will differ for everyone, so I suggest you go and find out what suits your playstyle better if you plan on buying this game.
What we disliked
- Nothing here.
How long to beat the story | There is no story.
How long to achieve 1000G | There are no achievements on Nintendo Switch.
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Head of PC team. PC, Switch, and Xbox game reviewer. Also a marketeer, concert and animal lover, and photographer in training 🙂