Shiny Ski Resort Review


Kairosoft is a developer who has solely focused on the mobile gaming market for the majority of their time. Kairosoft have been in business since 1996 and after their huge success in the iOS and Android world, we are now starting to see more of their titles hitting Windows PC and now, the Nintendo Switch. The Nintendo Switch is appearing hugely popular for indie developers across the world as people can carry these games anywhere with them and access them so easily anywhere.

Shiny Ski Resort came to the Nintendo Switch in February 2020 and when I saw it was a Kairosoft title, I knew what to expect. I’ve had my eye on their titles on mobile devices but I am still not savvy to the mobile gaming market and I am the kind of guy that if it costs more than 99p, I am not buying into it. That said Kairosoft reviews of their mobile titles always fare very well and they seem to climb the charts quite high. When I saw this on Nintendo Switch I just had to get my hands on it and see if I have been missing out all this time.

By looking at the screenshots before I played the game, I kind of knew what to expect and that is of a similar experience to a tycoon game. Similar to titles like Theme Park, Theme Hospital and the like but potentially not as in-depth. Kairosoft games always seem to have the same premise in these titles though and that is to develop the business and create revenue and growth for your company. There are many ways to achieve success and you’ll be fed some of this information as you play through. If you haven’t guessed already you’ll be managing your very own ski resort in this game.

Shiny Ski Resort allows you to manage a ski resort and its facilities, that includes from the moment someone books into the resort and all of the outdoor area. The game sets you off by naming your resort with a name of your choosing. You then start with almost a mini tutorial if you like, and with this you will be learning placement of facilities and how they function and what works best. These facilities include, lobby areas, bedrooms, lockers, ticket vending machines, food and drink vending machines, comment boxes, decorative items such as trees and flowers. You’ll be able to develop the interior of the building by browsing the menus and selecting to build. During this build process you can choose what you would like, so for instance if you required another couple of bedrooms you could spend your currency on these. You can place them wherever you like within the designated area and you can rotate. So there is some great flexibility in this respect and this is where my thoughts of a tycoon based game originated.

As you progress through the game and gain more experience and revenue you will be able to unlock more facilities, decorative items and other opportunities like lighting for your outside areas so that customers can ski during evening hours. You will have to research technology in order to access these additional functions and sometimes you’ll need extra materials to do this. For example to build a stove to keep the inside areas warm you need wood to build it, which involves you spending money to clear some of the forestry outside in order to gain wood from felled trees. In turn you are clearing more space to expand your ski resort into something special. Sometimes some of the researched items can drive particular clients into the park, I built some snowmen outside and this attracted hyperactive children to the outside areas.

I really enjoyed the aspects of researching and seeing what I could unlock next, it was satisfying to watch the ski resort grow slowly but surely. The pace of the game is timed really well so it progresses month to month rather than flying through an entire year in five minutes. You also have the option to advertise the resort by placing adverts on the radio, in leaflets in the mail or coupons to drive the numbers into your resort to accelerate your revenue. You can also opt to sign sponsors for a set period of time and this would grant additional funds and if you’re keeping everyone happy and comfortable you may gain additional prizes along the way.

Shiny Ski Resort passes through from season to season, from sunrise to sunset and it was clever how they adjusted this so that advertisement only worked well at particular points. Also the fact that if the facilities weren’t quite up to scratch the customers would not be as happy. I noticed that if customers queued too long at reception, then they would become increasingly frustrated. You will find your limits as you plough on and you’ll learn when your lobby area and bedrooms are constantly engaged you need to try and squeeze more into the space you have.

What I didn’t realise until it prompted me later in the game was the ability to place combos, essentially this is decorative or other items close to something related in order to absorb popularity points. I will elaborate here, when I placed my comments box next to reception I actually found more response and more points from placing them by the shopping stalls. Increasing these popularity points will not only gain more guests but will make them happier thus rinsing more cash from their pockets.

I have spoken plenty about the interior of the resort, so what about the exterior? Obviously you can customise your ski slope from the course itself to the lift hills, the lighting areas and the decor around it all. You can clear the trees from the area by hiring handymen to chop down the trees for you, this clears a path to build more and you gain materials from doing so. This can prove quite costly though so as I learnt the hard way, don’t go spending all your cash at once. If you do this, you’ll not only run out but you won’t be able to clear your maintenance costs at the end of month.

I racked up to eight years within the game and it then seems to grind to a halt with score progression, however it doesn’t limit you from proceeding with the gameplay. But if you’re one whose trying to get the best possible score, it may be that you want to cut ties with that resort at that stage and move onto a new fresh start to attempt again. When I attempted to find how my score compared against others I was unable to do this and after a quick google it appears that you require a Nintendo Online subscription to see this information.

I presume this originated on mobile devices before it was ported across to Nintendo Switch and in terms of graphics it displays exactly as it would on a smartphone, but perhaps not in as much clarity. You can change the graphical settings from high to low in the options menu but why you would want to do this on a Nintendo Switch? I don’t know. The game performs perfectly on Nintendo Switch on high setting with no issues. You may struggle with the controls for a good period of time as it won’t hold your hand in this respect, I spent a fair period of time figuring out how to rotate an item. If you’re a fan of simulation type games then this is a must buy, especially when these kind of games aren’t frequent enough on the Nintendo Switch. If you have played a Kairosoft game on a mobile phone then you will know what to expect in terms of art style and gameplay. Shiny Ski Resort will have you addicted for hours and its kept me busy for longer than some AAA games I have played on the Switch. The only drawback is it costs more on the Nintendo Switch than a mobile device.

REVIEW CODE: A complimentary Nintendo Switch code was provided to Bonus Stage for this review. Please send all review code enquiries to editor@bonusstage.co.uk.

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Shiny Ski Resort Review
  • Gameplay - 8/10
    8/10
  • Graphics - 8/10
    8/10
  • Sound - 6/10
    6/10
  • Replay Value - 6/10
    6/10
User Review
0 (0 votes)
Comments Rating 0 (0 reviews)
Overall
7/10

Summary

If pixel art titles are your thing, then look no further. Kairosoft brings yet another addictive simulator type experience to the table but bring your coat as it’s snowing.

Pros

Addictive pick up and play title

Good research and progression system

Visually pleasing pixel-art graphics

Cons

Longevity ends after a certain period of time

More explanation of control system is required

Price difference between mobile devices and console is noticeable