The Nintendo Switch is the perfect platform for games that only previously had a home on cellular devices and Kairosoft’s Shiny Ski Resort is of no exception. I’ve played a good majority of what they have to offer back when I had an iPhone and can safely say that the transition from phone to console is seamless. For those of you who are unfamiliar with Kairosoft, their games revolve around managing a business with the goal of making a profit. How well you do so boils down to careful placement of facilities, which create combos that boost their effectiveness and overall appeal, as well as careful allocation of funds to acquiring new staff, advertising your business, and of course expansion.
Shiny Ski Resort has you managing a ski resort–both interior and exterior. On the inside of your resort, you build facilities and place decor in order to maximize appeal and bring in guests. Facilities are relevant to a ski resort: rental booths, ticket machines, gift shops, coffee shops, and a slew of other kinds you unlock as you play. New facilities and other aspects of development become available as you earn money and research new technology. Pacing is good and everything moves in a cause-and-effect loop: researching a new technology encourages a new type of visitor to your business, who will in turn introduce you to new technology that will unlock yet another facility and so on. You also have the option to sign a contract with a sponsor, who will award you with prizes based on your friendliness with them and how well your resort does during the duration of your contract. Time in-game passes in months rather than days, so seasons change fairly quickly. Skiers come to the facility whether or not the slopes are snowy, but different advertisement works better depending on the weather.
Combos are a large part of any Kairosoft game. When placing a structure or decor, you can see a green grid that indicates its effective range. By placing a specific combination of any three buildings and/or decor, you’re able to create buffs for any facilities within range of your combination trio. Doing so will boost the appeal of your resort and bring in more guests. More guests, more money, more facilities. As guests continue to patronize your facilities, you’ll gain popularity points, which in turn allows them to spend more money.
On the exterior side of things, you’re able to customize your course. You have an expandable team of developers that will clear the land around your course, for a cost, and expand its borders. You can add decorations like snowmen, which add appeal, or more functional objects like lighting that allows your course to be used even at night. Additionally, you can control the path your ski lift takes and therefore its height and the complexity of the downhill ride. As your skiers continue to make use of the course, they’ll gain experience. Frequent skiers can be asked to take part in contests, which wins popularity with the patron who takes part in the race, as well as with your current sponsor(s), and nets you prizes.
Shiny Ski Resort, like other Kairosoft titles, stops tabulating your score after 8 in-game years have passed. You can keep playing long after, but that won’t be added to your final score. For some, trying to beat a high score and figure out the perfect ski resort formula is enough to warrant multiple playthroughs. There are also in-game achievements that pop up on screen when you fulfil particular tasks and milestones. Otherwise, Shiny Ski Resort lacks much in the way of replay value. It’s important to note that if you want to be able to see how other people fared, you’ll need to posses a Nintendo Online subscription.
As far as the port to console goes, Shiny Ski Resort runs smoothly with very little in terms of load times or stuttering, but then this isn’t a very graphically heavy game. I found a few textual errors, but nothing major. I will say that sometimes it’s not comfortable to use solely either the touch screen or the buttons; the former because the tablet is quite a bit larger than a phone screen and therefore isn’t comfortable one-handed, and the latter because it takes many more steps in order to achieve the same task that can be done in one tap. These minor gripes aside, there’s nothing holding you back from enjoying this Kairosoft experience the way it’s meant to be enjoyed.
If you’re a fan of simulation games, then you’ve likely already tried a Kairosoft title, in which case what are you waiting for? The series is a good example of “if it isn’t broken, don’t fix it” and if you liked other games by them, there’s a good chance you’ll like this one. If you haven’t played any of these titles, then I still say go for it. Shiny Ski Resort has solid gameplay that will keep you engaged for hours on end and if you’re the type to try and beat your own high score, you’ll get even more replay value out of it.
REVIEW CODE: A complimentary Nintendo Switch code was provided to Bonus Stage for this review. Please send all review code enquiries to firstname.lastname@example.org.
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Shiny Ski Resort Review
Gameplay - 7/10
Graphics - 7/10
Sound - 7/10
Replay Value - 7/10
Another hit from an already-established mobile game developer.
- Gameplay that is easy to pick up, difficult to master.
- Well-paced progression.
- Appealing pixel art style.
- Combos to discover in order to maximize appeal and effectiveness.
- Some textual errors.
- Not a whole lot of replay value.
- Costs 3x the mobile price without offering any significant differences.
- Leaderboards inaccessible unless you subscribe to Nintendo Online.