SkiFree is the standalone version of the game originally included as a part of the Microsoft Entertainment Pack 3 (1991) for Windows 3.x, and later made available separately for Windows 3.x. It was then re-compiled for 32-bit Windows systems when the author found back the source code and released it for free through his website.
Players control a skier on a downhill slope on a mountain. From the start, three types of courses can be selected, but these can also be ignored. In Slalom, the skier needs to pass flags on the right side and makes his way down to the finish. Tree Slalom is identical, but has a lot of trees on the course. The final one is Freestyle were points are scored by performing jumps and doing tricks in the air, followed by a safe landing.
The skier can be steered using the keyboard or the mouse. It is also possible to jump, but the biggest ones are achieved with the help of rocks, bumps and rainbow-coloured pads. After the finish, the skier can move on until he is caught by the abominable snow monster. There are various obstacles, such as trees, snowboarders, rocks and more.
SkiFree is a little Windows game of which there is not much to say, apart from: It's a Classic. It was programmed by Chris Pirih, who at the time was a programmer at Microsoft. The game eventually attracted the attention of a manager for the Microsoft Entertainment Pack when he noticed Pirih playing it at work, leading to the inclusion of the game in the next Entertainment Pack release.
The game has 3 gameplay-modes: Free-Style, Slalom and Tree Slalom. The goal of Free-Style is too perform as much stunts as possible. During Slalom you have to ski past flags in the quickest time possible. In Tree Slalom, you do basically the same, but the course is much tighter and has added obstacles such as trees.
The player can do quite a few things whilst skiing: jumping, performing stunts, knocking other skiers down or just crashing into random obstacles. :)
SkiFree is also well known for the infamous snow monster, which appears at 2000m and eats the player. It also features lots of easter eggs, such as the walking trees. The graphics mostly consist of small animated characters, like dogs and skiers, and LOTS of snow but believe me, it has a very nice mood, perfect for that snowy/rainy Sunday. The game has no sounds, but in my opinion, that just enhances the mood.
Overall, this is a classic Windows game that you should really try out. A pure 5! :)
Ski Free deserves to be ranked alongside Minesweeper as one of the best "coffee break" games for Windows ever made. First released as public domain by Chris Pirih, the game quickly spread like wildfire throughout BBS's and by word of mouth. So it is no surprise that Microsoft bought the copyrights and sold it as part of Entertainment Pack for Windows compilation. [As a side note, it is a bit silly to find a game called Ski Free in a commercial pack - perhaps Microsoft should have changed the name to Ski Commercial? ;) ]
So what is Ski Free? Simply a no-frills, no-nod-to-realism skiing game where your goal is ski downhill as fast as possible to beat your own best times. Along the way, you must avoid rocks, other skiers, dogs, trees, and other obstacles that get in your way, while take advantage of ramps that send you leaping into the air. The game is easy to learn: use the keypad or mouse to steer your skier - that's all the controls you need to know. Fast, fun, and addictive - what more do you want from a game? ;) There are worse ways to spend 5-10 minutes of your life than playing this "cult classic" old game. Highly recommended!
Being one of the most simple games I have ever seen, doesn't mean that it's a bad game. And this game proves it... It's simple, you ski down a hill and you search for a game's start point. When you get there, just follow the red and blue flags and you'll get there. There are many obstacles in your way and you can be eaten by a very simple drawn "giant snowman", which made me rolling on the ground of laughing, really. It's simple, it's easy, but I can also tell you that this one is a must have. Just to play one time and never see again, it's great!
And hey, we're still talking about the "wingames" series on this site, so don't expect too much of any game.
How to run this game on modern Windows PC?
People who downloaded Skifree have also downloaded:
Chip's Challenge, Jezzball, Pipe Dream, Doom, Oregon Trail II, Wolfenstein 3D, Oregon Trail Deluxe, Sim City 2000
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