When Ski Lifts Go Wrong is a light-hearted take on the structural building simulator. It’s very similar to those bridge-building games, whereby your flimsy bridge can’t take the traffic and all the cars fall in the water.
Players must use their engineering minds to complete ski lift and ski ramp designs. The ski lift designs need to get the skiers to the top of the piste without the supports collapsing or clouting the seats/skier into trees and/or terrain. Similarly, ramps must be structurally sound, with the right inclination to propel skiers towards the finish line. Get your skier across the finish line and you’ll get the first of a possible three stars.
For each level you get a selection of materials, such as planks, metal supports, foundations and pulleys with which to build your engineering marvel. You’ll an extra star for a frugal build. It is, after all, not an engineer’s job to ensure that a structure doesn’t fall down, but to ensure a structure only just doesn’t fall down. You don’t want to spend all your client’s money!
If you manage to get your skier to collect the medal on the way across the level, you get another star. You want to be picking up all three stars for each level, but you can progress to the next as long as you’ve successfully got your skier over the line.
The graphics are rudimentary, but they don’t need to be anything other than what they are. Designs are built in 2D but when you are ready to test your structure, the visuals switch to 3D. you can then watch are your hapless skier successfully completes their journey or ends up a bloody mess on the ground. As you test your structure, you can see the stresses on each of your components, from green to red.
The difficulty curve is very shallow and you’ll spend the first few levels thinking that you’re missing something as the tasks are so easy. If anything, the hand-holding is a bit too much, with the game, at least at the start, continuously pausing to offer you an extra tip.
The game ships with over 100 unique puzzle levels ranging from the sublime to the ridiculous. Players will need to build ramps and ski lift structures, as well as control skiers, skidoos and even mountain bikes (in the off-season) across some pretty challenging terrain.
When Ski Lifts Go Wrong is a fun diversion. It’s easy to play, and very moreish. If you like puzzles, especially of a structural nature, you are going to spend hours playing this one.
The game is available now on both PC, the Steam Store, and Nintendo Switch.