“Mario Kart 64 with snowboards” would be an accurate way to sum up Snowboard Kids, but don’t let that make you think this is just another derivative kart-racing clone in a different guise.

Unlike most other snowboard-themed racing games, Snowboard Kids does away with complex controls and realism in favour of a strong offensive/defensive power-up system and a simpler approach to performing (and landing after) tricks. Performing special jumps successfully earns you money, which you need in order to pick-up power-ups. Snowboard Kids’ weapon system is unique compared to other N64 racing games because you have two weapon slots: one for offensive weapons, the other for defensive.

The game features nine courses, some of which are set in snowy conditions and locations, whereas others break from the norm. A race consists of multiple laps, and you must guide your snowboarder to a ski lift entrance at the end of each lap (save for the final one); the location of the lift entrance differs between courses.

There are six playable characters, each with their own attributes, as well as a variety of different snowboards; mixing and matching the two determines your speed, turning and ability to perform tricks.

Snowboard Kids sold well, becoming a Player’s Choice title in Europe. It was followed up with a sequel in 1999, Snowboard Kids 2, which was also released on the N64.


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