I have a "joke" for you all, "joke" being in "scare quotes" for good reason. Excited? Here it goes: What do you call someone who believes that he is the only person in the world, and that the world is created slope by slope before him, so that he can tear up the landscape with rad tricks and daredevil speed skiing? Give up?
Solipskier! It's a punchline of sorts, and it's also a fast-paced game, from developers Mike Boxleiter and Greg Wohlwend (aka Mikengreg aka Intuition Games), in which you draw hills and dales for a fast-moving ski-sprite to slalom.
In the beginning there is nothing, until you click the mouse and begin to draw the landscape, which ski-dude immediately begins to traverse. Click and move the mouse to continue drawing. You can draw straight paths, steep climbs, speedy declines, and little ramps for jumping. If you stop drawing and can keep your skier airborne, he'll perform nifty tricks, which will add to your score. Guiding your skier through gates and tunnels will also increase your score, while certain obstacles will cause him to crash. Good thing that gates, obstacles, and other features are indicated ahead of time with helpful distance counters that appear on the right side of the screen.
Analysis: Solipskier is super-fast-paced, and also super-coy with instructions. The game insists on trial-and-error instruction, so don't be surprised if in the first few runs your skier crashes and falters before you understand what's happening. But the zippy pace, coupled with the speed-blur animation and headbanger soundtrack, creates an intensity such that you'll want to try again right away. After a few rounds you'll start to figure out how to create jumps and consistent speed, and get a better idea of how to avoid various obstacles. It's all about learning the tricks you need to get the highest score, before you crash and burn, and are prompted to try again. Even after some mastery is achieved, it's still a game that lends itself to rapid, ephemeral sessions, played one after another.
Solipskier is a curious formula, one part Canabalt, one part Line Rider. It works very well, though, particularly in intense, attention-deficit-sized portions. Play it to satisfy your yen for solipsistic ski-dudes and the fleeting ski-worlds you create for them.
Thanks to Max for sending this one in!