Flying Through the Fresh, Powdery Snow in Super Slopes
Head out to a snowy mountain to ski down an ever-changing course and have the greatest run with Super Slopes.
I’m just skipping right on by autumn and moving into winter! Although I’m fine with waiting on the snow to arrive, I was still interested in the route-building puzzles in Super Slopes. The idea behind it was pretty great, and I quickly learned that this wasn’t just a typical skiing vacation… Watch out for those yetis lurking around every corner!
I received this copy for free from the publisher in exchange for a review without any expectations… Aside from getting it to my table and actually playing! Everything mentioned here is my own opinion. Just being transparent up front!
The goal is to lay out a variety of cards and connect a ski route. Finding ways to criss-cross the same route is important, yet the available cards can offer tricky decisions. Forests and yetis threaten to slow down a run, requiring a careful plan before flying down the mountain!
October 21, 2023
October 21, 2023
22" x 16"
Maybe I didn’t have an actual Calico Critter to ski down the slopes, but a couple of winter dresses were just the ticket to get into the theme! No real cold yet, please.
Although this one doesn’t involve overlapping cards, tracing routes is another sort of puzzle that can be a hit or miss for me. Sometimes, I just don’t “see” the moves.
Still, I’m always on the lookout for the paths that don’t confuse me too much but still provide a nice challenge.
Comfortable with the rules after just a few minutes, I eagerly headed to the top of this tabletop mountain to ski!
Rather than a hand of cards to draw from, the market typically involves 5 cards stacked from highest to lowest number. But it isn’t a case of picking whatever is best…
The paths here actually play a role! Starting at a path that leads off of an edge of the top card, only the card that leads to another edge may be chosen. Clever, clever!
Sometimes, this means the best card will be skipped over or simply be out of reach at the very bottom of the run.
Special abilities and icons play a crucial role, yet it’s also all about connecting up a lengthy route through the snow.
In real life, I attempted to ski once as a child and promptly gave up to lazily enjoy snow tubing. Ha! So this was a nice way to live out that dream of skiing more than 2 feet.
My first play actually went pretty well! I should have marked the start of this run, but it was in the upper right.
I found ways to pick up energy to speed past the yetis and fly through the forests. Follow the path, and you’ll see that I had a pretty decent outing with lots of crossed paths!
The solo opponent picked up cards along the way, and although I won, scoring was very close.
A Less Successful Run
Label that initial victory beginner’s luck! I quickly found out how challenging it can be to put together a worthwhile journey down and around the slopes. Watch out!
Fortunately, I did well with starting my run with some energy. Without it, a forest or yeti immediately ends the run at that exact spot. Don’t slow me down, thank you!
I thought I would have a lot of trouble seeing these lines and paths, but it was actually pretty easy to see the details.
My only gripe was how I had to follow my route a few times during scoring for various categories.
The Importance of Contrast and Legibility
When I first pulled out these cards, I was concerned that there was a little too much blue for me to follow the paths. However, I failed to recognize one important feature that might seem subtle… The white highlight around the paths! That simple addition made everything pop. Not that I want to play from far away, yet it’s not impossible.
Accessibility is a major element of board games for a whole host of reasons. I’m starting to appreciate larger text when it’s available. Extremely tiny text isn’t much of a friend… And I even have a little magnifier to help out! Yet it’s a nice thing when no one has to struggle to see the elements present in a solo game. Minimize those barriers to entry!
At the start, it can be difficult to see what the run will look like from a single card. Yet there are ability icons to pick up to have better options in the market.
I enjoyed how this wasn’t about just laying out paths directly adjacent to each other to make a long line.
Finding ways to loop back around turned out to be really interesting, especially with the obstacles! The yetis looked all nice and friendly, but don’t underestimate them. Ha!
It came down to a certain degree of luck as I went back and forth with winning and losing, yet each play was very fun.
Frozen in Place
Watch out for the forests! Without enough energy, any skier will end up looking exactly like this Calico Critter penguin dressed up like an ice cream cone. Realistic. Ha!
The ability to flip cards 180 degrees was also very helpful to add some decisions. At the same time, I didn’t feel like I was ever completely lost without any decent choices.
My scores remained pretty consistent, aside from the moments when I knew things were going poorly.
All in all, I thought this was an excellent addition to my collection of wallet-size games… Perfect for winter, too!
Play Number: 1-4
Solo Mode: Included in the Base Game
Play Details: Normal Difficulty Level
Outcome: 23-20, 19-20, 21-19, 15-17 (2 Wins & 2 Losses)
Best of all, the back of the rules booklet includes a detailed scoring example… And it makes sense! I wasn’t lost with any rules questions. The ability to increase the difficulty level should make for some more fun in the future. It’s nice to have a challenge like this to build these twisting paths down and around the mountain. Definitely a great time I didn’t see coming… Much like a speeding skier. Ha!
Price & Value
Challenges & Mechanics
Design & Theme
Components & Rules
Achievement & Enjoyment
Distinctness & Randomness
+ Pros (Positives)
- Although the paths may not stand out too much, they’re generally easy to visually follow across the cards.
- There is a very fun challenge in finding ways to extend a route by criss-crossing and connecting other areas.
- The available cards in the market provide interesting choices that can be improved by earning special abilities.
- Despite the rules booklet being small and short, it contains all of the needed information and a scoring example.
- Play time moves very quickly since each card can be used in some way, often helping set up a decent run.
- Forests and yetis provide pleasant obstacles for a bit of flavor, although collecting energy is a vital strategy.
– Cons (Negatives)
- It can be a little too easy to lose track of the desired start point when planning how to place a newly chosen card.
- There aren’t too many symbols to remember, yet forgetting to activate a market ability can happen a few times.
- Not a lot of variety exists with the way a route will progress and nothing is particularly memorable about a run.
- Scoring takes extra time as the route must be traced multiple times to count and compare certain symbols.
Score the Most Points
- Overall Goal Progress 67% 67%
Goals and Milestones
Score at least 20 points.
Win at least 1 game at the normal difficulty level.
Score at least 25 points.
Continue the Conversation
What do you think of Super Slopes? Are there other solo games you have lined up to play during certain seasons? It was quite nice to connect up the routes and watch my imaginary skier fly across the snow! Maybe I was also a little too excited to bring out some wintry Calico Critters. Ha ha! In any event, tabletop skiing is finally possible over here!