original German edition
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The players have teams of downhill snowboard racers and are competing with each other for the coveted Yeti cup. Movement is managed by playing cards to move their racers, but all players also have cards which cause the Yetis, watching from the hills on each side of the race course, to throw snowballs at the racers, trying to knock them out of the race. Thus, it becomes a sort of obstacle course as the racers race down the course as fast as they can, but always on the alert for snowballs. The player to get his entire team across the finish line first, wins the Yeti cup and the game!
The theme has potential, but the game is sub-par.
Overall, the artwork is confusing and the game is too elementary to have any real replay value, even for our young kids.
The drawings of the snowboarders and Yeti's are unclear which makes it challenging to just determine what racer you have and which Yeti is which. I would have preferred Snowboarder game pieces instead of cards so at least the game pieces would have looked cool.
In the end, even improved game pieces wouldn't make up for the over simplistic movement of the pieces and the random luck of rolling the dice to see whether you knock over your opponent or not.
We've tried to like this game, but it doesn't engage either the kids or the parents.
Unfortunately, Yeti Slalom won't get many more runs on our slopes. It has quickly found it's way to the back of the closet.
This game is at the lighter end of the gaming spectrum. It's a simple race where you score points for reaching the end of a course, or more likely, you earn points by knocking slalom riders off the course by throwing snowballs. You see -- it really is light and fluffy!
The course is a board 5 spaces wide and 6 spaces long. Players get a hand of four slalom racers worth 1 to 4 points. Each racer will score points for reaching the end of the track -- the earliest ones will score more than later ones, though in the games I've played so far, only 2 racers have reached the end of the course.
Each side of the course is guarded by Yeti, who throw snowballs at the racers. Each of them can hit the four nearest spaces, so there is an overlap on the middle three squares and one only square which the yeti on the other side of the course cannot affect. The twenty yeti are evenly dealt out to each player at the beginning of the game. That makes two for each row of the five rows of the course. When a yeti throws a snowball, it knocks off slalom racers according to the throw of the dice. A six will knock off any racers from all four of the nearest squares, a five will remove them from the nearest three squares and so on, with a 1 or 2 always failing. The points scored are the points of each person's racers.
Since you only know the yeti cards that you own, you can plot a course, which might minimise the chance of your racers being knocked off the course. Since you either have to move a racer or use a yeti, one tactic seems to be to send down your lower valued racers, hoping to draw the fire of other yeti, so that later racers can choose a safer route. Much will depend on the yeti cards you have been dealt. If you have more on one side than the other, then that side might be favoured; if you have duplicates, then you know certain squares are safe as only you can affect these.
Obviously there is luck when throwing the dice, but the rules allow you extra throws if you hand in one of two snowball cards that you are given at the beginning of the game. These let you re-roll for a poor throw, with the better roll being the one that counts.
Skilful players, who like to control a game will avoid this one, though the graphics are cute. I also guarantee that someone will try to use a yeti card for a position that belongs elsewhere. After all if you've seen one yeti throwing a snowball, you've probably seen them all, but they do have similarities and these can cause confusion, especially if you're playing late at night and couldn't care less anyway.
So, should you get this game? It's light and fun and will probably appeal to children, but it will get more plays with children under 50 than with those of a more advanced age.