Grand Mountain Adventure: Wonderlands review (Switch)

We might be heading into spring and leaving the winter behind us, but Microids has just released Grand Mountain Adventure: Wonderlands for the PC and Nintendo Switch. Developed by Toppluva, we tried out a bit of downhill skiing on the Switch.

When we first saw screenshots and footage for Grand Mountain Adventure: Wonderlands, it instantly reminded us of Lonely Mountains: Downhill, which we really enjoyed. Needless to say, expectations were high, so we were eager to get our hands on the game, which offers a choice between skis and a snowboard for your antics on the slopes.

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Of course, first impressions are sometimes deceptive, and in this case they made us not realize that Grand Mountain Adventure is much more of an open world experience than we had anticipated, rewarding exploration rather than just offering a series of runs for you to do in sequence. And while lonely mountains gave players plenty of chances to explore mid-run, it’s nice to have an overworld with ski lifts where you can explore a big game world in search of new runs.

Once you find such a run, the gameplay opens up further by letting you engage with specific objectives for each of them, which can be time-based or can emphasize accuracy or tricks. It’s a nice mix of casually exploring the mountainside and pushing for higher scores and rewards, the latter of which include ski passes that allow for access to even more content. With runs that are spread out across a dozen different mountains, there is a good amount of stuff to unlock and enjoy here.

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The gameplay, thanks to easy to grasp controls, is a lot of fun as well, though the zoomed out perspective of the otherwise excellent visuals can make it hard to apply precision to your movements down the slopes. On the plus side, it does provide a lovely vista as you go downhill, either solo or with friends. Grand Mountain Adventure supports multiplayer for up to four players at once, which should add plenty of replay value once you’re done exploring and unlocking content.

If you’re not planning on going the local multiplayer route then you might miss the fun and challenges that a vibrant online community can bring to a game like this, but other than that this is a really fun game with excellent visuals and relaxing gameplay that rewards exploration. It feels a bit out of place at the tail end of March, but we look forward to extending the winter a bit with this one.

Score: 8.0/10

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