Review of Sled Storm (1999) — Let it snow, let it snow, let it snocross

For those of you who like it when I talk about racing games…It’s that time once again.  When we talk about Electronic Arts’ racing-game catalog, the first series that pops into our noggins is usually Need for Speed, Burnout, or Road Rash.  But for this review, we’re delving into one of EA’s most obscure titles, that being a game about driving snowmobiles at high speeds across treacherous mountains and bumpy snocross tracks.  Hold onto your controller and have hot chocolate at the ready as you carve up the snow in Sled Storm.

Watch out for that tree

Released in 1999 for the original PlayStation, Sled Storm broke ground as the first snowmobile videogame.  There’s no storyline to be found; You just pick a character and race on a handful of snow-covered tracks.  Open Mountain is where you’ll race for money so you can give your sled some upgrades, but it won’t be easy due to the cliffs, ice, darkness, and other hazards you’ll have to do battle with.  When you feel that your sled is customized enough, you can take part in Super Snocross races and attempt to unlock extra characters.  Not only will you unlock characters and tracks by winning races, but you can also perform mid-air tricks and bust through destructible objects to earn some extra cash.  And you’ll want as much dinero as possible, because every sled-upgrade counts.

If you want to take to the winter wonderlands with up to three friends, Sled Storm allows you to do just that in both quick race and championship modes.  When setting up a one-off race, you get to choose the time of day, weather, and amount of laps.  You and your fellow riders will be treated with a graphics engine that holds up quite well despite the limitations of the PS1.  The voice-acting isn’t anything spectacular, but you can drown it out with a soundtrack that features popular artists like Rob Zombie, Econoline Crush, and Jeff van Dyck.

Back of my Dragula

Even nearly 21 years after its release date, Sled Storm is a hidden gem in EA’s resume and a tight racing game in general.  If you like racers of any kind, this one belongs in your PS1 library.  Don’t worry, it won’t give you frostbite no matter how often you play it.