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Winter Games 2023 Icon
Winter Games 2023

Developer: Independent Arts

Publisher: Wild River Games

Competititve Mutliplayer
  • Price: $39.99
  • Release Date: Oct 13, 2022
  • Number of Players: 1 - 4
  • Last on Sale: Feb 8, 2024 [$29.99]
  • Lowest Historic Price: $19.99
  • ESRB Rating: E [Everyone]
  • While not every event is medal-worthy, this game’s 10 Olympic events work surprisingly well and make for fun competition

    The family ritual every time there’s a multiplayer game to check out and record video has become predictably grim in my household. I try to put on a big smile and quietly float the need to get everyone together to play, but the responses can get ugly. The thing is, periodically we get the chance to be collectively surprised by something like Winter Games 2023 and have a good time, so it doesn’t always have to be a chore. First and foremost, as someone who has played a ton of multi-sport titles going back to the days of the Commodore 64, is that as a whole the controls work quite well. This is always a challenge, with some titles complicating things to the point that casual players struggle, and others going too far into simplicity, greatly reducing the potential for real competition. Though there are a few events like the Ski and Snowboard Cross where jumping specifically is not sufficiently explained, leading to some frustration as everyone tries to figure out the nuances of how to make it work, most of it is intuitive, sensible, and accessible. Even better, while there are control similarities in some events there isn’t a reliance on any specific skill. Some events are about timing, others about tapping buttons quickly, others require you to get into a rhythm with, and best of all most involve some combination of all the above. While not everyone may be as excited as my family was, one detail nobody missed was that the events sometimes featured men, and sometimes it was women, with the cherry on top being that none of them felt stereotypical either. You were just controlling athletes, and doing your best, but normalizing the fact it could be anyone was a great touch. It may be lacking the official license, and won’t be to everyone’s tastes, but this is one of the few multi-event games in the indie space that shines more than it falters.

    Justin Nation, Score:
    Nindie Choice! [8.1]

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