The creator of 1080 Snowboarding returns with a brand new game built from the ground up for VR headsets.
Available now on Oculus Quest, Carve Snowboarding is easily one of the most interesting action sports games currently accessible on VR headsets. From the one-of-a-kind snowboarding gameplay to the plethora of content to unlock, Chuhai Labs totally nailed what it feels like to hit the slopes and shred some gnar. Developed in collaboration with Giles Goddard, the same mind behind the Nintendo 64 classic 1080° Snowboarding, Carve Snowboarding is a snowboarder’s dream VR game, offering riders a mountain’s worth of content to explore and collectibles to discover.
Your professional snowboarding career begins in your cabin. This cozy location serves as your main base of operations in Carve Snowboarding. Here you can peruse through your collection of snowboards and mittens, customize your music playlist with a variety of indie tracks, listen to the radio, and play around with your snowball canon. You can even lower your blood pressure in between rounds by petting your virtual dog! It’s also here that you can select from a variety of courses to ride and game modes to compete in.
Each course you select offers two arcade-style game modes: Freestyle and Time Attack. Whereas the former has you hitting jumps and grinding rails to rack up high scores, the ladder is all about speed, tasking you with completing specific courses within a set period of time. As you shred your way throughout each course, you’ll have the opportunity to unlock additional content, including new gloves, mixtapes, and boards which can be accessed via the aforementioned cabin. Choosing the right equipment is crucial in Carve Snowboarding as you’ll be faced with a variety of different environmental conditions to overcome. For example, some boards are designed specifically for Time Attack because of their speed, while others are better used for Freestyle due to their improved control. Speaking of board control, let’s talk about gameplay.
Carve Snowboarding features unique VR locomotion mechanics that do a commendable job at replicating the sensation of riding a snowboard. Standing perpendicular to the slope, your boards’ movement is determined by the position of your arms. If you’re standing regular (left foot forward) for instance, moving your left arm back while swinging your right arm forward allows you to turn your board left, and vice-versa. To jump, all you need to do is lift both of your arms in the air; the higher you go, the bigger your air. This is how you perform tricks in Carve Snowboarding.
While air-born, you can grab different parts of your board to perform a wide variety of real-world tricks. By holding down your trigger and swinging your arms, you can wrack up even more points by completing spins. Much like an actual snow park, Carve Snowboarding’s virtual mountain is littered with jumps (both natural and man-made) as well as various boxes and rails to grind.
While the controls may sound complicated, they make a lot more sense once you’ve completed a handful of runs. As an avid snowboarder myself, I was impressed at how natural the controls began to feel after just an hour or so in-game, especially when you consider the complete lack of lower-body tracking.
Chuhai Labs and Goddard did a phenomenal job at redesigning the fundamental movements of snowboarding for use with motion controls, resulting in an incredibly satisfying action sports experience. Seriously, I could spend hours just mindlessly carving through virtual powder. In fact, that’s exactly what I’m going to do right now.
Carve Snowboarding is available now for $19.99 on Oculus Quest and Oculus Quest 2 headsets.
Feature Image Credit: Chuhai Labs