If you’re looking for a skiing game with somewhat casual, easy-to-learn mechanics and stunning graphics, Toppluva AB’s Grand Mountain Adventure might be for you. The game is available for iOS and Android devices, and it invites you to “explore entire mountains” in an exquisite skiing and snowboarding adventure.
There are various types of challenges to complete, as well as different useful items to pick up and lifts to unlock, and we’re only talking about the free version, which is essentially a demo version for the paid edition. That version comes with even more mountains, challenges, and other content, but we’d say the free version offers quite a lot on its own.
Over the past few weeks, we’ve covered a number of games that focus on the world of extreme sports, such as Touchgrind Skate 2 and Pumped BMX Flow. Now we wouldn’t necessarily put skiing in the same category, but considering that you can do air tricks on your skis and opt to use a snowboard instead of your default skis, we might as well continue the trend with this game.
Our Grand Mountain Adventure guide will cover everything you need to know about its free version, as we hope to help you properly navigate the courses, clear the gates, make the right jumps and tricks, and unlock more free content.
1. The Basics Of Grand Mountain Adventure
The essence of Grand Mountain Adventure is that it’s a game that tests your skiing abilities in navigating courses in as little time as possible, either by clearing the gates or reaching the finish line in an open setting without gates, reaching a certain distance on a ski jump, or racking up as many points as possible while performing tricks on your skis.
The game starts out with your user character next to the ski lodge, and you will need to follow the ski tracks as you make your way to the first available lift in the default mountain, which is Hirschalm. Take note that each time you start the app, you will need to navigate these tracks and head toward the first lift, though later on, as you unlock more content, you can use the map to make your way to other lifts and automatically travel to the other courses on the mountain.
When controlling your character, you can make him move forward faster by quickly tapping on the left and right poles. Lightly tapping on them allows you to make a slight left or right turn, and tapping on both poles at the same time lets you perform a jump.
You can also swipe left or right to make a harder turn, though we would advise you to save this for the tight turns and not to tap too hard or too frequently when trying to steady yourself. This could make your character much harder to control and have you straying off the path, as marked by the ski tracks or by the arrows.
As you travel toward to the lift, you will notice that the game will give you some pointers on how to control your character — if you haven’t done the particular move being described, we would suggest ignoring these advisories and focusing on getting to the lift. Once there, you can tap on the lift once to get on, then rapidly tap on it in order to quickly reach your destination.
If you’re unable to complete any of the courses or challenges, you can tap on the rewind icon on the upper left corner of the screen to go back to the start. But if you complete these challenges, you can earn Ski Passes, which unlock new lifts and courses — you’ll get one Ski Pass if you receive a Bronze medal based on the required time/required number of points, two Ski Passes if you get a Silver medal, and three if you get a Gold medal. These will only be given for the first time you get any of the three medals, and not if you just so happened to beat your high score/best time while replaying the challenges!
As far as we can see, the game only has local multiplayer functionality as an alternative to single-player competition, so your goals in Grand Mountain Adventure will mostly revolve around beating your fastest time or highest score, depending on the course. Also keep in mind that the free version of the game only has one mountain available, though we’re going to tell you later on about what you can expect if you purchase the full version.
2. Don’t Bump Into Too Many Obstacles To Avoid Missing The Gate
When navigating courses in Grand Mountain Adventure, you will be given some information on the path, particularly whether it’s an easy, intermediate, or hard path to travel. And that includes the type of course we’re going to be discussing next — courses where your goal is to clear the gates.
From that point, you’re pretty much on your own, though you will also need to avoid coming into contact with the various obstacles you will find in the course. These would include the fences that serve as barriers to keep you on the right track, as well as other NPC skiers that may also be on the course — coming into contact with these won’t just slow you down, but if you hit them three times, you will be notified that you missed the gate. This essentially means that you failed the course and will need to hit the rewind button to start again — or ski toward a nearby lift to retry the course or travel to another one.
On the other hand, there are courses where you’re simply asked to “ski to the goal.” In here, you don’t need to worry about avoiding obstacles to clear the gate, though you should also look out for unexpected hazards and jumps that could cause you to wipe out if you aren’t careful!
3. Ignore The Ghost Skier And The Flashing Times
Regardless of the type of challenge you’re trying to complete in Grand Mountain Adventure, you will see someone seeing next to you, seemingly in shadow form of sorts. There’s a reason why you cannot actually bump into that character, and that’s because this is your “ghost skier” representing the path you took during your fastest or highest-scoring run in the course. While some players might want to mimic that path as closely as possible, we suggest trying to ignore the ghost, as that could cause you to get distracted or unnecessarily pressured.
You can also turn the ghost off by tapping on the Settings option, going to the Game section, and selecting Off. (Alternately, you can have the ghost skier replicate your last attempt and not the best one.)
Similarly, we would recommend ignoring the times that flash on the screen and add up (or go down) in the “Gate” section on the upper right corner of the screen. These times tell you how many seconds you are ahead or behind your best time, and we would argue that these can also be a source of distraction or unnecessary pressure.
That information may have been designed to be helpful, but that might not be the case for all players, so if you’re just starting out, we suggest erring on the side of caution and trying your best to ignore those time differences that appear every few seconds or so.
4. Take Your Time When Performing Tricks On Your Skis
In the main screen, you can tap on Settings at the bottom left corner, then swipe right or tap on the Help button to access a list of controls. On the left side, you’ll see your basic skinning maneuvers, which you may have already been taught through the random tutorial notifications that appear while you’re skiing toward the first lift.
What you’ll want to pay closer attention to is the list of tricks, which includes the Spin (drag any pole outward), Flip (drag upward for backflip, drag downward for front flip), Crunch (drag both poles inward), Spread (drag both poles outward), Roll (drag one pole up and the other one down), and Rodeo (drag one pole up and the other to the side).
These are pretty much standard controls for your average extreme sports game, and you’ll need to master these in order to get a high score in the challenges that require you to do tricks — in Hirschalm, that would be Glacier Park.
When performing aerial tricks in Grand Mountain Adventure, you will earn points depending on the height and/or distance of the trick. You can also combine more than one trick on the same jump, but that will take exquisite timing to pull off and if that timing isn’t right, that will invariably lead to another “unfortunate landing” or “edge cut,” ending your run and forcing you to start again.
You’re going to need to land flat on your skis, and typically, that means paying close attention to your character and only reverting the position of your fingers or letting go of the screen once you’re comfortable that he’s going to make a good landing.
5. Repeating Tricks Is Only Good For Half-Credit
Those challenges that require you to do aerial tricks to score points are obviously geared toward determining if you’ve got what it takes to be an extreme skier. And that doesn’t just mean pulling off death-defying backflips or perhaps the rodeo maneuver with a perfect landing.
You also need to add some variety to your aerial moves, and that will be made clear by the game when you perform the exact same move a second time in a row while making ski jumps. That’s because you will only be awarded half the points if you do a “repeated” move, and that could be costly if you’re aiming for a silver or gold medal and hoping for additional Ski Passes!
On the opposite side of the spectrum, the game will give you an additional multiplier of 0.5 per trick you combine with another one. That means if you’re trying a backflip into a rodeo, that’s going to be the regular score for a backflip x 1.5 if you’re able to complete it successfully! With that in mind, it’s probably best to string these combo moves together if you’re dealing with an especially high jump.
6. Getting Distance On Ski Jumps Is All About Timing
Another type of challenge you may encounter in Grand Mountain Adventure is the one that requires you to reach a certain distance with your jumps. Here, you don’t necessarily need to perform any aerial tricks — all you need to do is to perform a straight-ahead jump with no fancy moves needed and reach the target in order to get a Ski Pass.
Although even the ski jump challenges designated as Easy could be a bit challenging for first-time players, there is a way to get the required distance, and it all starts out by building up enough speed. That means minimizing any actions that might cause you to slow down a bit while gaining momentum.
Next, you’ll want to tap on both ski poles to jump before you reach the peak of the jump — this allows you to have the most possible momentum once you actually fly off on your skis, thus adding to your final distance once you touch the ground once again. Like just about everything else in this game, achieving long jumping distances all boils down to practice, but fortunately, there’s a game mode that gives you the opportunity to do just that.
7. Select Zen Mode For An Open-World Experience
If you’ve been checking the backpack menu on the regular, you may have noticed the Zen Mode option in the Modes section. What does this mode do and why should you give it a try when you’re not trying to beat your best performances in the game’s different courses?
To put it simply, Zen Mode is Grand Mountain Adventure’s equivalent of an open-world mode, which means you do not have any gates to clear, nor are there any point thresholds to reach when doing tricks. You can freely ski from one point on the map to another, use the lifts if you need to make things faster, and pretty much practice without having to deal with any stakes or pressure.
This would be particularly helpful if you’re trying to master the various tricks in the game — while you can still make a bad landing that could end your run, the good thing is that the bad landing won’t nullify your score, nor would crashing into obstacles result in a missed gate!
8. Collect The Backpack And Other Items
The default map in Grand Mountain Adventure is scattered with multiple items that can help you in your journey through the different courses in the game, and the first of these items is the backpack, which allows you to keep items in your inventory to begin with.
Next, you should spot the telescope, which gives you a closer look at your surroundings, though that’s probably the most basic of the four special tools you can pick up — the Replay Camera, Flowometer, and Snow Globe. The Replay Camera is self-explanatory — it allows you to play back your last run. The Flowometer measures how long you can create a smooth line of snow, and the Snow Globe removes tracks from the snow.
On the left side of the backpack menu, which you can access by tapping on the bag-shaped icon on the upper right of the screen, you will see the Equipment section. Here, you can choose whether you wish to use the Carving Skis, which are available by default, or the Carving Board, which is a snowboard.
Based on our observations, there doesn’t seem to be any difference between the Carving Skis and the Carving Board — it all appears to be cosmetic, so it’s pretty much your call as to whether you want to go through the game’s courses while riding a snowboard or while using a conventional pair of skis.
9. What Can You Get From The Full Version?
On the upper right corner of the intro screen, you will see the option to purchase the full version of Grand Mountain Adventure. Buying the game will set you back by $5 USD or its equivalent in local currency, and that will allow you to unlock new equipment, namely the twin-tip skis and twin-tip snowboard, as well as the remaining six mountains.
That’s right — Hirschalm is essentially a taste of what you can expect from the paid version, which includes Waldtal (Germany), Elnakka (Finland), Dalarna (Sweden), Rotkamm (Switzerland), Saint Luvette (France), and Passo Grolla (Italy). There are also new mountains arriving soon for paid players, so if you have five bucks of real-life currency to spare, this might be worth the purchase.
In addition to the six additional mountains and new equipment to unlock, the paid version also comes with a ton of new challenges, such as the slalom and Super G, that aren’t available at Hirschalm.
And this is where our Grand Mountain Adventure guide ends. Do you know more tips or tricks for the game? If so, feel free to drop us a line in the comment area!