On the day of the first snowfall of the season in my town, I downloaded the festive game Toppluva from the App Store, instantly charmed by the game’s simple, cute graphics. The gameplay is deceptively simple: you control a skier stationed at the top of a mountain, and you must get them to the bottom safely, dodging trees, rocks, telephone poles, and other such hazards. You also must get them to slalom: to ski by a series of flags, making sure to pass by each flag on a certain side. The tricky part is timing your turns just right to maneuver correctly and also to avoid wiping out. You’re being timed as you go down, earning either a bronze, silver, or gold medal for every level you pass. If you reach under the bronze threshold, the level is simply “cleared.” Ads appear in this game every so often, and they’re not easily skippable, but they don’t really affect gameplay any.
Toppluva is definitely not a game for perfectionists. There are six levels in every mountain venue that you can unlock, and you must score at least a bronze to unlock the next set of levels. The urge to score the expert level and try for gold died quickly in the game. Higher levels of this game add different challenges to the levels, such as “Mount Snowblind,” where, as implied, a heavy snowfall blocks your vision. Toppluva requires patience, impeccable timing, and the ability not to get discouraged seeing the many tracks that your character has left in the snow, signifying all of your previous attempts at this level and your subsequent failures. I didn’t have any of these traits, but I would definitely recommend the game to others. Better hands than mine are well-suited to get Lars down the hill to safety. It wasn’t you, Toppluva, it was me.