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Video Game / Snowboard Kids

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Look at the size of those things! (By which we mean the noses, of course.)

Snowboard Kids is an action racing series produced by Atlus and Racjin debuting in 1997 on the Nintendo 64. While it didn't make much of a splash compared to similar first-party titles, the cute atmosphere and unique character designs were part of what helped it gain enough recognition to spawn two sequels - Snowboard Kids 2 and Snowboard Kids Plus (the latter released only in Japan for the PlayStation).

Years of inactivity passed until 2005, when SBK: Snowboard Kids was announced out of the blue for the Nintendo DS. Unfortunately, this attempt at re-imagining the series to appeal to teenagers did poorly with both critics and the fanbase. Despite this, Atlus claims they haven't given up on the series yet, but only time will tell...

The series consists of the following games:

  • Snobow Kids (1997, N64)
    • Snowboard Kids (1998, N64)
  • Snobow Kids Plus (1999, PS1): Japan only, essentially a Mission-Pack Sequel of the previous game.
  • Chō Snobow Kids (1999, N64)
    • Snowboard Kids 2 (1999, N64)
  • SBK: Snowboard Kids (2005, NDS)
    • Snowboard Kids Party (2005, NDS): Released in Japan a few days after the US version.

This series contains examples of the following tropes:
  • Bizarrchitecture: The houses on Snowboard Street in 2 are shaped like the people who live in them, including Damien's. ...Wait, Damien lives in Snow Town?
  • Bo Diddley Beat: The theme for Starlight Highway uses the Bo Diddley beat, then plays around with it before it loops again.
  • The Computer Is a Cheating Bastard: Good Lord, where do we start...the first game gets ridiculous by the last few courses due to unfair AI advantages and Shinobin. This is toned down in the second game, but Expert Mode brings back the omniscient AI just to taunt you.
  • Cool and Unusual Punishment: Linda wants Nicole to eat peanuts with her eyes. Nicole wants Linda to eat spaghetti through her nose. Pamela tries to get them to do both in her ending.
    • By the way, Linda is the only one who actually goes through with it. Yuck.
  • Comeback Mechanic: In 2, race position determines which powerups are obtained from blue drops.
  • Company Cameo: Some of the courses have banners with the names of series producers Atlus and Racjin on them; Big Snowman, for example, has them both right at the finish line.
  • Cutting Off the Branches: Plus takes place only a short time after 1, and makes it clear that Linda was the winner.
  • Drop the Washtub: The Pan item, which flattens everyone save for the user. The DS game uses a 1000-ton weight instead, minus the squishing.
  • Easy Levels, Hard Bosses: Very much so, even though the series itself spans only three bosses in 2 and a single boss fought multiple times in SBK: Snowboard Kids.
  • Fantasy Kitchen Sink: 2 introduces a veritable one, compared to the more mundane settings of the other games.
  • Free-Range Children: The characters are all around the 10-11 age range, yet there seem to be no parents to stop them from having races in the jungle. Or in a haunted house. Or underwater. Or in space.
  • Gag Nose: Sported by everyone in the original series.
  • Here We Go Again!: The ending of 2. Damien will never stop, will he?
  • Honest Axe: Spoofed in one of the second game's Yonkoma. A hooded stranger approaches Linda and asks if the pan she dropped just then was gold or silver. She gleefully admits the former in hopes of having it returned; unfortunately for her, the stranger turns out to be a disgruntled Slash.
  • Implied Love Interest: In Snowboard Kids 2 the implied couples are Slash and Linda, Jam and Wendy, and Tommy and Nancy.
  • Incredible Shrinking Man: The basis behind the "Wendy's House" level in Snowboard Kids 2, as the eponymous character built a course in her own home.
  • Interface Screw: A projectile item, staple to the series, turns any opponents it hits into a snowman, preventing him or her from steering for several seconds.
  • Invisible Parents: Aside from brief mentions of Linda and Nicole's family members, we never actually get to see any parental figures. Except Slash's mother.
  • Personal Space Invader: The Ghosts, once deployed, will zero in on the opposing racer in the highest position and harass him or her. During this time, the afflicted character's top speed is halved. This can be stacked up to three times.
  • Purposefully Overpowered: The Dragon Board in 2. Your reward for beating the hardest challenge in the game (and that's saying something) is the ultimate power trip: A board with perfect speed and trick stats (if abysmal turning). Fly across every track in the game and revel in the Dragon Board's ridiculousness.
  • Random Events Plot: While the other games in the series involved a tournament, 2 has this instead. The only thing tying everything together is Damien.
  • Recycled In Space: Mario Kart ON SNOWBOARDS!
  • Remember the New Guy?: The new characters in Plus, though 3/4 have an explanation for their absence - Nicole is from a different town, Pamela was working on a film at the time, and Ruby simply didn't take notice since no prize money was involved.
  • Stealth Pun: The reason the characters have their characteristically large noses is because "nose" ("ノーズ") and "snow" ("スノー") are (phonetic) anagrams.
  • Wacky Racing: Most of the racetracks? They have no snow.
  • Wake-Up Call Boss: in 2, Damien is this this in Ice Land. He is a master at using tricks to reflect your projectiles; you may have seen CPUs sparingly before, but never with the precision success Damien does. But it's the final level, so how is this a wake-up call? Well, after you beat this and the final boss, you have expert mode, where everyone is going to be pulling trick reflections on you. It will make Damien look like a warm-up.
  • Yonkoma: The instruction manuals for the first and second games featured these, showing off all the items.
  • Younger Than They Look: In Plus, this is lampshaded in Ruby's bio, where it mentions that he often gets mistaken for a chaperone. Also, most of the girls shown in Plus are 10-11 but look like they're at least in their mid-teens due to their well-developed figures.