We just wanted to play as Holly H really. The gregarious 20-something TikTok-er from Guernsey stars alongside several other influencers in this irreverent Trials-style platformer, but she requires 46 tokens to unlock and we’re rubbish at the game. So, we spent several hours playing as a Hungarian cosplayer, avoiding dynamite being tossed at us by monkeys – all while straddling an inflatable hot sauce bottle! Then we experienced an existential crisis, before returning to reality and writing this review.
That hot sauce bottle, by the way, ejaculates liquid inferno everywhere, as you commandeer it down rapids and ruins in mildly Mayan (?) environments. We felt a little bit sorry for Sveta Bilyalova – a model from Russia, apparently – as we accidentally capsized the tractor tire we assigned as her vehicle, but Veronica Bielik came off worst: we fed her to an alligator while she was sitting on a strawberry. Sorry about that V.
Slide Stars is actually not all that bad, it’s just hard as nails. The gameplay sees you precariously balancing your rider, and depending on whether you’re piloting an oversized coin or a baby turtle, every vehicle controls slightly differently. The social media superstars each have different specialties, whether it’s gaming, fashion, or travel, and thus can inexplicably open up different paths in the stages, unlocking secrets and shortcuts along the way.
And yet despite its inclusion of uplifting yet ultimately vapid inspirational statements, the whole thing comes across as cynical to us. The developer’s dreamed up an agreeable yet largely mediocre Trials clone and stroked the egos of a bunch of influencers in order to give it a cast of characters that a terrifying number of children will be attracted to. On the one hand, you’ve got to respect the hustle of the studio, finding a way to make its otherwise unremarkable title stand out from the crowd. On the other hand, Holly H has to be unlocked, and we’re not sure we’ll ever forgive for the company for that.