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The Spokesman-Review Newspaper
Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883

The Tech Deck

This week’s free game: “Ski or Die!”

Are you a gamer? Do you like free things? Of course you do!

We here at the Tech Deck are just like you: poor gamers looking for cheap entertainment. And nothing's cheaper than cost-free gaming. Each week, we'll bring you a title (or two or three) you can legally play at home without plopping down a single dollar. If you see games you think we should be featuring on the blog, email us at or

Extreme sports games weren't birthed with the Tony Hawk franchise. In 1988, Electronic Arts and Konami released "Skate or Die!" a top-down skateboarding game that attempted to re-create the counterculture pull of the sport that featured a skate shop owner bearing a striking resemblance to Rodney Dangerfield. In 1989, Electronic Arts  took the action to the slopes with follow-up "Ski or Die!" While the weather outside is frightful, take a crack at this game, free below from the folks at Internet Archive!

In-game screenshot of Ski or Die!
Click here to play Ski or Die! free in your browser!

Up to six players could compete in five snow-themed minigames, from downhill skiing to throwing snowballs at children (really). The goal is to score as many points in this minigames as possible, and (presumably) get Rodney some respect. Use the arrow keys to move and the ENTER key to propel yourself (default). 

Rob Hubbard, an early video game sound artist who crafted tunes for games like Commando and Warhawk, provided the score for Ski or Die!, as he'd done for Skate or Die! EA followed up Ski or Die! with 1990's "Skate or Die! 2: The Search for Double Trouble." That game was praised for its sound direction, bringing voice recording and electric guitar to the NES. And presumably setting a countless number of miscreants on a path to juvenile delinquency.

Do you have a favorite action sports game? Do you think it's weird that Rodney Dangerfield would sell you downhill ski equipment? Let us know in the comments below, and check back in 2016 for another free game.

Kip Hill
Kip Hill joined The Spokesman-Review in 2013. He currently is a reporter for the City Desk, covering the marijuana industry, local politics and breaking news. He previously hosted the newspaper's podcast.

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