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SkiFree Windows Starting the game, ski down to one of the three courses.




SkiFree is the standalone version of the game originally included as a part of the Microsoft Entertainment Pack 3 (1991) for Windows 3.x, and later made available separately for Windows 3.x. It was then re-compiled for 32-bit Windows systems when the author found back the source code and released it for free through his website.

Players control a skier on a downhill slope on a mountain. From the start, three types of courses can be selected, but these can also be ignored. In Slalom, the skier needs to pass flags on the right side and makes his way down to the finish. Tree Slalom is identical, but has a lot of trees on the course. The final one is Freestyle were points are scored by performing jumps and doing tricks in the air, followed by a safe landing.

The skier can be steered using the keyboard or the mouse. It is also possible to jump, but the biggest ones are achieved with the help of rocks, bumps and rainbow-coloured pads. After the finish, the skier can move on until he is caught by the abominable snow monster. There are various obstacles, such as trees, snowboarders, rocks and more.


SkiFree Windows Chased by a snowboarder.
SkiFree Windows Starting the game, ski down to one of the three courses.
SkiFree Windows 3.x Trying to catch up with a snowboarder (16-bit version).
SkiFree Windows Passing a flag turns it green.

Promo Images

SkiFree Other Windows icon

Alternate Titles

  • "WinSki" -- Working title

User Reviews

There are no reviews for this game.

Critic Reviews

HonestGamers (Staff reviews only) Windows 3.x Mar 08, 2007 7 out of 10 70 Windows 3.x Apr 08, 2009 7 Stars7 Stars7 Stars7 Stars7 Stars7 Stars7 Stars7 Stars7 Stars7 Stars 70 Windows Apr 08, 2009 7 Stars7 Stars7 Stars7 Stars7 Stars7 Stars7 Stars7 Stars7 Stars7 Stars 70
HonestGamers (Staff reviews only) Windows Mar 08, 2007 7 out of 10 70
Thunderbolt Games Windows 3.x Jul 16, 2005 4 out of 10 40 Windows 3.x Jan 23, 1999 2 out of 10 20


Topic # Posts Last Post
2001? 3 Pseudo_Intellectual (64350)
Apr 17, 2015


First inspired by Activision's 1980 Skiing game for the Atari 2600, long before Windows, came along an early textmode version of Ski Free. Chris Pirih had developed the game in Fortran using VT100 escape sequences and text scolling for the VAX/VMS machines at his school, the University of Puget Sound.

The famous graphical version of Ski Free was written in C at home in spare time while Chris was employed by Microsoft, working on OS/2 products. A happy accident occured when the program manager for the Windows Entertainment Pack caught a glimpse of a Windows version, titled WinSki, over the shoulder of Chris during a moment of goofing-off. The program manager would not rest until it was included in the entertainment pack. The marketing department disliked the WinSki name, and decided to change it to SkiFree for release.

A second, enhanced version went into development in 1993 (with plans for "slightly more realistic physics, multi-player, network play, robot opponents, and sounds"), but was shelved after the original source code was lost.

Since then the original source has been rediscovered in 2005, and the author has taken the opportunity to compile a new version of the program native for 32-bit operating environments. In the meantime a fan, Michael Holt, has also made a fan port to the TI-92.

Following the successful completion of a course, the player is granted a sandbox stretch of free, goal-less skiing... at the end of which (at 2000m) an Abominable Snowman charges in from the side to gobble the player up.

Curiously, an intrepid hiker who slogs against gravity up the ski hill will also eventually encounter a Yeti some distance above the start point; a zippy and evasive ski bum who manages to elude the bottom Yeti will discover that it is the same as the top: the ski hill loops, the world a giant snowball -- or at least cylinder.

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Contributed to by Sciere (780625) and Xoleras (66458)
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