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SkiFree was created by Chris Pirih, a Microsoft employee that developed the game using C for his own personal entertainment and was discovered playing his own game during work hours. This led to the game being included in the Microsoft Entertainment Pack in 1991.
The gameplay is fairly simple, all you have to do is to ski down the slope in one of the four available lanes using either the mouse or keyboard. When using the mouse you simply move the mouse and the skier will turn towards it. You also right-click to jump. When using the keyboard the arrow keys are used to turn the skier. There are several different objects for you to interact with in the game, including ski jumps and dogs; and other objects for you to avoid, including other skiers, trees, and ski lift poles.
At the start of the game there are three lanes for you to choose from, each one giving you different tasks to complete during your run.
- The free-style course - where you collect style points by doing flips and other tricks.
- The slalom course - a slalom course where your goal is to ski on the correct side of red and blue flags.
- The tree slalom course - which is the same as the normal slalom course except that trees are scattered along the course., making it more difficult.
Alternatively, You could of course skip all of these courses and just ski free. After completing your chosen course you are left to "ski free" until you are chased by an abominable snow monster at 2000 meters. The monster will eat you almost 100% of the time. Technically it's possible to escape him but then another will take his place. It is still possible to beat the second and loop the game, but is nearly impossible and most gamers consider it an unbeatable task.