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Skifree screenshot.png
SkiFree opening screen
Developer(s)Chris Pirih
Platform(s)Microsoft Windows, Game Boy Color, Macintosh
Mode(s)Single player

SkiFree is a computer game created by Chris Pirih and released with the Microsoft Entertainment Pack in 1991. It is a simple game in which the player controls a skier avoiding obstacles on a mountain slope. It is often remembered for its Abominable Snow Monster, which pursues the player after they finish a full run.


The player controls a skier across a white background representing snow on a mountainside. The object of the game is to ski down an endless slope and avoid the obstacles. The game includes three modes: slalom, free style, and tree slalom. In slalom, players ski between two sets of flags (red and blue) while trying to get the best time. In free style, players ski downhill while racking up points by doing tricks. Tree slalom adds obstacles to the slalom run (trees, stumps, and dogs). There is also a "free ski" mode, with no objective. When the player heads past 2,000 m (6,600 ft), the Abominable Snow Monster appears and starts to chase the player, eating them if it catches them.


Chris Pirih, a programmer for Microsoft, created SkiFree in C on his home computer for his own education and entertainment.[1] The game eventually attracted the attention of a program manager for the Microsoft Entertainment Pack when he noticed Pirih playing it at work. With Pirih's consent, Microsoft included the game in the next Entertainment Pack release in 1991.[2]

The game was featured in the Best of Microsoft Entertainment Pack and was available as a ported version for the original Macintosh. SkiFree was also one of seven games included in The Best of Entertainment Pack released for Game Boy Color in 2001.[3][4]

In 1993, Pirih started work on a second version of the game, but it was abandoned for other projects as the original source code was lost.[1] It was finally released in 2008.

Because the initial SkiFree release was a 16-bit Windows program, compatibility issues arose when running the game in newer versions of Windows. Pirih noted that users of Windows XP can configure the operating system to run 16-bit Windows programs, resolving the problem for some. Other solutions involve running Windows 3.1 in DOSBox.

On April 4, 2005, Pirih announced the rediscovery of the game's source code and the creation of a 32-bit version of SkiFree. The updated version is available on his official SkiFree website for free.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b Creator Chris Pirih's Official SkiFree website
  2. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on January 30, 2016. Retrieved 2015-10-23.
  3. ^ " Microsoft: The Best of Entertainment Pack". Archived from the original on May 5, 2008. Retrieved August 10, 2007.
  4. ^ " entry for Microsoft: The Best of Entertainment Pack". Archived from the original on September 30, 2007. Retrieved August 10, 2007.

External links[edit]