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iPhone  header logo

Skater


For: iPhone   Also on: iPad

Being tricked

Product: Skater | Developer: Frosch Media | Publisher: Frosch Media | Format: iPhone | Genre: Multiplayer, Sports | Players: 1 | Networking: wireless (network) | Version: Europe | App version: 1.3
 
Skater iPhone, thumbnail 1
Skater is a serious skateboarding game for serious skateboarding fans.

It's an attempt at a realistic depiction of the act of flipping wood, complete with accurate recreations of the locations said wood is flipped, and a solid rendition of the culture and clothing and attitude that goes along with the sport of timber turning.

It's largely successful, but a number of cut corners in its design result in Skater just having a veneer of authenticity. And it's a veneer that begins to peel away as soon as you start scratching at the surface.

Just who is Ollie anyway?

If you think Epic Skater, Transworld Endless Skater or Tony Hawk's Shred Session are about as tough as mobile skateboarding games should get then you needn't apply for Skater.

You'll spend the first couple of hours with it just learning how to successfully pull off a kickflip with any degree of regularity, and trying to work out what each of the symbols for trick commands represent.

This latter issue is down to an inadequate tutorial that only ever covers the basics. The former is due to the complexity of the controls.

You place two thumbs on the screen to trick with the board, one in the middle of the plank and one at one of its tails. To Ollie you tap the back of the wood, to add a Kickflip you swipe left over its mid-section.

If you'd prefer a Shuvit then you can swipe horizontally on the tail instead, for a Manual you swipe down from the middle of the board and hold your thumb in place, and if you're about to land on a rail you simply tap and hold the part of the board you'd like to grind with.

This complexity is welcome, and theoretically it makes for a system where you can pull off any trick you desire, but in reality there are loads of tricks missing.

I couldn't Impossible, no grab tricks are available, Dark Slides are out of the question, and you can spin horizontally but not vertically. Skater's trick freedom is an easily shattered illusion then, a theme that persists throughout.

Grind

One of Skater's selling points is that it features real life skate parks and spots for you to shred. These locales are low key and realistic, and I really like that.

But often they consist of just two sets of stairs, or one rail. They're also hemmed in by invisible walls, even in areas you think you should be able to access for a sick trick.

When you unlock a small spot, or whizz through a building unphased because it technically doesn't exist in the game world, you end up disappointed, and the illusion of being able to achieve your personal skating goals erodes.

The game handles progression and unlocking new gear by demanding that you upload Runs.

These are sequences of tricks in a row that, when you're confident you've created something amazing, you can save and upload to a central server for other players to see.

It's a cool idea and - combined with online matches of HORSE - makes you feel a little less lonely in this otherwise solo experience.

With a surprisingly limited trick set and some disappointing courses, as well as a few rough edges, Skater's otherwise strong gameplay feels less complete than that of its competitors, and that's a pity.

It sorely needs some updates to raise it up to potential greatness, and currently will only appeal to those that have exhausted Touchgrind Skate 2 and True Skate.
 
Skater
Reviewer photo
Peter Willington | 14 October 2014
Skater is a little lacking and inconsistent to be a really strong choice for sim fans, and it's not arcade-oriented enough for casual players. This is a great first push forward, but the title needs improvement to run with its peers
 
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