This week we had the chance to go hands-on with Epic Skater, courtesy of the gang at UpUpStart. The game is currently in development and seeking funding via Kickstarter. The build we sat down with is still very early, but from what we played, we’re excited to see more.
UpUpStart is comprised of a group of developers who worked on the Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater series at Neversoft. Now, they’re bringing their expertise in virtual skateboarding to iOS. Epic Skater is a side-scrolling platformer in which you must kickflip, grind, and catch air all the way to the end of each level. Along the way you’ll collect coins, letters (like in THPS), and hard-to-reach items that require perfect timing and speed.
The touch controls seem simple and intuitive, which makes Epic Skater easy to pick up and play. You tap and hold to accelerate, lift your finger to jump, and swipe to pull off flip tricks. To add more flair and complexity, there is a button for spinning, which yields you more points when combined with tricks and jumps.
Only one level was available in the build we played, and it takes just over a minute to complete without bailing too much. The bite-sized nature of the level feels appropriate for mobile gaming, but it still offers some replayability if you want to hunt high scores and master your timing. The level, “Los Angeles,” had us grinding on rooftops and launching off of piers at the beach. It’s hard not to be reminded of the THPS influence in the level design, which isn’t a bad thing.
Epic Skater is very early in its development and still has long way to go before a full release. UpUpStart has the foundation of what could be a great franchise for iOS if they can get the funding they need. If you’d like to see the early build of Epic Skater in action, we captured a gameplay video for you, which can be seen below.