If the hype behind Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 2 says anything, skating games are destined for success on the iPhone. EA has decided to jump into the fray with their handheld version of Skate, called Skate It. While it doesn’t live up to the Tony Hawk port, Skate It holds its own and takes a unique approach to the sport.
What makes Skate It unique is how you perform tricks, which EA has dubbed the ‘Flickit’ method. When you drag your finger across the center of the screen, an image of a skateboard shows up. Drawing lines across certain areas of the board lets loose a trick. The rudimentary moves are taught in the tutorial, but you can pull up a trick book at any time. This not only shows you how to perform the trick, but also what it looks like in action.
The bulk of Skate It comes in campaign mode. After creating a character through the in-depth customization tool, you can travel across 20 different skate spots and take part in a variety of missions. These range from completing tricks on landmarks to beating other skaters to the finish line in a race. Only a couple of missions from each area are necessary to progress through the campaign. However, completing them also unlocks new missions, skate gear, pro riders, and more.
Nothing but blue skies.
Many of the missions are quite fun, but the order in which you are presented with them is all over the place in terms of difficulty. One mission may be to achieve a small number of points on a grind, while the next could be to top the score of an exceptionally high-level AI skater. If you ever hit a roadblock, there is no way to continue to a new venue. This will end up leaving skate-game newcomers feeling overwhelmed.
Plus, while there is a lot to be said for customizing every visual detail of your character, this doesn’t make up for the missing stats in Skate It that can be found in almost any other skating game. Instead of giving each rider his or her own unique strengths and weaknesses, all of them are just re-skins of the same generic rider.
You have the option to freeride in any area once you unlock it in the campaign mode. On top of this, you can save up to three custom skate parks. The skate park tools are quite easy to use, and they give you complete control over how to decorate your fairly large space with all sorts of ramps, rails, and other objects.
One thing we felt was missing from the levels was a way to do a timed run of a map, where you try to rack up as many points in the allotted time as possible. Adding this would make for a great update, and it could bring with it lots of replay value.
What’s even more amazing is that he’s grinding uphill.
It’s also worth noting that the graphics in Skate It are a mixed bag. Textures range from smooth to extremely pixelated. The character faces you get to choose from are oddly-shaped as well. It’s all passable once you’re into the groove of skating, though.
Skate It by EA costs $6.99, and we think it’s certainly worth checking out if you’re into the skating scene. Besides Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 2, it’s the best 3D skating game on the App Store.