At some point in our lives we’ve probably all tried an ‘extreme’ sport. Whether it was BMX-biking or skateboarding or snowboarding, theres a good chance there’s been some broken bones, scraped knees or bruises we can attribute to doing the exact opposite of what our parents wanted us to do. With iOS and a slew of games like Touchgrind and Mad Skills Motocross we’ve been given the chance to relive those memories… safely. Now comes True Skate, which claims to be the most authentic and ‘real’ version of skateboarding for the platform.
If you’ve played games like Touchgrind or even Skater Nation, than you pretty much know what you’re getting with True Skate. You’ve got an onscreen skateboard that you use your fingers to control while ‘kicking’ your way through a skate-park full of half-pipes, ramps, and bars for you to try and not kill yourself on. All the usual tricks are here: 50-50 grinds, kick-flips, pops, and ollies are just a few of the many stunts you can perform.
You control your skateboard with your fingers through a series of swipes and taps. The more complicated the tricks you want to perform, the quicker and more inventive you have to be with your gestures.
The invisible man.
Unfortunately, the game requires precision and quickness that would make Super Hexagon blush, and the controls don’t seem exact enough to do what you want when you want. It’s tough to just get your board to turn, and performing tricks can be maddening. You have to tap the board in the exact right spot or swipe at just the right moment or it’s all over. It’s easy to overshoot your mark or perform a trick you had no intention of doing or just go off in the wrong direction.
Certain missions require you to be absolutely exacting in your movements. For example, there’s a decent number of missions that have you following a shadowy ghost board around and you have to do exactly what it does. Failing these was a regular occurrence for us. We tried the game on an iPad and iPhone and preferred the iPad, because playing with a bigger board gave us a little more wiggle room.
If you can persevere and take the time to master the board, then you might find yourself getting some enjoyment out of the game, but that could quickly fade as nothing really changes. There are a lot of missions, but not a lot of variety, and you play with the same board in the same park for all of them. The graphics are great, but seeing the same thing over and over again is a drag.
True Skate has the makings of an awesome game: the graphics are great, it has lot of missions, and a whole bunch of neat tricks to perform. But the controls are annoying, the game is tough, and nothing really changes. As it stands, True Skate is a bit like Topia World Builder. It’s basically just a pretty toy with not a lot of depth.