October 20th, 2012 | By Charles Ferrendelli
I love skateboarding. While I’m terrible at it, I can pretend to be good virtually. I’ve always had a soft spot for skateboarding games ever since I experienced the first Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater. As a writer for a mobile gaming website, I haven’t had the opportunity to go hands-on with a skateboarding game that really captured that same experience on a portable device. That is until now.
Developed by True Axis, the makers of other hit iOS titles such as Jet Car Stunts and Space Tripper, True Skate is a skateboarding simulation game that brings the best aspects of games such as EA’s Skate and Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater, all while being something entirely different.
From the beginning of the game you are placed in a sandbox world where you control a single skateboard. That’s right, instead of controlling a human who controls a skateboard; you will be using your fingers as your feet.
The camera angle is third person, giving you a perfect view of everything ahead. Many problems that simulation skateboarding games such as Skate. had were the low camera angles that limited your view of the world. With the removal of an actual skater though, you don’t need to have that up-close view to see the board. Of course there are many other camera angles you can try out, including a fisheye lens, perfect if you’d like to make a compilation video of your tricks.
Even with the pulled back viewing angle, the game is very easy to control as its just basic swiping. Sliding down on the screen will push the board forward, while moving your finger left or right controls the direction you’ll go. To initiate a trick all you have to do is swipe down on the tail to ollie and from here the possibilities are endless. You can pull off a wide variety of flip tricks such as a simple pop shove-it, all the way to something more complicated such as a 360 varial heelflip. While it will take some skill to pull off combo tricks, doing something simple like a kickflip you’ll have down in no time.
Grinding works much the same way except here you’ll be ollieing and then working to position your board properly on the rail. And of course, just like the flip tricks, there’s a wide variety of grinds you can do, including more complicated tricks like a dark slide.
True Skate tends to focus more on street skating rather than vert skating. So while there’s no way to pull off grab tricks like benihanas or rocket airs, there’s still many vert ramps and bowls which tend to go unused. I understand that the goal was to create a true skatepark, but I haven’t found any uses for many of these objects besides grinding and rolling around in.
Despite this, True Skate’s gameplay is solid. I haven’t had this much fun in a skateboarding game in years. Every trick feels so satisfying once you complete it. One feature that developer True Axis put into the game is the rewind feature. If you’re focusing on a single trick and fail to land it, you can simply press down on the rewind button to bring you back to where you were. This lets you focus more on pulling off tricks, and less skating back to the area you were in.
If you’re more for the mission based aspect of True Skate, there’s quite a few of those as well. They mainly revolve around getting high scores, following a ghost skateboard on a specified route, and more tutorial based missions. While it’s a nice addition, they’re mainly there to make you a better player rather than add a different aspect to the game.
While True Skate lacks unlockables and a variety of levels found in many other games, the base gameplay of True Skate is so fun and console-like that at $1.99, you’re getting a bargain.
I’ve topped the leaderboards and have unlocked every achievement. I’ve put hours into this game and now that I’m done reviewing it, guess what I’m going to do next? Play some more. Whether you’re a fan of skateboarding or not, True Skate is simply a blast to play.