Vans SK8 tricks it’s way to GR8ness!
* Play as Bucky Lasek or Omar Hassan
* Compete in 10 different events
* 20 different board designs including skaters official boards from Black Label and Element
* Music playlist from The Methadones, Penuckle, Base 9 and Slowride
Tony Hawks has pretty much dominated the Skateboarding genre for years but he has been beaten to the iPhone by Bucky Lasek & Omar Hassan with the release of Vans SK8: Pool Service. I must admit that I’d never heard of either Bucky or Omar prior to playing this game but it appears that they are veterans of the skateboarding scene and they have put their name to a challenging and entertaining title.
You are briefly introduced to the two protagonists as soon the game launches and then you get to choose to either Free Ride or launch your career. Free Ride does what you would expect and allows you to hone your skills in the pool before launching the more challenging aspect of the game in career mode.
While performing tricks is pretty straightforward via swiping your thumbs up and down the sides of your screen but controlling the direction of your skateboarder is somewhat more difficult. Steering your boarder is done by tilting your iPhone/iPod Touch back, forward, left and right and certainly not very intuitive. However, as the entire game is based in a single pool steering is not as important compared to if you were in a free roaming environment.
The training area is a great place to start as it will get you accustomed to the controls, but for many players you’ll just want to jump right in.
The career mode is where the fun begins. You’ll start with a basic board and wheels and access to the ‘Timed Run’ where you have 90 seconds to complete as many Achievements as you can to unlock new events, boards, wheels and videos.
As mentioned earlier performing the tricks is relatively straight forward esp. once you’ve built up enough momentum. Trying to pull off the bigger tricks too early will see you biting the dust and losing your momentum, but keeping a variety of tricks coming soon rattles up the score and opens up the other events.
There are 10 locked events at the start all with a theme such as Spin to Win, Never Enough Time and The Grind and completing each of them will not only unlock further events but also unlock new boards and wheels to trick out your ride.
Overall the game play is very smooth and the 3D environment looks great and the whole atmosphere of the game is only enhanced by the included tunes or of course a quick double-click of the iPhone/iPod Touch Home button will allow you to shred up the pool to your own playlist.
The game has a great depth to it and should keep you coming back for more; the only downside of a single location is due to be resolved in an upcoming release.
- Great graphics
- Sweet Tricks
- Lots of achievements
The Not So Good
- Single location
- Control system needs improvement
Reviewed by: @CraigWillis
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Vans SK8: Pool Service Screenshots
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