Skate It by EA [rating: 4/5]
Skateboarding has transferred form the real world to the virtual gaming world very well. The user base for both activities is very similar, predominately young males that will play games and skateboard too, so put the two together and you’ve got a pre-built demographic for any skateboard game of which there have been a few.
Touchgrind, Vans SK8: Pool Service and Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 2 and just a couple of the skateboarding games that have proven there success so is there room for another skateboarding game and if there is does it deserve your hard earned cash? As we know EA have produced many quality iPhone/iPod Touch apps already so seeing them bring their Skateboading franchise to the iDevice’s I was excited to see how it handled.
Not surprisingly for a game from EA Mobile the navigation and menu system is nicely polished and provides a simple method to access all of the different areas if the game. From the main menu you’ll be able to select from the 3 main areas of the game including Freeskating, Career, My Spot and My Skate and it ‘s My Skate that I would recommend you head off to before you do anything else despite your eagerness to jump straight into the Freeskating option.
You’ll want to come back to the My Skate area through-out the game but so that you can track your progress, customize your boarder and manage your profiles but the reason for heading over here first are the two tutorials that cover the basic and advanced techniques of which will help you get up and skating quicker than if you just head for the tracks. Each tutorial takes you through a specific style of trick and you have to complete them to move on to the next.
Controlling your boarder is via a variety of virtual buttons, gestures and the accelerometer. The combinations work well and while I initially missed being able to use a virtual Dpad I soon found myself not missing it at all. You can also go through a tutorial that shows where all the keys and buttons are an what they do.
The two main game options are Freeskate and Career Mode and as you would expect the Freeskate allows you to play for fun while career mode is where the fun really begins as you complete a wide range of challenges that help you to unlock new features including new kit for the ‘My Spot’ section. More on that to come later!
There are a great range of challenges in each level and depending on your area of expertise you will find some easier to complete than the others. However repeating them is easy especially if you stay in the challenge area. The graphics aren’t going to blow you away but they do look good and each of the 20 unique skate parks look completely unique with each of them offering them something different and offers plenty of variety to keep you playing Skate It again and again.
Unlocking the challenges will unlock the different locations that you can then move on to play, however as mentioned previously they also unlock different pieces that you can use to create your own unique skate parks in the ‘My Spot’ area which you can then go and skate around. This offers limitless possibilities with your own creativity being your only limitations and while being able to share your creations with other players either locally between iDevices or over the internet would make things even better it’s still a lot of fun to skate around your own creations.
The only downside to Skate It by EA is the lack of any multi-player or sharing options. For example you do have the option to record your best, and worst, tricks for viewing later but there’s no option to share or upload the the video’s to show them off. Equally disappointing is the lack of any multi-player option especially considering that in real life skateboarding is such a community based sport. What is included though are multiple profiles so if you and others want to play the game on a single device you can keep your progress separate.
Overall ‘Skate It by EA’ is another great addition to the skateboarding genre, had it included an option to use a virtual d-pad and multi-player options it may have reached the heady heights of 5/5, for now though it will fall just short.
- 20+ environments to skate
- Multiple profiles
- Plenty of tricks to master
- Build you own environments
The Not So Good
- No virtual d-pad control
- No multi-player or sharing options
Price: $6.99 (iTunes Store)
Released: May 10, 2010
Reviewed Version: 1.0.70
1.0.70 (iPhone OS 3.0 Tested)
Size: 102 MB
Seller: Electronic Arts
Skate It © 2010 Electronic Arts Inc. All Rights Reserved. EA, the EA logo and SKATE are trademarks or registered trademarks of Electronic Arts Inc. in the U.S. and/or other countries. All Rights Reserved. All sponsored products and company names, brand names, logos and trademarks are the property of their respective owners.
Requirements: Compatible with iPhone, iPod touch, and iPad. Requires iPhone OS 2.2.1 or later.