Skatebird evaluation: It’s no Tony Hawk, nevertheless it options tiny hawks

MSRP $19.99

“Skatebird’s tough skating mechanics are offset by its charming internet-age humor.”


Snicker-worthy writing

Usually cute

Killer skating soundtrack


Controls terribly

Wonky physics

The skateboarding sport style has a whole lot of established royalty. In the event you’re searching for one thing very arcade-y, you play Tony Hawk’s Professional Skater, whereas Skate 2 or three will provide a barely extra lifelike (however nonetheless solely bombastic) expertise. No matter the way you take a look at it, these two franchises personal the skating style, very like Name of Obligation and Battlefield personal multiplayer shooters. There are others on the market, however they don’t stack up.

Now we have now Skatebird, which swoops out of nowhere and instantly exhibits that whereas it’s not going to remove the crown from Tony Hawk’s Professional Skater, it was additionally by no means designed to. As a substitute, Skatebird is right here for folk to have a enjoyable, albeit typically irritating time. It’s a goofy arcade skateboarding sport crammed with enjoyable dialogue and foolish references that doesn’t promise to provide anybody the skating sport of their desires. However it would at the very least brighten up your day.

For the birds

Your complete premise of Skatebird is written in its identify, and in the event you’re not used to jokes like that, simply go away this evaluation now. You’re a fowl that skates. Skatebird seems like skateboard. Get the image? Good, transferring on.

In Skatebird, you grind, flip, and chirp (or as the sport calls it, “screm”) throughout mundane areas as a tiny, gnarly fowl. The sport has all the trimmings of a typical arcade skating sport, beginning with character customization, with gamers in a position to decide on what sort of fowl they wish to be and what goofy equipment they wish to put on. Naturally, I went with a cowboy hat that at all times stayed on.

You thought Skatebird wouldn’t make a Tony Hawk joke?

After a fast introduction, gamers are thrown proper into the sport’s first space: An enormous bed room that belongs to their fowl’s Huge Pal. Sadly, Huge Pal is feeling down, so the skating fowl, together with a flock of others, decides to flee from the room, work out why the good friend is so depressing, and repair the difficulty with the facility of skating.

Skatebird‘s story is one pun after one other, all with a delicate background of anti-capitalist sentiment …

In brief, the fowl’s proprietor has a crappy job at a crappy tech startup, which the birds naturally sabotage, first by diverting the boss’ AC out of his workplace and to everybody else, after which by destroying servers and extra. Skatebird‘s story is one pun after one other, all with a delicate background of anti-capitalist sentiment, and if the concept of capitalism-hating birds doesn’t put a smile in your face, I’m begging you to get a humorousness.

Higher off flying

It’s a bummer to say, however Skatebird‘s goofy story and foolish jokes are the celebrities right here. The sport sticks to its arcade model, with every face button controlling one transfer. One button does an ollie, one other does grinds, one other does grabs, and so forth. That’s about the very best a part of Skatebird: It’s straightforward to regulate. You resolve when your fowl does a seize or grind. What’s a lot, a lot tougher to have any affect over is whether or not you really efficiently land after performing a trick.

Skating in Skatebird has all of the grace of a fowl on a skateboard, which is exactly none in any respect. The fowl is extra like a fish within the air, flopping round with none sense of path. I’ve completed methods after which tried to land on the bottom, solely to have the board pointing at a 45-degree angle for some purpose, which ends up in my fowl completely consuming tar. The sport seemingly plans for that, although, giving gamers management of their bailed fowl, which could be rolled round for enjoyable, however that feeling solely lasts by way of just a few failed landings.

Getting round with wheels on the bottom isn’t any higher, as Skatebird‘s wonky physics engine commonly decides small stumble upon an object is sufficient to knock your fowl off. At different occasions although, you’ll construct up velocity and hit a wall, unable to show round as a result of the sport seemingly nonetheless thinks you’re accelerating, that means it’s a must to bail out.

Conditions like which are made much more infuriating once you understand it’s not very straightforward to construct velocity in Skatebird. Birds, naturally, can’t pump on a skateboard. As a substitute, the sport has a “Fancy” meter, which gamers fill by going up and down ramps to go quicker. Earlier than performing any giant soar or lengthy grind, it’s a must to snake your method by way of some ramps, whereas nonetheless making certain that you simply don’t stumble upon one thing or fall off the board, which makes for a irritating problem.

Skating in Skatebird has all of the grace of a fowl on a skateboard, which is exactly none in any respect.

What Skatebird lacks in grace, it makes up for in attraction. Whereas round half of my moment-to-moment gameplay was spent irritated at my fowl for deciding to see what pavement appears to be like like shut up, the opposite half was spent grinning like a goofball. Skating round to the sport’s implausible soundtrack, which inserts in completely with different skating sport soundtracks and can doubtless find yourself on my Spotify quickly sufficient, is an absolute blast. Small touches like this made every thing else bearable.

Our take

I don’t consider Skatebird was made to be the very best skating sport ever, primarily as a result of it’s so removed from incomes any such achievement. As a substitute, Skatebird‘s right here to be a distraction — one thing enjoyable and goofy to take your thoughts off issues. It’s admittedly exhausting to consider paying lease or different heavy topics once you’re taking part in a foolish little sport a few foolish little fowl on a foolish little skateboard.

If you find yourself shopping for Skatebird, don’t anticipate it to reinvent the style. It doesn’t. However this sport might have been about birds that dive underwater and discover (working title: Skubird), and so long as it introduced the identical attraction and humorousness, I’d have loved all of it the identical.

Is there a greater various?

In the event you’re searching for an excellent arcade-y skating sport, Tony Hawk’s Professional Skater 1+ 2 is a straightforward go-to.

How lengthy will it final?

I’ve put about 5 hours into Skatebird, but when I attempted to gather each collectible and beat each mission, it will doubtless take upwards of seven.

Do you have to purchase it?

Sure, albeit with the caveat that you simply mood any expectations. Skatebird isn’t a sport about skating birds, however a sport about birds that may skate.

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