One-part tiny Tony Hawk’s Professional Skater and one-part Micro Machines, Skatebird is slightly bit like a Photoshop Friday pun parody dropped at life; it’s extraordinarily small birds driving Tech Decks on small-scale stunt ramps scattered round a messy bed room, plus numerous places round an workplace. Beneath the joke is an bold try at a 3D arcade skateboarding sport, and it’s closely impressed by the early Neversoft Tony Hawk video games. The result’s cute, earnest, and undeniably eye-catching, but it surely’s additionally fairly unrefined, mild on content material, and usually irritating to play.
The final vibe is as if somebody introduced up the legendary aforementioned Birdman and somebody else sprang up from their empty pint glass and exclaimed, “Birds, man!” – solely as an alternative of cobbling collectively a crude JPEG of a pigeon doing a 900 they spent a number of years constructing a bona fide online game primarily based on a free gag. Developer Glass Backside Video games has clearly injected a boatload of bird-themed touches all through, however the studio sticks largely to the Tony template: massive air, wild tips, and an assortment of maps sprinkled with duties to finish and letters and tapes to gather.
The important thing affect seems to be Tony Hawk’s Professional Skater 4, the place Neversoft dropped the long-lasting two-minute timer in favour of permitting gamers to cruise the maps looking for particular person mini-missions. Like THPS4, Skatebird doesn’t provide an overt listing of challenges earlier than every degree and time each run; it’s essential to skate across the setting and discover NPCs – or NPBs on this case, I assume – scattered across the map to find the challenges it’s essential to full. Whereas challenges themselves are timed, the shortage of a countdown clock on normal exploring fits Skatebird’s relaxed nature – an environment that’s served very effectively by its catchy set listing of authentic, bird-themed tunes.
The soundtrack itself is definitely essentially the most polished a part of Skatebird, and it’s stacked with stress-free, skate-friendly earworms stuffed with fowl calls and samples of overzealous nature filmmakers from public area documentaries. It’s very effectively accomplished; even the birds get pleasure from it, bopping alongside as they skate.
Do a Chickflip
Not like THPS4, nonetheless, Skatebird doesn’t spotlight fellow birds with missions to assign you in any explicit approach, so skating round looking for the subsequent mission can typically be a punishment. They’re not hidden, however you just do should coast about till you occur upon them. Additionally, typically the birds disappear after you’ve accomplished their mission, and typically they don’t – however there’s no distinction between the birds who stay on the map after you’ve accomplished their mission and don’t have anything additional so that you can do, and those that do have a brand new process for you. This meant I typically discovered myself skating as much as (and instantly by) birds with no targets for me whereas combing the map for the one which did.
The duties are typically very simple, and the cut-off dates Skatebird offers to gather stuff and construct scores are largely very beneficiant. Gadgets and letters required for particular person targets are sometimes positioned fairly shut collectively in a single space of the map, however even when they’re extra unfold out an onscreen marker will lead you on to them. Sadly, this tends to make numerous Skatebird’s challenges surprisingly boring, with assortment nearer to a formality than a problem (besides each time some dodgy hit detection decides you didn’t seize an object regardless of actually banging it together with your beak, or skating by it a number of occasions).
There have been a number of challenges I did get hung up on for a number of further makes an attempt, however the headache in these cases was largely associated to the jankiness of the digital camera and the controls. The digital camera typically struggles to easily observe the avian motion onscreen, and there have been loads of events once I acquired quickly trapped in 90-degree corners or different random components of the extent, sending the digital camera right into a tailspin. It’s additionally a bit taxing to get out of a good squeeze; having the birds flutter to activate the spot might look genuine however in apply it simply makes it cumbersome and sluggish.
Tiny Hawks Know Skating
There’s an enormous quantity of creativeness on present in Skatebird, from the greasy pizza field ramps, to the pretend problems with Thrasher rip-off ‘Thrusher’ journal bent into quarter pipes, to the plastic straws appearing as coping, even when the general artwork type is a bit primary and angular. It’s cute, too, and there’s definitely one thing to be stated a couple of sport that allows you to be a galah sporting a bit of bok choy for a hat, or a cockatoo cosplaying as the primary man to at all times get arrested at a music pageant.
Glass Backside Video games has leaned laborious into the feathered framing of Skatebird, and I definitely can’t accuse it of missing originality, even when I’m approach too previous for heckin’ satirical zoomer misspellings of phrases like “birb” and “screm.” As soon as the novelty of birds on toy skateboards wears off, nonetheless, the skating itself is revealed to be fairly tough. It’s simple sufficient to bash out a number of flips and grabs, however the tips appear fairly restricted and so they’re neither very thrilling to look at or simple to tell apart from each other. Grabs particularly are boring, and the best way birds immediately snap into stalls makes these really feel noticeably unfinished.
What’s extra, there are additionally solely 5 ranges obtainable, together with a small, barren, and boring rooftop degree that’s disappointingly plain and actually a poor showcase of Skatebird’s shtick. With no multiplayer and minimal maps there actually isn’t a ton of sport right here.