SkateBIRD doesn’t need much of an explanation: It is, quite simply, a video game about an adorable bird trying its best to skateboard.
Honestly, if you need more of an explanation to at the very least want to watch the trailer, I don’t know what to tell you.
Drop in, and be a skateboarding bird. Grind on bendy straws, kickflip over staplers, and carve killer lines through a cardboard and sticky tape world. Skatebird can’t fly, but on a board, they soar.
I played a LOT of Tony Hawk games growing up. I remember getting off the bus after school, grabbing a pack of Gushers and legging it to my friends house where we would take turn trying to get the highest score by kick-flipping, grinding and nose-grabbing. They were good times, and despite being about a bird (must resisit hawk joke…), SkateBIRD is very clearly a homage to these games.
One thing that really surprised me is home much I LOVED the environments. Made up of various office supplies, the area I saw at PAX East was perfect for this kind of game, offering up a huge variety of obstacle and opportunities for tricks, all while having a very consistent theme. It also amped up the nostalgia again, reminding me of sitting at my desk as a kid playing with tech decks for the 2 months everyone in school was into them. I’d make ramps and rails out of post-it notes and pencils, in exactly the same way that these environments have been crafted in SkateBIRD.
I cannot wait to see what other environments are created for the game, and my gosh, if there were the ability to create your own, I can see dumping an incredible amount of time in to recreate some of my childhood skatepark ideas.
Mechanically, the game works pretty much the same exact way as most other skateboarding games you might of played. Your able to coast around the jury-rigged miniature skate parks, using ramps and jumps to gain speed and pull of tricks, hopefully without wiping out, which leads to a sympathy inducing series of tweets from the skate bird.
The controls seemed in need of a bit of tuning to me when I played the demo, but I am totally willing to admit this could be partially chalked up to the fact I haven’t played a game of this genre in years and just need some time to knock off the rust. I do think that the speed of movement and the speed of the trick animation seemed a little off, but again, this game is early in development, so don’t take this as super serious criticism of the gameplay.
There have however been some hints of further mechanics to the game. Megan Fox of Glass Bottom Games has mentioned that Tweeter (the premier bird social network, because of course it is) will play a roll in the game, where sharing your sick tricks will help you gain social media fame, causing other birds to check out your skate park, and perhaps even giving you the opportunity to host events.