True Skate is a skateboard app with unbelievable control and physics. The game is an insanely realistic designed skateboard simulation. I've never played anything quite like it before, to be perfectly honest.
You swipe your finger on the ground to skate, and control the board by swiping along the deck. A downward swipe along the board sends you airborne, while left and right swipes on either the center or tail of the board, will control your kickflip or pop shove-it. Combining tricks and grinds racks up points that map to a few in-game achievements. There are missions to perform certain tricks or to “follow the leader” along a path or series of tricks. But after these basic tasks it gets a little boring and repetitive.
It can be tricky, and will take some practice before things start to work the way you expect, but eventually they do and you'll be surprised with how many different tricks are possible by combining the various flips and grinds in the game. Now, True Skate does a better job than any other iOS game that I've played at making you believe you're really in charge of something, but the flaws in the game are so damn frustrating. The fact that there is only one small skate park you can use makes it very repetitive, alongside repetitive missions. It gets a little bit boring. The little things like the rewind button activating when you don't mean it to and the board not quite reacting the way you want it to can get really frustrating, too. They have since fixed the rewind issue, to their credit. The jump swipes also occasionally fail to register.
The physics and tricks in True Skate seem a lot more realistic than in other skating games I have played in the past. They're solid and genuine. However, missions can be so insanely frustrating. You get punished so much for straying off the path even a little bit, and following the ghost board just is not easy as it is. You turn a little off the track and suddenly you're down 75 out of your 100 points. Tricks are fun when you’re letting loose and going crazy in the park, But not when you need a specific trick to land you facing exactly forward.
I had the advantage of skating for most of my teen years, so it was actually almost like a friendly reminder of my past when I got to play this. It reminds me that skating is not easy, and that you actually have to work to improve. Like in real life, when you practice it will get easier. The more you play True Skate, the more you can notice yourself improve.
There are a few things I would like to see change in the future. There's just the one skate park in True Skate. It's a great park, with a great design and mix of different obstacles to hit, but it's just boring after a few hours of on and off playing. I'd really like some sort of board customization, as you're currently limited to just the generic True Skate board. I'd love to import my own board, or even just pick some from a selection of board skins or something. More boards with different attributes or even an upgrade system could really be a fantastic way to keep people interested for longer.
Overall the game is actually quite good. They physics are perfect, they really nailed it. But there is a huge lack of variety and there is just no real reason to keep playing after a while. If they fix this, maybe I'll redo my review in the future. All I can say now is that if you have ever touched a skateboard or even played a skating game, this is worth getting just purely because of the physics and fun of learning to control your board. However, if you're easily frustrated or bored then this game is just not for you.
Overall Score: 6/10
- Ken Seiler