I was so hyped for this game. That’s how I have to start the review. From the moment I saw it I wanted it. Well up until I forgot it existed. So I was extra surprised to just see it was out. Just bam! SkateBIRD. I always appreciated skate culture. Loved the music, loved the clothes, had a board but that’s it. I never particularly cared for the pro scene. So I never really stuck with the games. I had Skate or Die (Die D-Die Die Die), T&C, and Tony Hawk 2. After that it was all names and brandings that I didn’t care about. Which is a good thing. Because the game feels dated. The controls feel ripped straight from Playstation 1. Not saying that in a bad way, but more of a “I don’t know what’s going on” sorta way.
That would be a death sentence for most skating games, but SkateBIRD doesn’t exactly feel like they wanted better controls. What they have works. Much like regular skateboarding it’s trail, error, and practice. You feel like a bird on a toy board. It has weight and heft but not that of a person. With ample use of the little fluttery wings for an extra boost it just feels fun. That is when it’s not getting you stuck behind, on, or in something. My first impression was it wasn’t bad, but ultimately forgettable. That didn’t really change as the game went on. Forgive the gorilla style photography here but I didn’t want to grab my keyboard for one screenshot.
The bird customization is amazing. Plenty of options and even drastically different bird body types from the get go. With a surprisedly touching story about try to help out your owner “Big Friend” have time to play with you again. From cleaning up the house, with skate tricks, to seeing what exactly his job is and helping out at the office you get cute story beats. With big full stages to explore in a free skating casual sandbox with random birds giving you timed challenges to help bring back Big Friend to see you. I can’t imagine not getting your money’s worth out of this purchase if it interests you. Though someone not into, or incredibly into, skating will likely get frustrated. The casual skate fan will have a blast. All without touching on one of my absolute guilty pleasures in game/stage design.
Small thing in a big house. If even just for that the game gets a pass from me. Although it feels like a skateboard game built inside a ragdoll physics style game I haven’t noticed many destructible elements around the map. What I did notice, tiny little half pipes with drinking straws for grind rails. It’s a silly dated meme turned into a silly dated skating game and I kinda love it. So my final thoughts are it’s like twenty bux so why not? If nothing else the absurd whimsy of it is worth the price of entry. It might lack polish but with practice the game becomes extremely rewarding. In terms of fun, SkateBIRD soars.