Out now on PlayStation Vita, OlliOlli is a skateboarding game that takes after the Tony Hawk series in its love of combos and scores, but strips almost everything away except the tricks.
So you play it in 2D. There’s a handful of moves you can learn, the controls are a little tricky – it takes a while to adjust to the way you have to stick landings, for example – but once you’re set, that’s it. You hit the courses, and you just… try and decimate high scores.
It’s such a lean game. So pure. It’s about skateboard tricks, and that’s it.
The thing I like about OlliOlli is the compulsion to replay, something I’m not normally driven to do in a game. Because each level is essentially a blank canvas for tricks, even when you pull off a fantastic combo, you’re always thinking, hey, I could maybe squeeze one more flip out of the end of that rail. And the game makes it so easy to do this. Scores and combos are listed prominently and immediately, letting you know if there’s room for improvement, and at any time you can hit a giant yellow button in the corner of the screen to jump right back to the start of a level and try again (levels are short enough that this isn’t a hassle).
The other thing I think I need to talk about is the soundtrack. While it plays like a Tony Hawk game, it doesn’t sound like one. Who’d have thought jazz and skateboarding would go so damn well together?
OlliOlli’s out now on the PSN. It’s $US12 (with 20 per cent off if you’re a PS+ member).