Confession: I’m a skate betty from way back, and I’ve never outgrown my fascination with skateboarding. (Okay, and with skaters too.) So I was totally stoked to check out the new Skater app, which launched this week on iOS.
This brand new game from Frosch Media offers the most authentic skating experience short of lacing up a pair of etnies and heading to your local skatepark. The virtual reality of the skate spots recreated in the Skater app is seriously amazing; from Stoner Park (that’s a real place, not a euphemism) to Carlsbad Gap, developers visited each site personally and used architectural plans to render them accurately in the game, right down to stickers and graffiti. So cool.
You start with a tutorial to learn basic tricks like ollies, kickflips, and nose grinds, then the Skater app leaves you to start skating on your own at Stoner Park. Do tricks, save runs, and then copy your runs (or other’s runs) to unlock new spots. The collaboration is pretty cool–you can share your best tips with others and use their tips too.
The goal is to master the tricks to earn stars, but then what’s really neat is you can trade in those stars for new shoes and decks from actual cool skate brands for your character. It would be even better if you could trade it in for real Toy Machine gear but hey, maybe one day?
As for actual gameplay, controlling the board is pretty intuitive, even for those of us who aren’t very good on a real skateboard. Even though I keep falling down, getting up is as easy as a double tap, and I can’t help trying again and again. Because once I get a good run going, I can almost feel the wind in my hair.
The app works well for me on my iPhone 5s, but I think it will look even better on my iPad Mini. (Obviously we’ll withhold judgement about the iPhone 6 for now.) Reviews on the App Store and on the Skater app Facebook page include some complaints about crashes–the app, not the skater–but I’ve had no trouble with it at all so far.
Hey, maybe I’ll never actually drop in on a halfpipe, even though it’s on my bucket list. But with the Skater app I can do all the virtual tricks I want without bailing hard. Sweet.
Get the Skater app on iOS for $4.99. So worth it.
Edited to add: There’s been an app version mix-up on iTunes, so the app has been pulled until the approved version is ready.
Editor’s note 10/9/14: You can now download the Skater app on iTunes. Whoo!