Skateboarding and extreme sports have a particular following that has its own language and dress code. From the outside looking in, it can be hard to understand what is being said and why they look the way they do. OlliOlli World attempts to bring you into this close-knit community as you learn to ride a board and become a gnarly dude or dudette.
Developed by Roll7 and published by Private Division, this is a colourful sports simulation title. It is the third instalment in a much-loved franchise that has moved away from its traditional pixel art style. Roll7 has focused on a hand-drawn approach that allows them to fulfil their dreams of creating a more in-depth but user-friendly skateboarding title.
OlliOlli World is a 90s game with a modern twist.
Set in the bizarre and loud land of Radlandia, you must work with the locals and the retiring Skate Wizard to prove that you have what it takes. The world as we know it comprises 5 distinct areas that represent each of the Gods’ perfect skating locations. These heavenly beings reside in a place known as Gnarvana, and only the Skate Wizard may communicate with them. Only by completing task after task and pulling off insane tricks can you fulfil your potential and prove you are the next big thing.
The ridiculous story is both endearing, hilarious, and it’s filled with retro vibes. If you remember Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure, you will be right at home with the writing style. The words; dude, gnarly, rad, and more are so overused that you’ll be sure it’s the 90s. I adored the trip memory lane and many of the interactions were childish but extremely humorous.
If you ignore the wild story for a moment, you quickly realise that the core gameplay is extremely easy to understand. Essentially, you must ride across a wide array of courses to gain a high score while avoiding every obstacle. Furthermore, you are expected to wallride, grind, leap, and perform tricks to gain combos and a vast amount of points. The easy-to-understand list of tricks is monstrous and you can complete over 100 entertaining moves. The action doesn’t stop there, though. No, you must traverse halfpipes, avoid chasms, and select the route you wish to take. The sheer amount of options available to you will blow your mind and this makes it so much more in-depth than previous iterations.
Quests and unlockables.
Alongside the vast amount of stages and tricks to perform is a long list of quests to complete. Every level asks you to focus on three separate goals, a certain number of points, and the desire for perfection. Whether you must perform combos, avoid inflatables, scare birds, entertain the crowd, or more, the tasks are all challenging. Each offers a unique experience, but they all have one thing in common and that is that failure is a certainty. You’ll speed along every course, memorising each obstacle, only for disaster to strike. Subsequently, you’ll mutter profanities, sigh, and restart the action.
No matter how many times you fail, you won’t be able to put it down. It reminded me of the moreish action from Trials HD and Tony Hawks. Consequently, hours will fall away and before you know it, you should already be asleep. But being tired is the least of your concerns, as you’ll focus your attention on the crazy amount of unlockables. Every challenge you complete will reward you with new items to kit out your skater. Whether it’s a new tee shirt, hoodie, board, wheels, or more, it matters not! I was amazed by the vast selection on offer, and I adored every creative option that was available.
OlliOlli World is modern with a retro twist.
OlliOlli World is undeniably fantastic to look at as it takes inspiration from Jet Set Radio and looks similar to The Big Con. Its striking hand-drawn aesthetic, variety of backdrops, and colourful albeit cliched characters are fascinating. Furthermore, it handles the ridiculous speed of the action with ease. I loved the complexity of each stage and how every element was perfectly placed. Jumps are situated by grinds to allow for combo scores and gnarly tricks. As you begin mastering each move, you’ll seamlessly shift from obstacle to obstacle while ticking off each objective.
90s skating has a distinct sound and ambience, and this has been captured perfectly. The high-energy soundtrack complements the action thanks to the combination of IDM and Electronica tracks. You’ll listen to the upbeat music as the world melts around you. I loved listening to each song as I landed on every rail or overcame each chasm. This was only bettered by the clatter of wheels on metal or the shriek of birds being scared.
So many moves to master.
The developers certainly know how to treat us as the list of moves is never-ending. However, you may worry that this would make it complex and overwhelming, but it’s far from it. Thanks to each well-devised tutorial, new mechanics are simple to understand. The drip-fed elements help to build up your trick repertoire, and before you know it, you are nailing the advanced tricks with ease. What I particularly enjoyed was the brutality of each course! No matter how competent you became in landing each trick, you still had to work to complete each task.
This fine balance between a user-friendly approach and challenging moments makes it moreish as hell. You’ll repeatedly try each course to beat the high score or to complete every goal. Moreover, you can compete with friends on a ridiculous number of shareable levels. There are also leagues to compete in and, of course, the stupid amount of collectables to gather. Perfectionists will be kept busy and completionists will have a nightmare on their hands.
OlliOlli World is incredible.
I’m always dubious when I tackle this type of game as I worry my lack of ability and skill will prevent me from progressing. Luckily, however, OlliOlli World ensures that every player has a fair crack. I adored its simple approach and the ridiculous amount of tricks on offer. It’ll drive you mad while getting under your skin and it’s a gem of an indie title. I loved it and I recommend you to buy it here! Will you become the next Skate Wizard? Traverse the 5 districts, complete the challenges, and prove you are the next big thing.