Skatebird Review: A Recreation About Birds That Can Skate

Skatebird review: It’s no Tony Hawk, however it options tiny hawks

MSRP $19.99

“Skatebird’s tough skating mechanics are offset by its charming internet-age humor.”


  • Snigger-worthy writing
  • Usually lovely
  • Killer skating soundtrack


  • Controls terribly
  • Wonky physics

The skateboarding recreation style has a number of established royalty. In case you’re on the lookout for one thing very arcade-y, you play Tony Hawk’s Professional Skater, whereas Skate 2 or 3 will supply a barely extra practical (however nonetheless fully bombastic) expertise. No matter the way you take a look at it, these two franchises personal the skating style, very like Name of Obligation and Battlefield personal multiplayer shooters. There are others on the market, however they don’t stack up.

Now we now have Skatebird, which swoops out of nowhere and instantly exhibits that whereas it’s not going to remove the crown from Tony Hawk’s Professional Skater, it was additionally by no means designed to. As a substitute, Skatebird is right here for people to have a enjoyable, albeit typically irritating time. It’s a goofy arcade skateboarding recreation stuffed with enjoyable dialogue and foolish references that doesn’t promise to offer anybody the skating recreation of their desires. However it’ll a minimum of brighten up your day.

For the birds

The whole premise of Skatebird is written in its title, and in the event you’re not used to jokes like that, simply depart this review now. You’re a hen that skates. Skatebird feels like skateboard. Get the image? Good, shifting on.

In Skatebird, you grind, flip, and chirp (or as the sport calls it, “screm”) throughout mundane areas as a tiny, gnarly hen. The sport has all the trimmings of a typical arcade skating recreation, beginning with character customization, with gamers in a position to decide on what sort of hen they wish to be and what goofy equipment they wish to put on. Naturally, I went with a cowboy hat that at all times stayed on.

The required joke being made in Skatebird.You thought Skatebird wouldn’t make a Tony Hawk joke?

After a fast introduction, gamers are thrown proper into the sport’s first space: An enormous bed room that belongs to their hen’s Massive Good friend. Sadly, Massive Good friend is feeling down, so the skating hen, together with a flock of others, decides to flee from the room, work out why the good friend is so depressing, and repair the difficulty with the ability of skating.

Skatebird‘s story is one pun after one other, all with a delicate background of anti-capitalist sentiment …

Briefly, the hen’s proprietor has a crappy job at a crappy tech startup, which the birds naturally sabotage, first by diverting the boss’ AC out of his workplace and to everybody else, after which by destroying servers and extra. Skatebird‘s story is one pun after one other, all with a delicate background of anti-capitalist sentiment, and if the thought of capitalism-hating birds doesn’t put a smile in your face, I’m begging you to get a humorousness.

Higher off flying

It’s a bummer to say, however Skatebird‘s goofy story and foolish jokes are the celebrities right here. The sport sticks to its arcade type, with every face button controlling one transfer. One button does an ollie, one other does grinds, one other does grabs, and so forth. That’s about the perfect a part of Skatebird: It’s simple to regulate. You determine when your hen does a seize or grind. What’s a lot, a lot tougher to have any affect over is whether or not you really efficiently land after performing a trick.

Skating in Skatebird has all of the grace of a hen on a skateboard, which is exactly none in any respect. The hen is extra like a fish within the air, flopping round with none sense of route. I’ve executed tips after which tried to land on the bottom, solely to have the board pointing at a 45-degree angle for some cause, which ends up in my hen completely consuming tar. The sport seemingly plans for that, although, giving gamers management of their bailed hen, which could be rolled round for enjoyable, however that feeling solely lasts via a couple of failed landings.

Griding across a rooftop in Skatebird.

Getting round with wheels on the bottom isn’t any higher, as Skatebird‘s wonky physics engine commonly decides {that a} small stumble upon an object is sufficient to knock your hen off. At different instances although, you’ll construct up pace and hit a wall, unable to show round as a result of the sport seemingly nonetheless thinks you’re accelerating, that means you need to bail out.

Conditions like which can be made much more infuriating once you notice it’s not very simple to construct pace in Skatebird. Birds, naturally, can’t pump on a skateboard. As a substitute, the sport has a “Fancy” meter, which gamers fill by going up and down ramps to go quicker. Earlier than performing any massive leap or lengthy grind, you need to snake your means via some ramps, whereas nonetheless guaranteeing that you just don’t stumble upon one thing or fall off the board, which makes for a irritating problem.

Skating in Skatebird has all of the grace of a hen on a skateboard, which is exactly none in any respect.

What Skatebird lacks in grace, it makes up for in allure. Whereas round half of my moment-to-moment gameplay was spent aggravated at my hen for deciding to see what pavement appears to be like like shut up, the opposite half was spent grinning like a goofball. Skating round to the sport’s implausible soundtrack, which inserts in completely with different skating recreation soundtracks and can probably find yourself on my Spotify quickly sufficient, is an absolute blast. Small touches like this made every part else bearable.

Our take

I don’t consider Skatebird was made to be the perfect skating recreation ever, primarily as a result of it’s so removed from incomes any such achievement. As a substitute, Skatebird‘s right here to be a distraction — one thing enjoyable and goofy to take your thoughts off issues. It’s admittedly exhausting to consider paying lease or different heavy topics once you’re taking part in a foolish little recreation a few foolish little hen on a foolish little skateboard.

If you find yourself shopping for Skatebird, don’t anticipate it to reinvent the style. It doesn’t. However this recreation may have been about birds that dive underwater and discover (working title: Skubird), and so long as it introduced the identical allure and humorousness, I might have loved all of it the identical.

Is there a greater different?

In case you’re on the lookout for a very good arcade-y skating recreation, Tony Hawk’s Professional Skater 1+ 2 is a straightforward go-to.

How lengthy will it final?

I’ve put about 5 hours into Skatebird, but when I attempted to gather each collectible and beat each mission, it could probably take upwards of seven.

Must you purchase it?

Sure, albeit with the caveat that you just mood any expectations. Skatebird isn’t a recreation about skating birds, however a recreation about birds that may skate.

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