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Skate City review for Nintendo Switch, PS4, Xbox One, PC


Platform: Nintendo Switch
Also on: PC, PS4, Xbox One
Publisher: Snowman
Developer: Agens/Room 8
Medium: Digital
Players: 1
Online: No
ESRB: E

When I think of skateboarding games, I think of titles like Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 1+2 or OlliOlli. Obviously, they’re fairly different from each other, but they both have some degree of intensity to them, whether it’s in the music, or the visuals, or the somewhat demanding controls.

Skate City is, as you can probably guess from the name, also a skateboarding game, but it inhabits an entirely different space than Tony Hawk or OlliOlli. The visuals are all muted colours, the music is chill and atmospheric, and the general vibe is much more laidback and relaxed than the genre’s typical fare.

That doesn’t mean it’s not challenging — it is. While the game seldom calls on you to pull off crazy feats of thumb dexterity, you still need to pay attention to what’s being asked of you in each level. Both of your thumbsticks will get a workout, and you’ll need to pull off a series of moves, sometimes within a fairly compressed timeframe.

And when you can’t? Then you just pick your skater up and do it over again, without much in the way of Skate City dwelling on your failure. Mind you, it’s not that different when you do succeed, since you still need to quit back out to the level selection screen and pick your next challenge.

In other words, this isn’t a game that’s really big on making you do anything beyond simply skating. I mean, there are three cities here — Los Angeles, Oslo, and Barcelona — and for each, the very first option you have is “endless skate”, where it’s just you and your skateboard, and no clock.

Oh, and the music and the art and the generally chill vibe. That aesthetic, more than anything else, is what defines Skate City. It’s about as relaxing as skateboarding games get, so if you just feel like losing yourself and forgetting your worries in a sun-bleached world, this is the place to do it.

Snowman provided us with a Skate City Switch code for review purposes.

Grade: B