In what could possibly be one of the weirdest games I’ve seen in a while, SkateBIRD is exactly what it sounds like – a bird that can skateboard. Yet underneath the oddly themed title lies a game that is surprisingly not terrible with skateboard mechanics that are actually pretty decent. Though not as good as something like the original Tony Hawk games, it’s still pretty fun and playable with plenty to do to keep you entertained with something a bit different from your normal skateboarding game.
SkateBIRD is very similar to the aforementioned Tony Hawk series. It’s presented in a similar way with 3D environments, just in a much smaller, miniaturized form. By that, I mean that everything is to the scale of a tiny bird so ramps, grinds, and jumps are made from objects such as pizza boxes, chairs, tables, etc. Imagine you creating a skate park in your room for your GI Joes. That’s how SkateBIRD’s levels are like. Graphically, the game looks pretty good with levels that are pretty interesting to look at.
In terms of gameplay, it also plays similar to Tony Hawk, except for an added game mechanic since you’re a bird. You’re able to flap your wings during an ollie in order to fly further with your skateboard or to land in spots you couldn’t normally land without wings. It’s an interesting mechanic, but it takes some getting used to. The rest of the mechanics are standard fair – jumps, grinds, board grabs, manuals, and kickflips. It’s basically all there. The only issue is that the skating isn’t quite as refined and can be pretty rough around the edges.
To keep things interesting, each level or “skatepark” has several missions you can complete. Typical of games like this, there are missions like collecting letters to complete words, specific trick requirements, and story-based missions. You can even pick up collectibles in the world as well as unlock new outfits and accessories for your birds.
While there’s plenty to do, SkateBIRD isn’t perfect. The gameplay can be a bit wonky and stringing tricks together isn’t as fluid or simple as it is in the Tony Hawk games. While the theme of birds is unique, if you take that away, the skateboarding is just okay and isn’t anything that special. If you want a game for pure skateboarding joy, I’d stick to the original Tony Hawk games.
So with that said, SkateBIRD isn’t terrible. It’s not the best and it’s not the worst. The theme is entertaining enough and if you like skateboarding games, then maybe you would give this a go. Other than that, I’d recommend just going straight to Tony Hawk or even trying something like OlliOlli.
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