Gem And Roll, Dudes!

High    Excellent flow-state experience.

Low     Badly-paced tutorials

WTF    A grown man giving another grown man pocket money…

OlliOlli World is a side-scrolling 2D skateboarding game following the player’s journey in pursuing the grand title of Skate Wizard.

Gameplay is a fluid, airtight experience that begins with basic obstacles and jumps before escalating into in a crescendo of combos. After mastering a simple heel kick, the player will soon learn rail grinding, wall riding, crystal smashing, and train hopping as they cross the vibrant Radlandia.

Simple tricks are controlled by orienting the left joystick in specific areas, while more advanced tricks require intricate movements of the joystick before letting go. The system is elegant and carries depth that skilled players will appreciate. The moment to moment loop is quite enjoyable, even in the late game when levels are more difficult. Also, checkpoints are plentiful, which minimizes frustration in this fast-paced romp.

In order to build in replay value, the developers have included an ever-growing list of tricks and skills which are unlocked after completing specific tutorials over the course of the campaign. It’s a boon for dedicated players or perfectionists thanks to “challenge cards” which require unique styles of play to attain. These styles include avoiding specific obstacles, or performing a certain trick enough times.

The colorful and bright visuals (reminiscent of Cartoon Network’s Adventure Time) and its lo-fi tracks give a cool, calming atmosphere. Whether I’m skating in a sentient forest or smashing giant crystals in the desert, the overall presentation oozes sweet delight and sets the tone excellently throughout the course of the game.

OlliOlli World offers brief cutscenes, though the characters are fairly one-note archetypes who do a decent job at contextualizing the levels and pacing out the gameplay by adding some narrative downtime. While the writing bounces between bad puns and cringeworthy dialogue like hearing grown men chanting “Yo, yo, yo!”or cracking out badly-made skating puns, it still had enough charm to prevent me from skipping it.

The only serious gripe I have with OlliOlli is lackluster tutorial distribution over the course of the campaign. Vital skills like riding down stairs or tricks like bouncing are hidden from the player until the late game despite their utility. They should be taught far earlier than they are, and this habit of delaying key information leads to an uneven learning curve.

Overall, I like OlliOlli World. When the player learns its techniques and finds a groove, it’s a great flow-state play whose vibrant presentation elevates the experience.

— Fumo Chabalala

Rating: 8 out of 10

Disclosures: This game is developed by Roll7 and published by Private Division. It is currently available on XBO, XBX/S, PS4/5, Switch and PC. This copy of the game was obtained via publisher and reviewed on the XBO. There are no multiplayer modes. Approximately 8 hours of play were devoted to the game, and the game was completed. There are no multiplayer modes.

Parents: According to the ESRB, this game is rated E and contains Crude Humor and Drug Reference. It’s 2D skateboarding… Pretty tough to be mad at it.

Colorblind Modes: There are no colorblind modes available

Deaf & Hard of Hearing Gamers: This game does offer subtitles. The font cannot be resized or changed. There are no audio cues that are relevant to gameplay. This game is fully accessible.

Remappable Controls: No, this game’s controls are not remappable.

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