Extreme Skater is a moderately fun free-to-download game for Android devices and $0.99 for iOS and Kindle Fire, but don’t expect traditional style skateboarding gameplay from the app.
In Extreme Skater, players aren’t called on to skate through parks and warehouses like most games with the word “skater” in the title. Rather, the goal is to guide an appropriately extreme looking character, complete with spiky blonde hair, through platform-style courses more reminiscent of Sonic the Hedgehog than a skateboarding game.
Although the main character’s sprite flops around like a stringless marionette, the overall graphic quality of Extreme Skater is impressive. The level design and background textures standout in particular, with lush jungle landscapes whizzing by in HD clarity. The quality amplifies as the levels progress, with everything from dense urban cityscapes to underwater grottos being rendered with a surprising amount of detail for a mobile game.
The gameplay is an odd mashup of disparate styles, but it gels around a middle ground of medium-level fun and mostly works. Extreme Skater borrows its speedy racing elements from the left-field Super Nintendo sleeper hit Uniracers, and then mixes in dashes of platformer staples like collecting coins and jumping over spikes. There are opportunities to perform tricks while aloft in the game’s funky gravity, and the menu expands as players accumulate points and achievements. The trick aspect of the game is not aiming for realism, however, and the end result is a game that has a lot more in common with Adventure Island than Tony Hawk.
In its free-to-download state, Extreme Skater comes with an overlay of in-game advertisements and regular prompts for purchasing additional content. The ads are going to be the biggest gripe most players have, as they take up a significant amount of screen real estate and detract from the otherwise polished graphic display. The game’s storefront offers a bevy of new tricks and upgrades for your extreme skater, and as with most “freemium” games the option to remove ads is just a click away.
Extreme Skater is a fun enough game, but doesn’t offer much beyond the initial gee-whiz that rolling through the first few levels provides. Guiding the gangly skateboarder through strangely arcade-like platform levels offers some moments of moderate joy, but the game never reaches a level of excitement that makes purchasing the full version seem plausible. Extreme Skater is good enough to download for free and pass time at a bus stop, but given the amount of robust games hitting the mobile marketplaces, it’s hard to see it making it out of the “freemium” half-pipe.