Top Critic Average
Whether you are taking on the game's numerous challenges, or carving your way across the concrete in endless mode, Skate City is the perfect way to kick, push and shove your way through a digital world.
Simplistic, light on content, and if played in longer sessions, repetitive. However, when played in short bursts and after you have got to grips with some of the games nuances it can be fun and rewarding. There are better skateboarding games out there without a doubt but if you have played them all and want to shred, Skate City does have its merits.
Aesthetically, Skate City fares well. The visuals are simple, but Snowman has nailed the grunge look that the sport is known for. The original score is excellent, and soaking up its relaxing lo-fi beats makes even the most frustrating challenges enjoyable. Unfortunately, the three courses are a tad too realistic and end up feeling interchangeable. However, the addition of a slow-mo function and a dynamic camera make capturing your tricks to craft your own videos a neat additional feature. Take the time to master it, and there's fun to be had in this city.
Beyond the actual gameplay, Skate City has some serious merit as an introduction to the world of lo-fi hip hop. These tracks will haunt you in the kindest fashion possible, quiet and blissful beats that bounce around your subconsciousness for weeks afterwards. If you’re looking for a more soft-focus, laid-back skateboarding game, Skate City is not to be missed.
Though admittedly basic, Skate City has brought a bit of the "pick-up-and-play" mechanics of mobile to PC, with mixed results. The basic visuals are countered by fairly complex controls, that are a fairly substantial time-suck to perfect. Some may not find this to be their cup of tea, but if your willing to invest the time and effort to 'git gud,' there's plenty of fun, just waiting to be uncovered.
Skate City is a laid back, chilled out alternative to the more hectic skateboarding action of the likes of Roll7's OlliOlli series. The various tricks and skills here won't take you long to master, putting together little runs through Los Angeles, Oslo and Barcelona feels satisfying and the overall aesthetic suits the rather simple, straightforward nature of proceedings. However, there's an undeniable lack of actual challenge and variety here, alongside a few niggling framerate issues on Switch, that result in a game that's reasonable enough value for a quick bash, especially given its budget price point, but one that won't last anyone beyond the most avid of skateboarding fans for much longer than a couple of hours.
Skate City is buoyed up by its excellent and mellow lo-fi soundtrack, a veritable repository of chill beats to skate to. This defining aspect helps elevate a simple concept to put you in the right mood to engage with it. While the visuals are nothing to write home about and the finnicky controls can sometimes cause frustration, there's still something special about chilling out with a 20 minute skate session after a hard day's work, and discovering yet another great lo-fi tune. However it should have launched for consoles with at least all of the content and modes from the mobile version, if not more for its bigger platform debut. While Skate City is a relatively engaging and mellow experience overall, it's one I have a hard time recommending on console at its new premium asking price.
Skate City is a chilled-out but ultimately shallow experience. Don't go in expecting anything too involving and you should have fun.
Skate City is certainly worth checking out. Its gameplay and ambience are decidedly relaxing, and it is incredibly easy for newcomers to jump in and get acclimated. The perspective and controls might take a minute to get adjusted to, but it is still a title with plenty of challenges and replay potential to keep players busy, especially with its A+ soundtrack. However, you have been warned about its brevity and lack of depth. That being said, it's $14.99 USD on the Nintendo Switch, so it is a budget title.
Skate City takes being casual a little too seriously. If you have the money to spare, but don't wish to splurge on an Apple TV, you can fire up Skate City on a big screen with its release on consoles and PC later this week. You'll probably enjoy the relaxing visuals with some lo-fi music playing in the background. If it were up to me, I'd just boot up Tony Hawk's Underground 2 instead.