PC - Rating: 9/10

One of my favorite games of the coin-op era was Atari’s 720. It had a simple, but unique control scheme that’s pretty much impossible to replicate through emulation. You would basically jump then spin a knob (dressed up like a joystick), and the more times you spun the dial, the more points you got. As abstract as it was, this felt like skateboarding.

OlliOlli is the only skateboarding game that I have played that comes close to matching the rhythm and feel of 720°. The controls seem complicated at first: flick and spin the left stick to jump and press A to land. But once you start to get the hang of it (you never really get the hang of the landings) there’s an incredible flow as you grind from one obstacle to the next. Landing is everything though. If you don’t time that tap of the A button just right you lose out on big points.

In the end the game is better compared with a bullet hell shooter. Timing and memorization are everything. Strategy and exploration have no place here. Still, trying to get everything perfect is addictive and the reward of hitting a huge combo just right is greatly satisfying.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published (privacy policy). Required fields are marked *