From publisher Snowman comes Skate City, a port of a 2D mobile game that focuses on trick mastery and moody visuals. The translation from mobile to console isn’t exactly seamless, and performing tricks can be a pain, despite the simple controls. Skate City only rewards absolute precision. Landing what should be rudimentary tricks can become exasperating, as your player stacks it into the same bench over and over again.
The game's aim is to navigate three courses by completing individual challenges and gaining experience points to unlock outfits, boards, and abilities. Unlike its big-budget brethren, it takes a laid-back approach to gameplay. Rarely do the stakes feel high, and the ability to quickly reset each challenge with a hotkey gives it a repetitious vibe.
That's not to say that the challenges don't have variety; while many are simple trick tasks, others will have you escaping the police or racing a rival. All challenges have three stars to achieve, though you can burn through them once you get the hang of the controls. There's also an endless mode, though unlike 3D skating games which allow you to explore, the ability to move in only one direction limits you to practicing your tricks and not much else.
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.