Roll7 has done it again with another stellar skating game. This time with OlliOlli World which blends stringing together sick skate lines with a beautiful color palette of bright and muted pastels.
OlliOlli World Review: Shredding Mad Gnar
Reviewed on PC
It’s the perfect “just one more try” game, constantly restarting a level trying to beat your previous score or simply trying to just get through the level. The pacing of having combo extenders and abilities dolled out to you over the course of the campaign will have you ascending from a skating newbie to a full-fledged Skate Wizard by the end.
The beginning of OlliOlli World has you create a character with a rather robust character creator. The character themselves don’t have a ton of options, but the sheer number of outfits, accessories, and shoes you can equip was impressive. You also continually unlock new gear and skate decks for completing challenges in the levels, giving you a solid reason for replaying levels.
Challenges are contextualized in-game as your skate crew and pals give you them to complete along your journey to become the greatest skater in Radlandia and obtain the title of Skate Wizard. It’s reminiscent of taking on dares from friends and other skaters at the park, knowing it might be dangerous or risky, but wanting to prove yourself.
As for the characters themselves, OlliOlli World boasts a fun and eclectic set of characters with their unique quirks and wholesome dialogue. A character everyone calls dad, for no real reason, or the videographer Suze who is helping make gnarly skate videos of you and the crew. Each talks to you before starting a level to give you information about the areas of Radlandia and what you can expect from the upcoming challenge.
They are playful with you and each other making them feel like a real-life group of friends traveling the world. It’s not a deep or complex story by any means, but a game that has a tree nicknamed Thicc Mary is pretty alright in my books.
The levels themselves are intricately connected emphasizing multiple runs to see it all. Secret sidequests are triggered by finding characters by going off the beaten path. Diverging routes will have you making a quick second decision flying down ramps at high speed in pursuit of not losing your combo.
Forest levels have a cavalcade of bees holding wooden planks for your to-wall ride, while the sewer section will block paths with crystals that can only be smashed while doing a hold trick when smashing into them.
You won’t complete most levels on your first run-through, it may take two, three, or ten times to see a level through, but then you are immediately tempted to go at it again.
OlliOlli World promotes mastering a level, learning the ins and outs of how it’s crafted. You’ll learn skills far later in the game that can be brought into earlier levels suddenly giving you a whole new perspective on how to approach a level. Stairs that used to be a huge hurdle to hop over, you can now ride down with ease.
All of these tricks are available from the beginning, but the game does not teach them to you, because it doles them out slowly over the course of the game. However, if you experiment you can figure out the button combinations earlier than anticipated and really blast through the early game.
After finishing the campaign you can obviously replay levels with new sets of challenges unlocked after the ending, or you can head into Gnarvana, which will have you competing for high scores in randomly generated levels. It’s a fun test of how well you’ve mastered the basics of skating in OlliOlli World.
Of course, this package is all tied together with a low-fi soundtrack that blends into the background perfectly. It helps marry the gameplay and levels to get you in the zone when you’re replaying a level multiple times over.
I did encounter a few technical problems on PC that had me fall through the floor on multiple occasions effectively killing a really great run I had going, but outside of that, it ran smooth.
OlliOlli World respects skating, its culture, and everything that goes into making the act of shredding mad gnar feel incredible. It’s an easy recommendation for anyone with a fan of skate games.
- Excellent gameplay
- Strong low-fi soundtrack
- Level design forces interesting choices
- A few minor technical issues playing on PC