I’ve been playing a bit of Skatebird every since it launched last week. The game is a pretty interesting take on the skateboarding genre with one massive difference. Instead of playing as famous skateboarders, you’re playing as a bird. While this might not sound that good, I can promise you that it is, as long as you like skateboarding games. If you don’t, then it’s probably a game you should stay away from. There’s a lot to love here, but ultimately I think it falls short of what it could have been.
The crus of the game, as I’ve mentioned, is that you’re a bird. There’s this whole tiny culture of birds who love skateboarding on tiny skateboards, and they’re all pretty awesome. Some of the dialogue can be a bit jarring, but that’s just part of this being a skateboarding game. Overall, the presentation is nice, and I like how every skatepark is basically just a single room to humans that birds have gone wild with. It’s amazing to think that birds might want to do this and the only thing holding them back is having enough tiny skateboards.
However, the gameplay is extremely similar to that in the Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater series. I don’t think this is necessarily a bad thing, but it does hold the game back. There’s not enough variety in the things you do, such as the missions, because they all revolve around the missions you’re used to seeing in skateboarding games. Admittedly, I’m not sure there’s a tonne of innovation to be had, but it would have been nice to see some. Even the collectibles are pretty short-lived, mainly because there’s just nothing to push you to grab them all unless you’re a completionist.
I think Skatebird is worth playing, but maybe only if you’ve got Game Pass. You don’t need to pay anything extra to pick it up there, so it’s worth a go and you’ll have a bit of fun with it. I like how you can flap to jump higher, but really it’s nothing more than another skateboarding game. I don’t think we’ll see the big innovation in skateboarding games until we got OlliOlli World.