OlliOlli World is the latest skateboarding action platformer from Roll7 that takes the fast-paced side-scrolling gameplay from its previous titles and applies it to a whole new setting and art style.
You create your own up and coming skater in Radlandia, a utopian skateboarding paradise; its five regions are overlooked by five literal Skate Godz who champion specific skating styles and techniques. Their emissary Chiffon, known as a Skate Wizard, is looking to retire and install you in her place, so you’ll have to prove yourself worthy of the title by impressing local skating legends across the world.
Chiffon and her crew are lovable misfits from all over Radlandia who guide you through each region and offer history, commentary, and challenges for you to meet. I really like the colorful hipster designs of the whole crew and the wealth of customization options you get for yourself. However, I wish the crew did more than just stand around and occasionally emote, since they all talk a big game about how well they skate but never actually show you. The dialogue is also a bit weak. While I enjoyed the vibe of the whole crew, many of their jokes fell flat for me, but they are welcome companions nonetheless.
The gameplay remains similar to previous entries where you hold the left stick in any direction to prime for a trick and release to execute it. The right stick will initiate grabs, and landing perfectly with a stick input will link your combos with manuals. There’s additional depth hidden in your core abilities with the board, but they are only half of your options; more importantly is how you use them to interact with the environment. You can grind on rails and ride on walls with stick inputs, smash through crystal barricades and floors with grabs, and slide down staircases with manuals.
Using your abilities to properly navigate the hazardous courses becomes a zen-inducing battle to nail a perfect run. And the definition of a perfect run can change multiple times in the same course as secret paths are tucked away in hard-to-reach sections that take quick reactions to uncover. Honing your timing, knowing when to act and often when not to act, becomes an incredible rush of platforming mastery when it all comes together.
Later levels can ramp up the challenge, but with no overt difficulty options, OlliOlli World smartly allows you to set your own by giving every course three tiers of goals to strive for. You’ll always need to at least reach the end of a course, but the second and third tiers consist of tasks like doing specific tricks in specific locations and racking up high scores respectively. Playing levels while trying to do any or all of its challenges can drastically change how you approach your runs. Meeting enough challenges will impress the local legends and can unlock bonus stages as well as cosmetic items, but you’re free to progress through the entire game just by reaching the end of each bizarre level.
The shift in art style gives the series a more distinct identity, adopting a bright 2010s cartoon aesthetic, and new background and foreground travel on courses leads to some of the most insane sequences in the game. The psychedelic look of the world and characters fits perfectly with the over-the-top level design, and smart use of color-coded objects helps you react in time as obstacles come flying at you off screen in rapid succession.
Once you’ve mastered every level, you can generate endless courses of varying difficulty, but they’re honestly nowhere near as fun as the human-designed ones. So your end game time would be better spent chasing high scores on the online leaderboards.
OlliOlli World successfully evolves its look while simultaneously improving its already excellent gameplay. It introduces a genuinely interesting world and characters, but it’s the addictive arcade skateboarding that will stick with you and keep you coming back. The game is out February 8 for $29.99 on PC, PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X|S and Nintendo Switch.
Watch the Review in 3 Minutes for OlliOlli World.