For as long as I can remember I’ve been a fan of skateboarding games. From Thrasher: Skate and Destroy and Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater up to the Skate series. In recent years there has been a saddening lack of good quality skateboarding games coming out. Then OlliOlli came along. Now, I’ll admit, OlliOlli is a game that flew under my radar because I had been so busy with other more significant releases. Now that OlliOlli: Switch Stance has come out on the Nintendo Switch, I’ve become addicted. Developed by Roll7 and published by Gambitious OlliOlli: Switch Stance collects the two OlliOlli games in one elegant little package for the Nintendo Switch. Winning over 75 awards between the two titles, OlliOlli: Switch Stance is an absolute gem.
Now let’s drop in and get down to forming a habit!
OlliOlli: Switch Stance is a 2D Side-scrolling skateboarding game that sits high in the pantheon of extreme sports titles. Using a trick stick control scheme similar to EA’s Skate series it’s a very accessible game for those who haven’t had the opportunity to give it a chance. OlliOlli: Switch Stance combines OlliOlli and OlliOlli2: Welcome To Olliwood and adds to it a new multiplayer mode called Combo-Rush. You can play Combo-Rush with up to 4 players on the same screen, creating a fun couch multiplayer experience.
Starting out OlliOlli: Switch Stance is an easy enough game to learn, but incredibly challenging to master. With over 100 levels and spots to play, you’ll be spending plenty of time working on your tricks. Each level has a set of 5 tasks to complete, and once you do, you unlock the pro version of that level. Once you’re feeling confident in your skill, you can take on the Daily Grind to challenge a global leaderboard for the top score and bragging rights.
OlliOlli2: Welcome to Olliwood expands on the trick library of the first game by adding more grinds, flips and even manuals, allowing you to keep your combo going longer to rack up more points. The more perfect landings and grinds you chain together cause you to build more momentum. This, in turn, allows you to make larger gaps and nail those flip tricks and spins. Even the levels are larger and more detailed. There are multiple pathways through some of the stages, allowing a considerable amount of replayability trying to get that perfect run and max out your score.
The first OlliOlli game features a pixelated art style. It’s a very fast-paced game, and the art style allows it to move quickly without getting bogged down with frame rate issues. When you load up the game, there is a notice telling you that the game is a fast one and requires your TV to be in Game Mode to take full advantage of the frame rate. The textures of the levels have some pretty solid details to them, even if they’re recycled tiles that zip by so fast you don’t get to appreciate them.
OlliOlli2: Welcome To Olliwood features a more vibrant colour palette, and drops the pixel art style for a more detailed smoother art style. The new animations added for the new tricks fine-tune the way your skater moves on his board. When you play both games back to back you can fully appreciate the changes they have made to the visuals.
OlliOlli: Switch Stance features a solid collection of songs from various artists, and while it’s not necessarily everybody’s cup of tea, it suits the game well to have the lo-fi electronic soundtrack it has. This style of music makes it easy to get into a zone while playing. As a result, After a few failed runs and restarting the level, the music helps to keep a level head rather than succumb to frustration.
Music aside, the game features the usual sounds you would expect to hear from a skateboarding game: wheels on pavement, trucks on rails, flipping and landing the board, etc. and it’s excellent.
Between the levels, challenges, spots and the Daily Grind, this game offers an immense amount of replay value. It might not be the type of game you would play for hours on end, but it sure is the type of game you can pick up and kill a half hour here and there playing. I feel like that will give the game an unusually long lifespan. I regularly find myself reaching for my Switch to play a few levels in handheld mode while I cook food or during a commute on public transit. It’s a game that I will probably play for a very long time to come, and if you’re anything like me, you will too.
All in all OlliOlli: Switch Stance on the Nintendo Switch is a great game to play. At £13.49(Nintendo eShop) If you own a Nintendo Switch, you should own OlliOlli: Switch Stance. It’s THAT fun, and for the reason that I’ve become incredibly addicted to its gameplay very quickly, I’m awarding it the highly coveted Thumb Culture Platinum Award. So go buy it. Go buy it now! It has an incredible dollar to time spent playing ratio and you shouldn’t miss out.
Disclaimer: A key was received to complete this review