Review: OlliOlli World – A Laid-Back Take on Skateboarding Games
Escape to an Adventure Time-ish place with OlliOlli World, the third game in the OlliOlli series. Unlike regular skateboarding games, OlliOlli Word takes on a laid-back approach and gives you a vibrant stage where you can kickflip, backslide, grind, and grab all you want. It may not be as challenging as Skater XL, but it’s the best bet if you want to break into the world of skateboarding games – and if you want to play something pleasing to the eyes.
Is OlliOlli World worth playing, or will you get board playing it – get it? Skateboarding puns aside, we tried it out on the Nintendo Switch so that you don’t have to.
In OlliOlli World, you skate your way through the hand-drawn world of Radlandia and work your way towards Gnarvana – the fictional world’s definition of supreme skate prowess. The story goes like this: the “Skate Wizard” is retiring, and now you’ve been chosen to take over since the world needs to be linked to the skateboarding gods. If it sounds bonkers, that’s because it is – but that’s exactly what makes it exceptional.
OlliOlli World is an Adventure Time-ish place that’s filled with cotton candy-colored landscapes, comedic characters, and good old, light-hearted fun. As a skateboarding game, it is packed with sick tricks and grinds that could challenge the best skateboarding games like Skate City, SkateBIRD, and Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 2. The gameplay can be intense, but it also acts as an escape to a vibrant world with endless views. For that reason, OlliOlli World is geared towards skilled gamers as well as those who are looking for a laid-back game that they can play at their own pace.
Gameplay and Story
Most of your time on OlliOlli World will be spent completing the main campaign or “Career Mode”. It is divided into five zones that you have to complete to prove yourself to the Skate Wizard. Every zone introduces new tricks, but unlike existing skateboarding games, it doesn’t expect you to get them on the first try. It slowly introduces you to the tricks, transitions, wallrides, and more without overwhelming you. OlliOlli World allows you to replay levels until you get the hang of things.
In contrast to OlliOlli and OlliOlli 2: Welcome to OlliWood, OlliOlli World isn’t as intense. It’s more easy-going as it no longer punishes you for the tricks you don’t do right, but instead, it rewards you for the tricks that you do get right. Its scoring system, coupled with score bonuses, makes it feel more laid-back. You will find tutorials at every level.
The game does get more challenging, but it doesn’t throw you into courses that it knows you won’t be able to handle. It takes time to get used to the game’s trick mechanisms, but the good news is that you can respawn your character at the nearest checkpoint. You can get back up in no time but at the cost of your score, of course. If you don’t want to break your streak, you can always restart the run with a single click.
When you revisit the map, you’ll be pitted against a rival and your goal will be to get to the top of the leaderboard. This is exactly what makes OlliOlli World exciting – it’s endless. You can continue to challenge yourself, as well as other players, on the same maps that get more and more intense as you climb the leaderboard. Your task would be to figure out which trick combos results in the best score.
You can also challenge your friends on “League Mode”. You’ll have every opportunity to secure your spot on the leaderboard, but you’ll probably be tired of it fast – unless, of course, you’re playing OlliOlli World to satisfy your competitive side.
As you make your way through Radlandia and hone your skills to become the link between the skateboarders and the skateboarding gods, you’ll be able to meet a wide range of oddball characters. The characters aren’t that fleshed out, but bear in mind that it is mainly a skateboarding game, after all. If anything, the arcade-like game makes you feel like you’re hanging out with fellow skateboarders on a weekend.
The downside is when the “kooky” characters try to be comedic, they end up throwing awkward dialogue. This isn’t a dealbreaker, though – OlliOlli World is not about the characters, but more about the skateboarding tricks.
To allow you to blend in with the oddball characters, OlliOlli World comes with a robust character creator. Aside from being able to change the basics, you can also dress your character in vibrant garbs, gear, and more. In this cartoony world, you won’t be able to find boring things in the character creator, but only vibrant things such as tie-dyed shirts, neon-colored vests, and more. We were impressed by the number of cosmetic items, and it is worth mentioning that you can wear whatever you want. The game does not pigeonhole you into choosing “gender-appropriate” items as it doesn’t force you into a single social construct.
Adventure Time-ish Visuals
OlliOlli World does not look like your regular skateboarding game. It says goodbye to urban streets, graffiti, and more and trades it for pastel-colored environments that bear a striking resemblance to Cartoon Network’s signature style. The game features a hand-drawn art style that is a contrast to the original OlliOlli’s crisp, clean art style. From sun-kissed boardwalks to lands dipped in orange paint, OlliOlli World is a visual treat that tempts you to stop skateboarding so you can take in how breathtaking the world is.
Aside from the show-stopping scenery, OlliOlli World is also one for the books thanks to its blink-and-you’ll-miss-it routes. Players can change lanes in order to increase their scores, as well as unlock side challenges that they need to complete to break the leaderboard. However, those that don’t want to engage in platforming are free to complete each course at their own pace. The game is, after all, designed for skilled skateboarders and laid-back gamers.
The downside is that the side quests are a bit underwhelming. In one side quest, your goal is to pop the inflatable pool toys. In general, however, your goal is to perform tricks like kickflips, 3,600-degree rotations, and the like, but that’s it – there’s nothing new that you can’t already do in the main campaign.
OlliOlli World is a side-scrolling skateboarding game that’s designed for laid-back gamers. Its trick mechanics may not be as complex as OlliOlli and OlliOlli 2: Welcome to OlliWood, but that’s exactly why it works. It’s a skateboarding game that shouldn’t be taken too seriously, but instead, should be played at your own pace.
Who should buy OlliOlli World? Gamers that want something to play on their downtime – one that’s still challenging enough to grab their attention, but not too difficult that they’d be forced to put it down.
OlliOlli World is available on Microsoft Windows, Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Xbox One, and Xbox Series X/S. Click here to purchase OlliOlli World on Steam.