There’s nothing quite like directly manipulating an on screen object on your iOS device as though you’re playing with the real thing. Illusion Labs has done a great job of providing a fingerboard to play with through multi-touch controls in their game Touchgrind, which is an App Store classic. The game was fairly limited with a zoomed in top down view, but now that has completely changed with Touchgrind Skate 2. The same idea remains of giving you a wide variety of skateboarding tricks to perform with your fingertips, but now you get to play in expansive skate parks with a third person perspective. It’s a whole new way to play Touchgrind allowing you to see potential moves up ahead, and it’s similar to True Skate, but with more features. Speaking of which, Touchgrind Skate 2 includes three intricate skate parks, three different game modes, and 100 challenges to complete.
When you first launch Touchgrind Skate 2 the game walks you through all of the different tricks at your disposal beginning with simply placing two fingers on the skatebaord. All you do is move your fingers in different directions to complete tricks, but it does take a while to get used to. There’s no doubt it’s intuitive, but you still need to wrap your head around what exactly you’re doing, and how the different finger movements translate to specific tricks. Once things click, there will be no holding you back chaining together 50-50 grinds, ollies, pop shuvits, kickflips, and more for huge scores. The game features three game modes with a 100 second score challenge, a jam session for a free roam attempt at the biggest combo score, and finally an online multiplayer mode of S.K.A.T.E., which is like horse. Each mode provides a unique challenge, and the three modes are included for each of the individual skate parks.
The most notable aspect is how natural it is to ride with two fingers, and the game is ultra responsive in recognizing exactly what you want to do with the fingerboard. There’s so many potential moves to pull off from simple beginnings that you keep wanting to come back to try a more ornate move, or pull off grander connected moves. One of the most enjoyable parts of the game is going into jam session, and just experimenting with different tricks for the particular layout. There are so many intricacies to the skate parks with two level layouts, tons of grind rails, multiple ramps, lengthy empty pools, a complete half pipe, and so much more to work into combining your tricks.
The game just calls to you to better your score, and there’s just an intrinsic replay factor to keep doing better. There are also 100 different specialized challenges to pull off, and as you do, you unlock new decks, grips, wheels, and stickers to customize your board with. The whole new perspective is what makes this game shine, and everything is presented beautifully with such an advanced 3D engine. The parks are absolutely gorgeous with realistic details, and there’s such a great physics engine for the skateboard to react exactly as you would expect. There’s just so much to enjoy, and while there are plenty of periods of frustration, it feels so good when you pull off sick moves. You also get to witness those moves with the great graphical engine, and it’s just such a well designed experience. It’s the type of game that can only excel through excellent design, and it’s so well made that it’s more enjoyable than the real deal.
Toughgrind Skate 2 ($4.99, Universal) is one of the best touch gaming experiences around that is a must buy for hours of action packed fun.