Last month we told you the news that Donut Games would be revisiting their entire back catalog and updating each of their games with universal iPad support, Retina Display graphics, and Game Center integration. Just a couple of days later, the first of these updates hit the game Traffic Rush [99¢] and beyond adding the mentioned goodies it also contained an entirely new game mode called Rail Rush.

Now the second game to receive such an update is Rat On A Skateboard [Free], and Donut Games has dropped the price to free in order to celebrate. Rat On A Skateboard launched last November, and offers 2 different randomly generated endless modes as well as 30 challenge levels each with a 3 star grading system. This new update also includes an additional 10 new levels to play through in challenge mode. Here is an excerpt from our full review of Rat On A Skateboard:

The basic gameplay has Ratty moving automatically from left to right across the screen on his skateboard. Tapping the screen makes him jump (or ollie, to be precise) and tapping the screen while he is in the air performs tricks. You can perform up to four tricks in the air based on how many taps you can pull off before Ratty hits the ground. These tricks in order are a kickflip, a 360 flip, a triple kickflip, and a master flip, and you'll earn more points by executing multiple tricks in one jump. This adds a slightly more strategic element to the game where you can effectively earn more points by performing a lot of in-air tricks during well planned jumps, rather than only having your score increase solely due to collecting items or traveling a long distance.

Suffice to say, Rat On A Skateboard is a must-download during this free promotion. The Retina Display graphics look beautiful on my iPhone 4 and the game plays really well on the iPad too. One thing to note about all 3 of Donut’s universal titles is that while playing on an iPad the game doesn’t completely fill the screen. This is likely so they didn’t have to redraw all the artwork to fit the iPad’s larger screen, which I can totally understand. It definitely doesn’t ruin my enjoyment of the games, but hopefully all brand new titles going forward will be formatted to fit the iPad screen properly.

Make sure to pick up Rat On A Skateboard while it’s free, and if you have an extensive collection of Donut Games titles on your device like I do then keep your eyes peeled for more updates adding universal support, Retina Display graphics, and Game Center in the coming weeks.

  • Kevlar

    We're starting to see a trend here with games claiming to be universal when infact they are just displaying the retina resolution, not the ipad resolution ( all retina apps should be doing this anyway but for some reason they usually display the standard graphics on iPad ). Coin drop is the same, big border all around. Apple needs to put their foot down here I think.

    • Adams Immersive

      I too think that border is pretty annoying. BUT, in this case, I give them a bit of a pass because of a) the super-simple retro style of these games, making the border less of a glaring quirk to me, b) the amount of fun I get from the games being worth the annoyance, and c) the fact that they’re going back and making a ton of old games universal, which I’m glad for!

      As for Apple making a rule banning games with a border, it’s tempting to want that, but I’m not so sure. Lots of games on the App Store (including some ports from other platforms entirely) have a border around the game. Sometimes even just for style. Sometimes plain black, sometimes filled with some filler graphics. And realistically, some games would require major level re-working to make them full screen (especially pixel-precise games) because the iPad screen is a totally different shape. It depends on the specific game (and the size of the team) but that work might be too big a risk to be practical sometimes, and then it’s a question of getting universal with a border, or not at all. (I suspect that’s the case with Donut’s big back catalog.) Sometimes I’d prefer not at all! But not always.

      And in the end, what’s the difference between a black border and the many games that just extend dead background terrain out, or add a colored frame? Well, it’s the same play, but one looks a lot better! So I’d simply consider this one more factor in judging how good the graphics are, which is part (but not all) of my buying decisions.
      Now, I do NOT give Donut a pass for hiding this border in the App Store screenshots! The iPhone shots are seen full-frame, but for the iPad they inset the images with captions, allowing them to crop out the black. I think they should revisit that decision, so that new buyers can judge for themselves how much the border bothers them. (Some would still overlook that element in the screenshots. But reviews can come into play too. I plan to give a high rating BUT mention the border so people know.)

      I’ll skip some games if they use a cheap black border—it’s a downside, I agree—but I won’t skip these ones.

  • RiptoR

    Actually, the game now has 40 challenges 😉

  • kevlar

    Some good points there Adams but I wouldn't want apple to ban games with black borders but just to tighten up the rules so games like that can't call themselves universal, they are afterall just retina compatible games, not ipad. To make a silly arguement I could say that standard iphone app/games are universal because they run on the ipad, its just tha they have a 3inch border compared to the 1inch border like this game. What bugs me the most is non universal games which have retina support but only use standard iphone graphics on the ipad.

    • Laszlo Tuss

      Thats the point! most of the HD games sold is just the retina resolution,+ a bit more background! This is disgusting ! HD games need to be sold with extra content, like Firemint HD games and the some few other or like the World of Goo where we got the HD and the SD in same app!
      Im very satisfied with Donut games's decision ! all the retina enabled apps need to be used in "retina mode" but they wanted to sell us the same shit twice, for a way bigger price, like Angry Birds and their "HD" versions....