With Temple Run becoming the international phenomenon it has, and a tidal wave of copycats coming to the iOS platform in the years since, I can't believe it's taken so long for somebody to make a behind-the-back runner with a skateboarding theme. Amidst all the lane-changing, jumping and sliding, you could find a way to mix in a really interesting trick mechanic, so while you're hurtling along you could be busting out some awesome tricks on the terrain. I can picture it all now, and it seems really cool in my head.
Well, Gamechanger World has taken the initiative and are releasing Skate Madness in international stores as we speak, a 3rd-person runner with a skateboarding theme. Unfortunately, they don't take the opportunity to do anything very cool with the whole skating thing, and even after just a few minutes with Skate Madness it feels like nothing more than another uninspired clone.
First off is the setting. You play as a skateboarder, someone whose natural home is the urban settings and concrete jungles of a city. In Skate Madness, though, you're pretty much skating through the kinds of settings you'd find in Temple Run–jungles and Mayan ruins. Also you're being chased by a pack of evil monkeys because hey, why not, right? You are skateboarding through the jungle, after all.
Besides the inexplicably mismatched setting and theme, Skate Madness is your typical runner game. Jump, change lanes, slide under things, or "grind" on logs and columns. Also collect fruit, of course. There's a huge number of power-ups and items you can buy in the in-game shop to give you a leg up, and apparently the Gamechanger World company runs some weird promotion through their games where you can win prizes in real life? I don't know, I skipped all the junk that explained it, but just know you'll also be treated to advertisements for that inside of this paid game.
Skate Madness looks cool enough, and you do pull off a couple of canned tricks when you jump off ramps or grind objects, but this is such a missed opportunity to do something really cool with an entire skateboarding trick system built into a 3rd-person runner. Add in the weird promotional stuff and a typical free-to-play type grind but in a paid game, and there's really no reason to bother with Skate Madness when it hits later tonight unless you are an absolute nut for runners.
International App Store Link: Skate Madness, $0.99 (Universal)
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