The idea behind the TouchArcade Game of the Week is that every Friday afternoon we post the one game that came out this week that we think is worth giving a special nod to. Now, before anyone goes over-thinking this, it doesn't necessarily mean our Game of the Week pick is the highest scoring game in a review, the game with the best graphics, or really any other quantifiable "best" thing. Instead, it's more just us picking out the single game out of the week's releases that we think is the most noteworthy, surprising, interesting, or really any other hard to describe quality that makes it worth having if you were just going to pick up one.

These picks might be controversial, and that's OK. If you disagree with what we've chosen, let's try to use the comments of these articles to have conversations about what game is your game of the week and why.

Without further ado…

 

Touchgrind Skate 2

Illusion Labs is something of a model iOS developer. They don't release a ton of games, but when they do release one, you can expect nothing short of top-notch production values, impressive visuals and brilliant use of the iOS platform's strengths. All those hold as true as ever in their latest release Touchgrind Skate 2 [$4.99]. The original Touchgrind , released way back in 2008, was a showpiece for what was possible with an iPhone in terms of gaming. It featured fantastic 3D visuals and a great physics system, but it was really the multi-touch capabilities that made it stand out. Using your fingers as little virtual feet to manipulate a virtual skateboard offered an unprecedented level of interaction and closeness with the game that couldn't be matched.

touchgrind2 touchgrind21

The only real problem was that Touchgrind was a pretty difficult game. Its trick system had a fairly steep learning curve, but not one that couldn't be overcome with some practice and dedication. The larger problem was the game's perspective. It was strictly top-down, which was a great way to easily interact with the board but was a horrible way to ever tell where you were going in a level. Due to that, the "game-ness" of Touchgrind suffered, and it ended up feeling more like a glorified tech demo.

That's all changed with Touchgrind Skate 2. The camera has shifted back to a 3rd-person perspective, allowing you to see where you're going and what objects you're approaching but still offering a skateboard model that's easily accessible to your fingers. It really does make it feel like an entirely different game, but it still retains that closeness and level of interaction that made its first iteration feel so special.

Also, there's a hefty amount of challenges to complete in each of the game's three levels, as well as an asynchronous online multiplayer mode and high score medals to earn which means there's plenty of "game-ness" here for those looking for stuff to beat. That doesn't mean you'll beat it and forget it, though, as there's still un-timed free skating so you can get lost just trying tricks and testing what's possible for as long as you like. A simple replay system means you can share those awesome moments with everyone.

However, one thing that hasn't changed a whole lot with Touchgrind Skate 2 is the controls. This is still an incredibly difficult game to master, and the first few times I tried playing ended up in sheer frustration as I couldn't for the life of me get the board to do what I wanted it to do. An in-depth tutorial system helps greatly to familiarize yourself with the ins and outs of the controls, but still, it will take plenty of patience and a whole lot of practice on the player's part before things click. Once they do click though, look out – Touchgrind Skate 2 blossoms into a world of enjoyment.

If you think you're up to the task of learning the ropes, or you were a fan of the original Touchgrind, then Touchgrind Skate 2 most definitely should be on your radar, and it's definitely the game I'll be spending the majority of my free time with for the foreseeable future.

  • Animosity16

    But see, just like learning how to skatevoard in real life.. You don't learn the "controls" immediately... Just like in this game. So I feel it is understandable to have some issue with controls but seriously... That's what makes the game so worth it and unique! Five stars

    • riggysmalls

      The controls however are much unlike skateboarding in real life. There's tons of good things about touchgrind 2, but the controls aren't one. True Skate for example has amazing controls that really mimic foot movement on a skateboard. TG2 has much larger and robust skateparks and handles transitions really well though. I just wish we could combine the two!

  • Lazer Kat

    Space chicks is my choice

    • ste86uk

      I haven't tried it yet as I've been content with my other apps, downloading now to take a look.

  • HardyRawls

    "Touchgrind Skate 2" is such a dumb name.
    I would have called it "Super Invis-O Skateboarder 2".

    • tvp61196

      thare actually is no rider, seeing as how you can go right under 1 ft high rails with ease

  • Echoen

    That replay of a board moving on its own.

  • Rejera

    Totally agree this week. I've spent countless hours on this game. Controls are great and fun.

  • rich_952000

    This and Space Chicks have received equal play from me. Kudos to both devs for spicing up an otherwise drab gaming week ;)

  • Ramaz1234
  • l3aper

    Notice: this is not the sponsored app of the week. That is all.

    • Lazer Kat

      Guess they didn't go with the "premium sponsorship"

  • anabolicMike

    No

  • Jake7905

    Tower Dwellers was the biggest surprise, and the best game of the week.

  • newjorg

    No mention of True Axis' True Skate? After all all, Illusion Labs lifted the 3rd person (vs. top down) view from it!

    • Guest

      Well, to be correct, Touchgrind BMX had the 3rd person perspective before True Skate came out. So I think they lifted it from their own game actually..

    • Doc Brown

      Well, to be correct, Touchgrind BMX had the 3rd person perspective before True Skate came out. So I think they lifted it from their own game actually..

  • ste86uk

    Is the game really that good? I've never tried any touch grind games or similar as they never looked appealing to me. The last skateboard game I played was a tony hawks on ps2 I believe.

    • riggysmalls

      TG2 is more akin to a fingerboard equivalent of THPS. True Skate is much more of a sandbox with amazing physics and much more realistic controls. I think TG2 will appeal to more gamers, but as a skateboarder True Axis really did well with True Skate and that's my pick.

      • totallymichael

        Agreed! I got Touchgrind Skate 2, played with it for a few minutes and was done. It's a joke to even call it a "physics system". Everything feels like it's on rails, even the airs. For anybody that's actually skateboarded, True Skate is the way to go. I never understood why Touchgrind has you slide your front foot before the back. Doesn't make any sense. True Skate has an actual physics system where height, speed, and angle all contribute to the trick you'll end up doing. It's got a much steeper learning curve, but it's much more satisfying pulling off a trick you were actually trying. This game is like THPS, True Skate is an extremely realistic skateboard simulator. As for the good, this game definitely has a pretty nice replay system that I wish True Skate had. That's about it.

  • Espekayen

    I'm not a fan of this kind of game, but I just wanted to say I love the idea of this GOTW feature and I think it's a great way to give gamers a heads up of what is out there that might be worth a look. Whether you agree with TA's choice of GOTW or not, there's no denying it's a useful and brilliant article that I for one look forward to reading each week.

  • Gfours

    I am a Skater and i really loved True Skate but I found it a bit 'wild'. TG2 is a lot more organised and give you the ability to pull off some proper tricks.

    The controls in TG2 took a little while to get used to but now I have I find it so rewarding to pull of a 360 over a spine, do a fakie lip trick on a quarter and then do a 180 shuv to late heel. My favourite at the moment is to do an underflip whilst mid varial kickflip.

    Riding pools/bowls in this is really fun and much more true to reall skating.

    Well done IL

  • Frank004

    The controls need to be fix