One million years ago, Norwegian developer Agens released their stunning skateboarding game Skate Lines on mobile. Ok, it wasn’t actually one million years ago, it was in early 2015, but in the mobile world that feels like forever ago. Skate Lines successfully captured the creativity and artistry of skateboarding while also providing a clever dual-stick control scheme that allowed for just about the entire repertoire of skateboarding tricks to be performed easily on a touchscreen. I absolutely adored Skate Lines back in the day, so I was pretty excited when Agens announced that they were working on a sequel in early 2016. We even made a comparison of that in-progress Skate Lines 2 to Alto’s Adventure due to the side-scrolling nature, focus on beauty, and almost meditative gameplay that both games centered around. It’s funny then that just about a year later it was announced that Agens had partnered up with Alto developer Snowman to help finish up the sequel, which had now been renamed to Skate City.
Fast forward a couple of years later and Skate City ended up as one of the debut titles on Apple’s Apple Arcade gaming subscription service when it launched in September of 2019. The game originally launched with 3 different environments to skate in: Los Angeles, Barcelona, and the developer’s hometown of Oslo, Norway. Right around the game’s one year anniversary in September of last year, a new level was introduced based on Miami, Florida. Now a 5th city is making its way into Skate City and this time around it’s based on Tokyo, Japan, just in time for the Summer Olympics which are set to kick off in Tokyo in just a few days. Here’s the new level in action.
One thing I love about Skate City is how there’s a running day/night cycle while you play, as it gives you a chance to see each of the game’s locations in various types of lighting. This Tokyo level looks especially gorgeous during that “golden hour" with cherry blossoms and koi ponds peppering the terrain, which gives way to a neon-soaked nighttime as you cruise through the more urban areas of the city. Of course a new city also brings with it new challenges and goals to complete, 21 of the former and 30 of the latter to be specific. I’m more of a “veg out and just free skate for hours at a time" type of person when I play Skate City, but I do also love that there’s goals and missions to shoot for when I get in the right mood for a more structured experience.
Speaking of which, Skate City’s most recent update this past April added a new Pro Mode to the Los Angeles map which tasks you with completing as long a run as possible without crashing while also throwing an assortment of different obstacles and trick requirements in your path. It’s really fun, and worth checking out if you maybe haven’t picked up the game for a while. As for Tokyo the plan is to release the new map in Skate City this Friday the 23rd, which is also when the 2020 Summer Olympics officially kicks off, so keep an eye out for the update then.