App Reviewed on: iPhone 3GS
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Neon graffiti. Mix tapes. Discarded furniture. What may or may not be beanies. And, of course, zombies. Rad Skater Apocalypse attempts to fuse zombie Armageddon with the feel of “old school” skateboarding games. It’s a seemingly clever match, but without the gameplay chops to back it up the Apocalypse ends up being not so rad. Not so rad at all.
Players assume control over a colorful skateboarder (naturally) and attempt to clear each level without succumbing to bails or the Living Dead. Everything is broken down simply enough, with one virtual button for jumping and a second for grinding. And that’s it for the controls. The main focus is on simply making it through a given level in one piece; a task that quickly becomes daunting as more and more things (inanimate or otherwise) begin to get in the way.
Rad Skater Apocalypse sports an interesting mix of styles. While the main character, skyline, items, and enemies are all gloriously pixilated, the other elements (background and foreground elements as well as obstacles) are more akin to magazine clippings. It looks bizarre, yes, but it’s the kind of bizarre that works. The simplicity of the controls is also welcome as things can start to get a little hectic. The less I’m required to split my focus the better. And dispatching zombies via grind or jumping on their heads is always entertaining.
Although the jumping is a little stiff and everything could stand to move just a little faster, my real issue with Rad Skater Apocalypse is the structuring of the levels. Specifically; they progress consecutively and failing at any point (level 1, 2, 3, etc) resets back to the very beginning, which in itself wouldn’t be so bad if each level didn’t follow a set layout. I imagine instituting random level generation would be a pain, but to force players to revisit rather large chunks of the (arduously slow moving) game without doing anything to change things up drags down the fun something fierce.
Rad Skater Apocalypse can indeed be entertaining in relatively small doses, but it ultimately falls flat due to way too much repetition and a somewhat painfully slow pace. Sometimes goofiness, retro aesthetics, and zombies just aren’t enough