Skater Nation from Gameloft is a full featured skateboarding game for the iPhone with a ton of replay value and hours of gameplay. Ride in either Career or Free Ride modes and choose from 8 different characters to ride, each with a detailed set of strengths and characteristics, including jump height, air focus, speed, rail, lip and manual skills. There are 6 open riders to start and you can unlock the two additional riders (Jenny and Ryan) as you land major skill points. Riders can take both goofy and regular stances, and you can custom create your own skateboard by picking the perfect deck, trucks and wheels. As you get up higher, you’ll also unlock better skate parts to pick from.
The controls in the Skater Nation are done using a virtual d-pad on the left and two buttons (A & B) on the right side of the iPhone and are surprisingly smooth and responsive. The buttons are time sensitive, so you can pull different moves off by tapping them vs. tapping and holding as with most console type games. You can do ollies, grind on edges, and even pull off front and backside manuals with the help of the iPhone’s accelerometer. For a complete list of all the moves you can perform, there is a Move List section that breaks down available moves and how to perform them on the iPhone. Your basic categories are Ground, Air, Grinds, Manuals, and Lip Tricks. Look through the move list and practice until your ready to start your career.
The game starts out in a skate park with a nice selection of ramps and rails for you to show off on. In free ride mode, you can touch the map to teleport to any destination such as Beach Park, Spine Street, Skate Plaza, Residential Area, Commercial Area, Factory Yard, Construction Site, Water Treatment Factory, and the Research Lab. Each section of the city has its own obstacles and objects for you to ride, grind and get air on. You can jump over cop cars, through helicopters, down giant ramps, over construction trucks as you try to pull of insane combos to rack up extra points. Along the way you’ll be able to jump and catch glowing balls that act as score multipliers.
The graphics are super colorful and detailed, and you can listen to 16 different songs as you ride, easily skipping through them. In career mode Skater Nation sends you through some basic training moves so you can get familiar with the controls. You can then perform challenges like Time Lap, Crazy High-Score, Trick List, and bunch of other fun challenges to gain experience points.
The only issue we had with the game was the somewhat slow loading screens but the great music and graphics help fill the void during those few seconds of waiting. Overall Skater Nation is an perfect one player skating game for the iPhone that blends freestyle riding perfecting with the virtual touchscreen of the iPhone to create something truly entertaining, and well worth the price.
Here is a video demo of the Skater Nation app on the iPhone
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