You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Why Tony Hawk Brought His Signature Skateboarding Game to Mobile

Famed skateboarder Tony Hawk returns to gaming with the launch this week of “Tony Hawk’s Skate Jam,” and yes, it’s a mobile game. But Hawk tells Variety that the time is ripe for his signature gameplay to land on smartphones.

“The time has come,” he said, “I haven’t done a game for a few years and I never got to explore what was possible with mobile. “

“Tony Hawk’s Skate Jam,” which officially launched on the App Store and Google Play on Thursday, is a free-to-play title that was developed by LA-based Maple Media and shepherded by Hawk himself. That’s obvious from the moment you drop into the game. Hawk voices the short tutorial and occasionally reacts to the tricks you succeed or fail at while playing. He’s also a sort of power-up character you can unlock by pulling off enough tricks in a session and activating him.

Hawk said that he thinks now is a great time for skateboarding games to make a comeback, adding that mobile is the one space such games have been missing. That’s not entirely true, there are a number of skate games available on mobile, but none try to replicate the look and feel of the classic Activision Tony Hawk games. And that’s exactly what “Skate Jam” was going for, he said.

“It’s definitely inspired by the earlier games in the series,” he said. “This looks far better than the game looked on the PlayStation One or PlayStation 3. My main job and objective of this game is to get it feeling like those old games, to get that retro control scheme and button combos.”

In action, it feels like “Skate Jam” has delivered. Players use a virtual thumbstick on the left side of the screen to maneuver their skater and then rely on a large virtual jump button, and virtual buttons for grind, grab, and foot moves to land tricks. The scoring system, like those old “Tony Hawk” games, build up as you chain moves together and can quickly disappear if you crash a landing, earning not only no points but an occasional “gnarly” or other comment from Hawk.

“The trick scheme is one that people most associate with me,” he said. “It includes a combination of more standard tricks and some classics. They’re not necessarily my signature moves, but some of those are in there too.”

In terms of other inspiration for this “Tony Hawk” game, the skater said he also looked to “Mario Kart.”

“In terms of excitement and challenges I’ve always been a huge ‘Mario Kart’ fan,” he said. “Not that this is a racing game, but I feel like that energy is there.”

The game also comes packed with an impressive set of music that plays as you skate your way through the game’s many maps.

“I had a hand in selecting all of the tracks,” Hawk said. “I’m trying to make it as diverse and well-rounded as previous games.”

The game modes include the ability to drop into a skate session in a number of generic career locations, like West Coast, Baja or Southwest, as well as a global online Skate Jam mode and daily challenges.

“Expectations for this game are high,” Hawk said. “There’s always a chance of pushback because it’s on mobile, but I’ve wanted to do this for a long time and I’m really proud of it. It’s a really fun skating game.”

More Gaming

  • 'Game of Thrones' Author George R.R.

    'Game of Thrones' Author George R.R. Martin Consults on Video Game

    George R. R. Martin, the famed author of the “Game of Thrones” book series, has consulted on an upcoming video game currently being developed in Japan, this according to a blog post from the author which lays out the work he is now up to in the wake of the HBO television series finale. “I’m [...]

  • PlayStation Team Caught Off Guard By

    PlayStation Team Caught Off Guard By Sony, Microsoft Deal (Report)

    Last week, Sony and Microsoft surprised the gaming community by announcing a strategic partnership where they will work together on cloud technology. Apparently, no one was more shocked than the PlayStation team, who were blindsided by the deal, according to a report by Bloomberg. Negotiations between Sony and Microsoft began last year and were handled [...]

  • Phil Spencer

    Xbox Chief Phil Spencer Outlines Plan to Combat Online Toxicity

    Head of Xbox Phil Spencer outlined new plans to combat toxicity and promote online safety in a post on the Microsoft Blog on Monday. Spencer believes in two fundamental truths about gaming, he said. One, that gaming is for everyone and, two, gaming must promote and protect everyone’s safety. “No one group ‘owns’ gaming,” Spencer [...]

  • Oculus Quest Gets Netflix App, But

    Oculus Quest Will Have Netflix, but Not Plex or HBO

    Facebook’s new Oculus Quest headset is launching with a number of high-profile gaming titles this Tuesday. Media apps on the other hand will take a bit of backseat, with some key players sitting this latest headset out for the time being. First, the good news for anyone who has pre-ordered the headset: One of the [...]

  • Sony Interactive Launches Film, TV Studio

    Sony Interactive Launches Film, TV Studio to Adapt Video Game Projects

    Sony Interactive recently launched PlayStation Productions, a studio tasked with adapting the company’s video game properties into films and television shows, according to The Hollywood Reporter. PlayStation Productions is headed by Asad Qizilbash and overseen by SIE chairman of Worldwide Studios Shawn Layden. It’s reportedly already working on its first slate of projects on the [...]

  • Watch YouTuber Play VR Game 'Apex

    Watch YouTuber Play VR Game 'Apex Construct' on a Football Field

    “Apex Construct” developer Fast Travel Games recently teamed up with YouTube content creator Jugon Virtual to show off the virtual reality adventure game’s motion mechanic on a large football field. Using the standalone Ocululs Quest headset and body motion exclusively to navigate the game world, Virtual covered a total area of 6050m2 while playing, Fast [...]

  • Double Fine's Apocalyptic Rogue-Like 'Rad' Coming

    Double Fine's Apocalyptic Rogue-Like 'Rad' Coming August 20

    Double Fine Productions’ upcoming 3D rogue-like “Rad” is coming to Xbox One, PlayStation 4, Nintendo Switch, and PC on August 20, the developer announced Monday. Set in a post-post apocalyptic world in which humanity has faced the end of the world twice over, players take on the role of a teen protagonist who is forced [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content