×
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

  • 'Red Dead Online' Spring Update Will

    'Red Dead Online' Spring Update Will Add Hostility System, Play Styles

    “Red Dead Online” is getting a big update this spring with some new features, developer Rockstar Games announced on Tuesday. “Alongside incorporating player feedback and addressing existing issues, the beta period has allowed us to lay the groundwork for the more advanced aspects of ‘Red Dead Online’ still to come,” it said in a post [...]

  • Anthem

    BioWare Says 'Anthem' Launch Was Rougher Than Expected

    BioWare general manager Casey Hudson is assuring “Anthem” players that the team is working hard to improve the online game after its rocky launch last month. “Anthem” released worldwide on Feb. 22 and received very mixed reviews from critics. Variety’s own Dan Solberg called it a “disjointed and clunky experience where the contact high of [...]

  • Jade Raymond to Lead Google's New

    Jade Raymond to Lead Google's New First-Party Game Development Studio

    Long-time video game producer Jade Raymond will lead Google’s new first-party development studio, called Stadia Games and Entertainment, the company announced during the Game Developers Conference on Tuesday. The studio will create games for Google’s new streaming service Stadia, which promises seamless 60 FPS and 1080p resolution on any device running a Chrome browser. Game [...]

  • 'Doom Eternal' Coming to Google's New

    'Doom Eternal' Coming to Google's New Stadia Service

    Id Software’s upcoming action sequel “Doom Eternal” is coming to Google’s new game streaming service called Stadia, the two companies announced during the Game Developers Conference in San Francisco on Tuesday. Google’s Stadia promises seamless 60 FPS and 1080p gameplay on any device with a Chrome browser, including tablets, phones, laptops, and televisions (via a [...]

  • Google Unveils Its New Stadia Controller

    Google Unveils Its New Stadia Controller

    Google officially unveiled its new video game streaming service Stadia during the Game Developers Conference in San Francisco on Tuesday, along with a new controller. Where other wireless game controllers typically use Bluetooth, the Stadia Controller uses Wi-Fi to connect directly to a game running in Google’s data center. It can identify which screen or [...]

  • The Struggles of South African Indie

    The Struggles of South African Indie Game Development

    Breaking into the game industry is a daunting endeavor. Often times independent solo developers feel isolated from everyone else and their perception of how things work is easily shaped by public discourse and their own expectations. Breaking into the industry from South Africa is even tougher since you’re an entire continent away from the main [...]

  • Google Stream Detailed, Named Stadia

    Google's Stadia Aims to Turn Any Screen Into a Powerful Gaming Console

    Stadia is Google’s game streaming service that is designed to let you play high-end games on most modern screens — be they phone, laptop, tablet, computer or TV — with very little download time and no loss of fidelity, the company announced Tuesday at the Game Developers Conference. The service is launching in 2019. Cost [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content