Combining tiny little fancy birds with skateboarding is highly unusual but it continues to show how indie developers will try things AAA won't. SkateBIRD is exactly that and it's out now.
Of course since you're only tiny, so are the skateparks which are all made from random everyday objects. You get to customize your bird too, as the developer points out that "Skateboarding is all about self-expression, and style is important no matter how small the skater. From cowboy hats, to colorful scarves and backpacks, SkateBIRD’s accessories let each skater’s personality shine. Look fresh while tracking down hidden mixtapes to unlock new songs or have a solo session with low-fi bird-hop beats in the background".
Check out the release trailer:
Developed by Glass Bottom Games, an independent game developer based in Seattle USA. Glass Bottom previously developed titles including Hot Tin Roof, Spartan Fist, and Jones on Fire. SkateBIRD was crowdfunded on Kickstarter back in 2019 where it managed to raise $67,220.
“As a small indie studio, the journey to launching on multiple platforms isn’t always the easiest one, but our community and fans have been instrumental in supporting us every step of the way,” said Megan Fox, founder, Glass Bottom Games. “ We are thrilled the console and PC communities finally get the chance to drop in and get skating!”
As a game, it's ridiculously cute. The little birds are wonderful and it looks pretty good overall but the most important part, the actual skating, it doesn't do particularly well. It's not especially bad it's just not exactly great either. The camera and the controls are more of a nuisance than anything. I particularly strongly dislike the depth of field effect which feels too strong for how small the areas are - which is not currently possible to turn off which seems like a big release oversight to me. Playing for a while gives quite the headache thanks to that.
For how tight and small the areas are the speed, controls and physics just seem all out of balance. I can't put my finger on exactly what but I didn't get along with this one which is a shame.