Skate It iPhone Review

Sometimes, going for innovation rather than pure enjoyment can backfire. We've already learned this lesson with last year's abysmal Tony Hawk: Ride, and now Electronic Arts has problems of its own with the deeply flawed Skate It. Despite some interesting ideas, it loses momentum.

EA went for a different kind of approach with the controls. Instead of using a traditional joypad and buttons (like Activision's Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 2), Skate It relies mostly on finger swipes. To perform an ollie, for example, you draw a line straight up the screen after you've built enough speed (by pressing a kick button located in the corner). It's a fresh idea, and a nice change of pace from the usual "press up and A/B combo" routine.

That said, it never works the way it's supposed to. Half of the time, your swipes don't register properly, and even when they do, there's no reassurance that you'll successfully land the move. Even the simplest of grabs can end in an Evel Kneivel-style disaster. Even worse, when your skateboarder crashes, he or she takes so much time getting back up that whatever energy you've built dwindles away.

It's a shame, because Skate It comes packed with options. You can record your replays on camera, show off your epic bails (or in this case, epic fails) and sick lines to your friends, then challenge them to try and keep up. The game also lets you to listen to your own soundtrack via iTunes, which is a cool option. Unfortunately, there are no multiplayer modes.

If stunted gameplay wasn't enough of an issue, Skate It also looks horrid. Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 2, a ten-plus year old game, even looks better than this. The frame rate runs choppy most of the time (even on newer model iPhone and iPod Touches), and your skaters seem inhuman. Their faces don't even map properly to their bodies.

If Skate 3 is a successful trick run, then Skate It is the ultimate bail. The gameplay doesn't click and the visuals never draw you in to a real skateboarding experience. On that note, we suggest downloading Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 2. It's three bucks more, but at least you'll get your money's worth.

What's Hot: Neat control idea with finger swipes, you can record your replays and play your own soundtrack.

What's Not: Awkward and borderline broken controls, bad frame rate, terrible player models.