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OlliOlli World

Platform(s): Nintendo Switch, PC, PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X
Genre: Platformer
Publisher: Private Division
Developer: Roll7
Release Date: Feb. 8, 2022

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PS5 Review - 'OlliOlli World'

by Chris "Atom" DeAngelus on Feb. 3, 2022 @ 6:00 a.m. PST

OlliOlli World is a bold new skateboarding action-platformer that’s bursting with personality.

Buy OlliOlli World

OlliOlli World is set in a fantastical land called Radlandia where everything is based around skateboarding, sweet tricks, and cool grinds. You control a custom-created character as they enter the tryouts to be the next Skate Wizard. The Skate Wizard is the best skater on the planet whose kickin' rad skills can be used to communicate between the skaters of the land and the skate gods above. In short, it is a silly place that runs entirely on skater slang and kickflips, and it is a genuine delight to explore.

OlliOlli World can best be described as a skateboard-themed platformer. Instead of jumping on Goombas, you need to maintain a long, unbroken string of tricks to go from one end of the stage to another. You need to perform tricks to conquer gaps and avoid obstacles, grind on rails, ride on walls, and various other tricks to succeed. It is a 2D platformer at heart, and it shows with the general level design. The initial challenge is finishing the stage, and it's easy to run into an enemy or fall into a pit, prompting the need to restart from your last checkpoint.


Fortunately, OlliOlli World plays extremely well. Jumps and tricks are done by pressing the analog stick in a direction. The direction you press determines the trick you do, with more complex tricks requiring half-circles or even a full 360 movement. You tap the X button to push forward faster, and you hold it to do a charged push. The game is tremendously easy to pick up and play, and the 2D gameplay means that you're largely focused on keeping things flowing together smoothly. It makes OlliOlli World feel pleasantly different from Tony Hawk Pro Skater without losing the fun of doing wild tricks and impossible combos.

As with Tony Hawk Pro Skater, the game isn't just about finishing a stage; your goal is to perfect a stage. Almost every level has unique challenges that it tasks you with in addition to finishing the level. At its simplest, a task can be "finish the stage without restarting at a checkpoint." There are a ton of other potential challenges that await you. You might need to perform a combo of a certain length, make sure you execute certain moves, find hidden items, or avoid touching certain items. You don't have to do all of these to finish the stage, but completing challenges unlocks new customization options for your character — and it's more fun.

OlliOlli World really shines when you're attempting the challenges. In most cases, the stages are designed in such a way that everything flows naturally when doing so. Grind every rail, hit every trick, find every secret, and you'll not only finish the stage in a long, unbroken combo, but you'll also finish the challenges at the same time. You can always replay a stage if you miss one, and sometimes, it's better to move on and return once you have more experience under your belt.

New to OlliOlli World is the addition of multiple paths. Some of these are done automatically by completing certain tricks or hitting a half-pipe that moves you in the opposite direction. In other cases, you can manually swap to a different ("gnarly") track by hitting the Square button. Alternate paths are usually harder and more dangerous but also have more opportunities for tricks and points. You can always stay on the easier path if you're having trouble, but the true Skate Wizards want to take the road less traveled.


The result is that OlliOlli World is a pleasantly challenging game that encourages you to set your own difficulty and to replay stages once you're more confident in your skills. It's the good kind of difficult, where you know you died because you made a mistake and success feels like a genuine triumph. It might be frustrating for younger gamers who could otherwise be drawn in by the art style, but even they should be able to get the hang of it before too long. The controls mean that learning is simple, and mastery is hard.

If you finish the main story mode, there's still plenty to do in the game. There is asynchronous multiplayer, where you challenge other players' high scores in a "league," allowing you to test yourself again other people. There are also hidden stages, collectibles, and "unlimited" stages that challenge you to go on as long as you can without failing. It isn't the longest game in the world, but if you enjoy the core gameplay, there's more than enough to keep you busy for quite some time. Ultimately, going for a high score is always the true endgame of skating games.

OlliOlli World swaps from pixel art to a 3D visual style that strongly resembles cartoons like Adventure Time. For the most part, it looks really good, with the simple colorful characters standing out amidst the bright backgrounds. Some of the animations during cut scenes stutter in jerky ways that don't mesh with the style. Still, the visuals during gameplay look great and really make the game stand out. The soundtrack is also upbeat and peppy, making it fun to skate through the levels.

OlliOlli World is a delightfully charming little platformer. It has its own sense of style, and it's dripping with personality. The gameplay is a delightful mix that's easy to pick up and play but difficult to master. If you're looking for something that scratches the Tony Hawk bug, then OlliOlli World succeeds in spades. Just don't get frustrated when your near-perfect run is ruined by a stray cat sitting at the very end of the level.

Score: 8.0/10



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