The appeal of OlliOlli is instant. Falling into that stereotypical category of ‘simple to pick up yet hard to master’ it’s accessible to pretty much anyone who understands what a PS Vita is. The analogue stick controls your tricks – think Skate – and a well-timed push of the X button is on-hand to ensure there’s some essence of skill to landing. There are other elements present, but ultimately this is very straight-forward, very morish.
Or so you would expect. While it’s easy to start fooling around with OlliOlli and begin to understand where the satisfaction lies, it’s difficult to stay engrossed with it for too long a period. The majority of the game is broken down into levels that ask you to complete a series of challenges. Score a certain amount of points, hit a particular grind, perform a specific trick. Stack and you’ll instantly fail and it’s back to the beginning with you. Start to seamlessly flow them all together and your combo will increase.
Given how it’s presented it doesn’t need to be any more complicated – this is a stripped back experience. But it might be too basic: the levels all follow a very set template, lacking in the variety that early Tony Hawk games reveled in. There’s also a constant sense that this is better served to pick-up-and-play sessions – it’s unlikely you’ll ever feel tempted to give up huge portions of your life to it.
That’s not to say there isn’t a fair amount here should you get carried away. The aforementioned challenge levels are accompanied by a ‘Daily Grind’ – where you have one chance to score as big a combo as possible – and ‘Spots’: a competition between friends where you all try and outdo each other at a certain… wait for it… spot.
Roll7 has certainly created something engaging, and I can easily see people completely losing themselves in OlliOlli. Personally, though, it fell more into endless runner territory for me. Definitely entertaining, but not something I can sacrifice hours of my life to.
Played for 4 hours.