Skimboard Hero (Mobile)

Enjoy one last bit of summer with Skimboard Hero!  But what is Skimboarding?  Yeah I didn’t know either until I played this game.  Who says games don’t teach you anything!  Anyway, Skimboarding is kind of like surfing except you use a smaller board and you ride the small wake waves near the shore.  And that’s what you do in this game, which is like a vertically scrolling endless…surfer?  Collect sand dollars, jump over ramps, perform tricks, and avoid obstacles.  The game also has neat retro graphics.  It’s available for free on mobile devices, but reviewed on iPad here.

The game starts with a brief tutorial, but I don’t remember them saying that you have to tilt your device to move left and right.  I guess they just thought people would figure that out on their own, which I did but it took a few seconds!  But the rest of the tutorial is self-explanatory.  Swipe up to jump over ramps and swipe down to duck under obstacles.  When you jump after a ramp, you can press three buttons to perform a trick, but you have to be quick because the buttons are only on screen for less than a second!  I imagine it may be easier to hit the buttons on the smaller screen of a cell phone than the larger iPad.  There is a versus mode that you can play with friends, but I don’t know anyone who has this game so I didn’t try that part.

As you play, you can collect sand dollars and when you have enough, you can buy boards and characters to play as.  But you have to earn a LOT of sand dollars before you can buy anything.  The game is over when you run into an obstacle or stay on the far side of the sand for too long and get ‘beached.’  One cool thing is that the game will show you your best run if you pass it.  And that’s pretty much the game.  While it didn’t hold my interest for very long, it’s a decent little time waster and it’s free and I liked the retro visuals.

Kid Factor:

If you hit something, you’ll fall off your board and your pixelly character will just sprawl out for a bit, but that’s about as violent as it gets.  Reading skill is recommended for the text, but not necessary just to play.  I didn’t see any in-game purchases using real money, but you can view ads to earn more sand dollars, so parental supervision is recommended for that.

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