GGRecon's Best Indie Games Of 2021: SkateBIRD
Whatever you think SkateBIRD is from the title alone, that's pretty much what it is - but the game has been sorely underestimated over the last year. After a big reveal during a Nintendo Direct and addition to the Xbox Game Pass, Glass Bottom Games led by lead developer Megan Fox had some serious hype to contend with.
But, despite lukewarm critical reception, SkateBIRD flapped into hearts everywhere, and serves as a delightfully silly addition to the resurgence of sports games with more charm than any other team would be able to muster.
SkateBIRD: No Screm-ply
The bold return of alternative sports titles arguably began with the remakes Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 1+2, and while some games like Shredders and Skater XL added to the list of the genre's many games that were building towards a big resurgence, what it really takes to prove that alternate sports were truly back, is for some game developers to get silly with it.
Riders Republic has the right idea in taking the reins off of its players and letting them run rampant on its slopes and mountains, but perhaps it wasn't enough. That's where SkateBIRD comes in.
The game follows you, a charming bird, who notices that their owner isn't feeling too great. Suspicious that it's all to do with their depressing job, you make it your mission to bring them a short sharp jolt of joy and save them from the oppressive force of capitalism, and really cheer them up. It's a simple premise, but one that facilitates even simpler gameplay that evokes nostalgia you never really knew you had.
SkateBIRD: Kiwi Flip
The gameplay of SkateBIRD speaks for itself, being easy enough to get a hold of that you can pick it up no matter your background in skating games, but technical enough to make mastering all of the kickflips you can muster an adventure all in itself. The game is littered with sweet characters and charming levels that all add up to make SkateBIRD feel akin to the likes of Disney's Extreme Skate Adventure (an inspiration that lead developer Meg Fox confessed to us was new to them during production), and has a consistent atmosphere of love that makes the game an incredibly joyful.
SkateBIRD is a game with love pouring out of it, and though some controls may come off as janky, you can tell that a scrappy team of devs who truly believed in its concept put their everything into its creation. And with the game's leading message being that all you can do is your very best, it's incredibly fitting that SkateBIRD was made with that very ethos.