The call from OlliOlli is immediate. Falling into this stereotypical category of “easy to pick up, but hard to master”, it is accessible to almost everyone who understands what a PS Vita is. The analog stick controls your tricks-think skate-and a push of a button at the right time is at hand to ensure that there is an essence of dexterity in landing. There are other elements, but in the end it is very simple, very morisque.
Or you expect it. Although it’s easy to have fun with OlliOlli and understand where satisfaction lies, it’s hard to stay absorbed in it for too long. The majority of the game is divided into levels that require you to face a number of challenges. Mark a certain number of stitches, beat a certain grind, perform a certain round. Stack and you will fail immediately and it’s back to the beginning with you. Start pouring them all together and your combo will increase.
Given the way it’s presented, it doesn’t have to be more complicated – it’s a stripped-down experience. But maybe it’s too simple: the levels follow a very defined pattern, lacking the variety that the first Tony Hawk games enjoyed. There is also a constant feeling that this is best served for pickup and gaming sessions-you are unlikely to feel tempted to give up large parts of your life there.
That’s not to say there’s not a good crowd here if you get carried away. The challenge levels mentioned above are accompanied by a “Daily Grind” – where you have the chance to score as big a combo as possible – and by “Spots”: a competition among friends in which you all try to outdo each other in a particular spot waiting for the spot spot.
Roll7 has certainly created something captivating, and I can easily see how people get completely lost in OlliOlli. Personally, however, it fell more into the territory of endless runners for me. Certainly entertaining, but not something I can sacrifice hours of my life to.