OlliOlli World review

OlliOlli World is a brand new skating game from Roll7. Rather than your Tony Hawk or Skate type of Skateboarding game, this is a 2D sidescroller that is very easy to pick up and play. It’s a great game for long trick sessions, or if you want to fill in a gap in your schedule. OlliOlli World has great gameplay, the game grabs you immediately, and much like games like Celeste or Super Meat Boy, you’ll die a bunch, but you’re being taught along the way.

OlliOlli is a series with a history. Roll7 originally release OlliOlli in 2014, then followed that up with OlliOlli 2: Welcome to Olliwood shortly after. OlliOlli: Switch Stance was next up and it felt like a natural conclusion to the series, but Roll7 delighted fans with their announcement of OlliOlli World.

The story in OlliOlli World is very thin, although it’s pretty well understood that it’s all a means to an end to get into the action. With that said, the story is quite funny. Set in the world of Radlandia, it’s a huge skate park made up of five areas, formed long ago by Skate Gods. Your pal Chiffon is ready to hang up their board and is looking for a replacement, and it might very well be you if you can prove you have the skating skills to make it in Radlandia and become the world’s best skater. Yes, it’s kind of crazy, but no one is really here for the story, are they? Plus, it’s a kind of cartoon-acid-trip and doesn’t take itself too seriously.

The gameplay is the main event of OlliOlli World. It’s a side-scrolling 2D skating game packed full of tricks, grinds, and pipes. The idea is to get to the end of the level, but also to do it in style by accruing the most points possible. You get points throughout courses by performing tricks, and as you progress in tracks things tend to get faster and the tricks get more complex. If your trick fails and you completely stack it then you’ll have to restart and depending on where you are you start from the beginning of a checkpoint. OlliOlli World shares a lot of DNA with Super Meat Boy or other hardcore platformers like Celeste or Spelunky. It’s highly likely you’ll die a bunch while playing OlliOlli World, but don’t let that deter you, it’s all part of the learning process.

The difference with OlliOlli World and other 3D skate games is you mainly use the left stick for the tricks. In games like Tony Hawk Pro Skater, you’d jump with one of the face buttons and use other buttons for combos, here the controls have been streamlined plenty, but still has a depth of complexity. Holding down on the left stick readies you for a jump, and releasing the left stick in different directions performs different tricks. You can speed up skating by pressing A which puts your foot on the floor to propel yourself along, plus you can also wallride and rail grind. The controls seem simple at first, which makes it nice and easy to pick up and play, but the pace of the courses and the complexities of the tricks do stack up very quickly.

Complimenting the controls and the gameplay is the level design. New techniques and skills are introduced at a good pace to make things feel fresh, plus there are obstacles to successfully navigating without falling to your death and having to start again. OlliOlli World taps into the flow of great games where you start to instinctively react to the courses. Sections of courses link really well and by the end, you’ll have to take a moment to catch your breath after you’ve completed the triple rail grind in a row.

As well as the tricks and hazards to navigate you also have branching paths you have to select with very little warning. One way is the easy way, then the other is described as the ‘gnarly route’, where you can potentially score a whole load of more points. The branching paths are one thing, but you also have challenges where you have to pull of specific advanced or perfect tricks. These extra little motivations keep you coming back for more time after time in OlliOlli World.

The single-player mode is a whole bunch of fun with plenty of reasons to come back, but there’s also a decent asynchronous multiplayer mode too. Each level has a global leaderboard which you can check out your friend’s stats and performances, plus we have the Gnarvana League. Here ten players are given one day to get the highest score possible on a randomly generated level. Do well enough and you’ll get to the next rank, plus there are some great rewards up for grabs.

OlliOlli World wasn’t really on my radar at all. I saw it in Nintendo Directs but I didn’t really think it was for me. After a few hours with the game, I can honestly say I can see OlliOlli World entering my regular rotation of games. It’s quick and easy to pick up, plus it’s a very relaxing game to chill to. The animation and music back up the excellent gameplay, and whether you are playing solo or against friends, there’s something here for all players.

Developer: Roll7
Publisher: Private Division, Take-Two Interactive
Release Date: 8th February 2022
Platforms: Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 5, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Xbox Series X and Series S, Microsoft Windows