TouchGrind is a skating game by Illusion Labs. $4.99
Just in time for the release of Illusion Labs brand new game, Sway, is our review of their premier game TouchGrind. This is by the opinion of someone who is not an avid skater, as I prefer sticking to water sports. I am pleased to say that this didn't impact on the amount of pleasure I had playing this game. Looking at trailers showing people using their fingers as feet on the board, I thought that there was no way it would work, it would be impossible to do. Picking this up and playing the warm up for the first time changed my opinion immediately. This game is pushing the boundaries in what the touch screen can do, with Sway supposedly pushing past those boundaries. There are three modes to play as well as a very good tutorial showing you how to do different tricks and moves.
This game is superb graphics wise. I tried to find one flaw in it and after alot of playing I am yet to find one. The graphics are very realistic and make you feel like you are actually skating. There are skating games on the consoles and PC which I believe don't have graphics better than this. The controls in the game just frighten me with how good they are. How the game manages to tell that halfway through a difficult spin that you place your fingers back on the board to force the board back to the ground is unbelievable. Every trick responds right away to your finger movements and each trick has its own finger movement. I will go into detail later on about the tricks. The best thing about the controls is that if you choose to replay your run it shows where you fingers were on the board and possibly why you didn't pull off that massive front flip.
There isn't much sound put into this game. But then again, it is a skating game. Everything that is needed in this game is implemented. Sound of doing tricks, rails, skating and such are there. They are detailed and sound real, not using any of the fake sounds used in other games. Generally the sounds are in sync with what is going on, but on the odd occasion a sound may come a fraction of a second late. I like to play this game without your own music on, the sound effects are good enough for me.
If all that isn't enough there is a game involved as well! There are three different modes to play around with. Warm Up lets you roam around with no scores or time limits involved. This is a great way to start out and get used to the tricks as well as to get familiar with the course. The Jam Session is a halfway point between the Competition and Warm Up. While there is no time to compete against, there is scoring for each individual trick. The aim of this mode is to get the highest score possible on a single trick. I see this as a way to master your skills before moving onto the competition. Competition is where all the action happens. You have 100 seconds to get as many points as possible. Every score over 10,000 increases your multiplier by 2x up to a max of 8x. If you crash it goes down to 0 and you must try to get it up again. Each of the 12 boards available to use must be unlocked by getting a certain score on Competition, with each board having its own attributes (The harder the board is to unlock, the better it is generally). The excellent physics in this game let you pull off tricks like ollies, shuvits, kickflips, heelflips, impossibles, 5-0, 50-50, crooks, smithgrinds, boardslides, tailslides, darkslides etc in endless combinations to score huge points.
An amazing game and blows all other wannabe skating game out of the water. It is very easy to see how it has been one of the top selling games for many months. Hard core skaters will love how realistic this game is and the game will still be addictive for those who can't tell the difference between a kickflip and railslide. While I would like to see more arenas to play around with and dare I say it, more boards, it is superb and definitely a must buy. You won't regret it!
I would recommend this game if you enjoyed- Skate
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