SkateBIRD – Review
Follow Genre: Skating, Simulation, Sports
Developers: Glass Bottom Games, Plastic Fern Studios
Publishers: Glass Bottom Games, Limited Run Games
Platform: PC, Switch, Xbox One, Xbox Series, PS4
Tested On: PC

SkateBIRD – Review

Site Score
Good: Creative and relaxing
Bad: Finnicky controls, bad camera
User Score
(1 votes)
Click to vote
VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 6.0/10 (1 vote cast)

If Tony Hawk was an actual hawk, wouldn’t that make his games about skatebirds instead of skateboards? That’s probably what the developers of SkateBIRD were thinking while creating their game, where they decided to grab this idea and run with it to make a full game. However, is said game more than an elaborate joke? Let’s find out.


SkateBIRD’s story revolves around a group of birds attempting to help their human, who they call “Big Friend”. In order to do so, they’ll undertake a series of tasks ranging from cleaning up his room to breaking into his workplace’s server. The game doesn’t take itself too seriously, instead going with the flow and tasking the player with things such as hacking an AC for a Splinter Cell bird or grinding a ceiling open.

In direct link with this, the writing as a whole is more focused on comedy than narrative, taking every possible chance to make a bird pun. What’s more, SkateBIRD even includes an option to change the “Birb Level”, which increasingly adds bird noises until the dialogues become intelligible squawking. Additionally, the game also includes an option to make the Birb Level turn the dialogues into skaterbro chatter by enabling the “Dude the Bird” option.


The game boasts nicely made 3D graphics with simple real-life textures. One of SkateBIRD’s strengths lies in the creativity with which it utilizes the day-to-day items its scenarios are made of, such as half-pipes made of magazines or pizza box ramps. Despite this, the game does have some issues here and there with texture clipping, awkward geometry, and more prominently its camera. Said camera utilizes a set of fixed angles which make it more difficult to control the character, although a solution is slated to release sooner or later.

Adding onto this, before the patch was introduced in late September, the game used to have permanent FoV blur, making anything that was far away an obfuscated blurry mess. While this should’ve been a feature from the beginning, said patch introduced the option to disable the blur, which does little more than being an eyesore. Nonetheless, it shows the developers are still actively working on their game.


SkateBIRD’s sound design is arguably one of its main highlights thanks to its wonderful soundtrack. Said OST contains 27 full-length tracks by several bands, which players can also enable or disable as they wish. The featured SFX are also quite good, with sounds befitting an actual skate game. There are also plenty of bird noises to go around, although nothing is particularly outstanding.


As can easily be inferred from the title, SkateBIRD is a skating game akin to Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater. Throughout the game, players will complete sets of missions across five different skateparks while doing a plethora of tricks on the ramps. Besides this, players will be able to find a handful of collectibles in each park, such as more customization options for their bird or new music tracks.

The missions themselves are not excessively varied, although their difficulty does range from one to another. Somewhat generalizing, most of the missions can be neatly classified into achieving a score, getting a set of items, or performing a series of tricks. This also applies to the optional missions which can be found throughout each level, although they don’t provide any rewards besides zone completion.

As far as mechanics go, SkateBIRD is rather limited. Tricks only require set button inputs in certain situations, such as transfers only working on ramps or manuals on the ground. Out of the few that exist, two mechanics stand out: the balancing and speed ones. Balancing applies while grinding rails or doing manuals, and requires the player to press the right button. Should they miss an input, their bird would fall off or stop. Annoyingly enough, the inputs required for this mechanic to work are often unclear and lead to grinding often being a nuisance. Luckily for those who may dislike this mechanic, the option to disable it is available in the options menu.

The second mechanic, speed, comes directly intertwined with the “FANCY” meter on the left corner of the screen. By doing tricks and going down ramps, players will fill said meter and speed up, allowing them to reach higher points on ramps or by using their double jump.

Although the game manages to make do with its simple mechanics, it leads to the issue of players not having much trick variation. While the different parks somewhat compensate by allowing different combos, the core moves don’t really evolve past the basics. The only real mechanical progression players will achieve will be thanks to the different setups. Even then, the physics at play and awkward camera angles will take some getting used to, although the upcoming patches should help.

Besides this, SkateBIRD also has another issue worth noting, this being the tendency for the player bird to get stuck on geometry. At certain points, players might find themselves clipping against a wall unable to move; similarly, the bird hitting invisible geometry and falling off is rather commonplace. The game somewhat compensates for this by allowing players to immediately restart after falls, even being able to choose a spawn point outside of missions. Keep in mind, doing so depletes the “FANCY” meter and breaks momentum.


SkateBIRD is a rather entertaining game that newcomers and fans of the genre will enjoy, especially when looking for something less serious. Those expecting a full-fledged skating game should look elsewhere, as this game’s focus is more on the gimmicks and puns it features than on the mechanics themselves. With a price of €16,79/$19.99/£15.49, the game is priced fairly for the content it offers, while also giving you the possibility to purchase the soundtrack as DLC.

Personal Opinion

“I had a good bunch of fun with this game, although the FoV blur was insufferable. Once I learned the devs intended to patch it out, I laid off the game until the date so I could play without straining my eyes. My main gripe with the game is how finicky the controls are, although once used to them, they were mostly fine. While SkateBIRD might not be a gaming masterpiece, it definitely gave me a good bunch of laughs and a relaxing game to mess around with while listening to a podcast.”

VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 6.0/10 (1 vote cast)
VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 0 (from 0 votes)
SkateBIRD - Review, 6.0 out of 10 based on 1 rating

No longer writing for the site, pursuing other things.

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