A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this game.
Promotes interest in sports, particularly skateboarding.
Positive Role Models
Most of the skateboard tricks are challenging and dangerous but can be performed in the real world. Kids might be inspired to try them and potentially get hurt; the character doesn't wear pads or protective gear.
Ease of Play
The controls are difficult to master, but the lengthy and thorough tutorial helps. It's possible to play the PC and Mac versions with a keyboard, but it likely will prove frustrating. Clearly designed to be played with a gamepad.
Violence & Scariness
The skater frequently bails and tumbles along the ground and over obstacles. He looks none the worse for wear, but lengthier, more violent-looking crashes leave him looking badly hurt, with limbs bent and at odd angles to indicate broken bones.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that OlliOlli is a downloadable side-scrolling skateboarding game. Players control a skater who performs a wide variety of stunts. When he fails, he crashes and tumbles along the ground, ending the run. The skater doesn't wear any protective gear, which might reduce the risk of his injuries. Particularly bad crashes can leave him with broken bones, though the game's retro, pixelated aesthetic keeps his injuries from appearing overly graphic. Most of the tricks have been plucked from the real world. Young skaters who play may be inclined to perform the same stunts, although they should only be undertaken by experienced/professional skateboarders.
Is It Any Good?
OlliOlli's old-school, pixelated graphics may recall those of classic 8-bit and 16-bit skating games -- such as those in EA's 1980s-era Skate or Die series -- but its play mechanics are brimming with modern complexity and nuance. Deft flicks and twists of the thumbstick are required to carry out challenging maneuvers with split-second timing. It's simple enough that rookies should be able to clear most levels without spending hours learning every single trick, but those who put in enough practice will eventually be able to link dozens of grinds and tricks, earning very high scores.
Of course, players who can't be bothered to learn all the tricks will have significantly less fun. The complex controls -- though eventually empowering for experienced players -- aren't very easy to learn and may turn off some players. Still, it's safe to say that avid gamers with a passion for skating will have a lot of fun with this one.
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.