Tony Hawk's American Wasteland

Game review by
Jeremy Gieske, Common Sense Media
Tony Hawk's American Wasteland Game Poster Image
Popular with kidsParents recommend
Amazing skating game, amazingly bad behavior.

Parents say

age 16+
Based on 10 reviews

Kids say

age 9+
Based on 21 reviews

Did this review miss something on diversity?

Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive, diverse representations in books, TV shows, and movies. Want to help us help them? Suggest a diversity update

A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this game.

Positive Messages

Skaters are expected to steal things for their skate park, tag walls with graffiti for cash and avoid cops and security guards while skating in illegal areas.

Violence

Players can hit other players with their skateboard, or knock them down by going fast enough in multi-player games. Players perform outrageous moves, which can lead to spectacular falls.

Sex

Posters of scantily clad women can be seen in the shop windows. One mission involves stealing the "naked lady statue".

Language

Minor profanity in cut scenes and in background song lyrics.

Consumerism

Tony Hawk is a major franchise, with tours and skate boarding competitions. Players can deck themselves out with name-brand skate boarding clothes and equipment, such as Vans.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that this game has a strong anti-establishment attitude. Players steal signature items from places around L.A. to build the ultimate skate park, running from the cops and security in order to do so. Players make cash by spray painting graffiti on walls. In addition, players can hit each other with skateboards, and the game's outrageous moves lead to spectacular crashes, complete with blood. Players can deck themselves out with name-brand skate boarding clothes and equipment, such as Vans. Finally, the game is online enabled (except for GameCube version), which means players can run into unpredictable language and behavior.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Adult Written byRobert E. June 24, 2020

Awesome game, terrible role models

Tony Hawk's American Wasteland (or THAW as everyone calls it) is a skateboarding game developed by Neversoft. While the main point of the story mode is to... Continue reading
Parent Written bymeg6163 April 16, 2011
This is the first skateboard game we've had to take out of play for our 9 and 13 year old boys. They love skateboarding, and have gotten very good at... Continue reading
Kid, 12 years old April 26, 2011

Good game for any age

Cool game good for any age.
Teen, 14 years old Written byMyxboxliveisroc... February 19, 2011

Really this isn't bad at all.

The online is like the best tons of people play and they all just have tons of fun some are serious and have clans yet some just play for fun and to chat so saf... Continue reading

What's it about?

TONY HAWK: AMERICAN WASTELAND offers players several modes of play. In story mode, players take on the role of a country bumpkin, just arrived in L.A. and attempting to make it big on the skateboarding circuit. To fit in, players have to develop a pretty serious attitude. Although the game has a tongue-in-cheek sense of humor, players often finds themselves on the wrong side of the law -- from stealing random objects for their skate park to tagging walls with graffiti in order to make some cash, to even running from the cops.

In classic mode, players face challenges, such as achieving a high score within a set amount of time. And a multiplayer mode allows players to face off against one another in variety of small games, such as trick attack and king of the hill. There are several BMX bike missions mixing things up. And a map editor is included so players can make their own skate park designs.

Is it any good?

A long string of successes propelled the Tony Hawk series of skateboarding games into a mega-franchise. Packed to the half-pipe with goodies, Tony Hawk: American Wasteland is perhaps the best effort in years. The skating is fantastic, and several modes of play keep players engaged, from a solid story mode to exciting online play.

Overall the game proves, hands down, it is the best skateboarding game out there. Parents may cringe over some of the bad behavior, but teens will love the outrageous tricks, the wide-open world to explore, and the first-class gameplay that they have come to expect from Tony Hawk games.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about why many games put the player on the other side of the law. Does this increase the appeal? Do you think this glamorizes bad behavior? Do you think games like this increase real-life pranks and vandalism?

Game details

Our editors recommend

For kids who love sports

Themes & Topics

Browse titles with similar subject matter.

Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.

See how we rate

About these links

Common Sense Media, a nonprofit organization, earns a small affiliate fee from Amazon or iTunes when you use our links to make a purchase. Thank you for your support.

Read more

Our ratings are based on child development best practices. We display the minimum age for which content is developmentally appropriate. The star rating reflects overall quality and learning potential.

Learn how we rate