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Tony Hawk's American Wasteland

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

Parents say

age 16+
Based on 9 reviews

Kids say

age 9+
Based on 21 reviews

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.


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.


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


Minor profanity in cut scenes and in background song lyrics.


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 byAnAdult April 9, 2008

Cool but glitchy.

The game is fun but can get very cutty and glitchy sometimes, which is very unlike Neversoft. Unlike other Tony Hawk games, you will feel like this one was rush... Continue reading
Adult Written byjackg3 April 9, 2008

Skateboarding game is too iffy for most under tweens

The game is fun, but not great for young children. The player can create graffiti, steal, and hit people with his or her skateboard. There are no female chara... Continue reading
Teen, 17 years old Written byGO CUBS GO November 24, 2010

decent skateboarding game

i played it through in 5 hours or so and never played it again. This one is a bit worse than the others too
Teen, 14 years old Written bymatt_m April 9, 2008

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

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