Touchgrind is a fun, innovative app which lets you pull off endless amounts of tricks in dozens of different ways. With its implementation of true physics, some may even say it seems quite realistic. What it comes down to it however, is does it really have the potential to be a real show stopper and is it worth the fiver you’ll have to throw Apple’s way?
The first category that is presented to you on the wheel is the How To section. This beginners lesson dives in at teaching you seven sets of moves and tricks which will help you better hone your skills. Each of these seven sets of moves and tricks are accompanied with a helpful, visual instructional video demonstrating the specified action.
The game takes less than five seconds to fully load and become ready to play, and in the meantime you’re given a friendly tip on how to better your skills. The warm-up section is purely to practice newly learned tricks and to get a handle on the game. There is no time limit and you can not rack up any points on tricks. Icons are present around your screen to show where obstacles are located. As you stray away from these objects, the icons begin to become transparent. To further this feature, these icons will noticeably enlarge when you get extremely close to the obstacle. Another feature available is the map button located in the bottom right hand which zooms out to show the entire playable map from a bird’s eye view.
The next step towards becoming the Tony Hawk of virtual skateboarding is to transition to the Jam Session section. This park has a noticeably bigger map with plenty more obstacles, rails and ramps. However, the main difference is that you are awarded individual scores on your tricks in this mode. Essentially, it is an upgraded version of the warm up as this mode also does not help in furthering your position in the game.
This is where it all goes down! You are given 100 seconds to rack up as high of a score as you can to be ranked globally and amongst your friends. In addition, based off your score, you can unlock an assortment of thirteen different boards, the highest costing 3,000,000 points. Now this may seem like a ridiculous request within 100 seconds, but it is not as difficult as it seems.
In the competition mode, every score received over 10,000 per trick gives a multiplier of x2. You can rack up these multipliers up to x8 which allows for you to grow your score exponentially. For example, a score of 20,000 with the x8 multiplier produces a score of 160,000. Sounds easy? Well, there is a catch. If you do not successfully land a trick, you lose your multiplier completely. This can be detrimental as once you lose a x8 multiplier, it’s difficult to regain the momentum you lost.
Along with the tricks you’ve learned, it is here that you can utilize other methods of acquiring points. Using your environment to your advantage is one of the simplest methods of producing the score of 3,000,000 that we are striving for. For example, doing a kickflip then grinding on a rail will help you earn a higher score than a plain kickflip on a flat piece of concrete.
Problems and Difficulties
After playing for an hour, I was able to unlock the best board available, known as “The Ninja.” Furthermore, I was able to unlock this board by merely using one rail in a map full of half pipes, ramps and rails. For a game that cost five dollars, it did not give too much of a challenge nor did it offer a ton of gameplay before I beat it. Though I will still be playing for a little longer, a paid game should offer a lot longer of a storyline, or in this case, a goal that is harder to achieve.
One problem that I did face multiple times was being able to effectively use the environment around me with the top-down view style. Though Illusion took steps to help with the environment such as the icons, it is still difficult to get a sense of where you are on the map. With multiple trials, I got a sense of the rails but still had trouble with where the ramps and half pipes begin and end. The final problem I had was that there was only one map to compete in the competition. Again, for a paid game, this seemed like a lack of motivation and innovation on Illusion’s part.
Touchgrind definitely has its ups and downs, but all-in-all, is a great game which will have a complete grasp of your attention — at least for a little while. With its smooth gameplay and integrated music system, Touchgrind can be concluded as a great game with so much more potential than what was shown!