As a kid in the 90s, I grew up and played skating games, especially Tony Hawk Pro Skater 1 and 2 on the Nintendo 64 and 3 and 4 on the PlayStation 1 and 2. I loved them and would play them all the time to try to complete it and unlock everything in every level, even if it meant that I sometimes stayed up late sneaking in a quick session before I actually went to sleep. So, when I saw that Coatsink was publishing a skateboarding game, I knew I had to try it for the nostalgia alone. I have to give a hand to developers and publishers Coatsink and Hyperparadise, they’ve nailed it with The Ramp. The game is definitely what they say it is, a digital toy that scratches the skateboarding itch.
There is no story in The Ramp, in fact, there are no missions, no unlockable items or features, no scores, just four stages to do tricks on. Yes, it may sound simple, but let me tell you the game is hard to master. The first day I spent with the game, I failed mostly all of my tricks and didn’t pick up the game for a couple of days after that, but when I did, I found a groove and got lost in it, landing more tricks. I wanted to find out how many tricks I could do before I failed.
When you first boot into The Ramp, the levels are locked but become unlocked after you complete the tutorial on the first level to learn the controls; pressing A and releasing at the right time helps give you momentum to move faster so the character can gain air to perform tricks. The left analog stick moves the character, while the left one is used to grab the board. You need to use both to perform combinations and tricks. The R shoulder button is to grind, but be aware that if you hold to do a grind for long enough, you will lose momentum, and the character would need to pick it back up. If you fail a trick, press the A button to respawn the character at the starting point. The + button brings the player back to the main menu where you can select other stages, change the character with the X button and go into options with the Y button, where you have the option to replay the tutorial, choose a hard mode, change the language and even turn off the music, although there’s only one continuous beat on loop.
The one downside to the game and where I would take away a point is its music. There is no music but just one beat on a loop, and if you get tired of it, you can turn it off and just listen to your own music while you play the game. I get it though, The Ramp isn’t about the music but just a little sandbox (or toy) you pick up and play for about 15 minutes to relax and unwind while not worrying about a timer or unlockables.
Overall, The Ramp is what it’s supposed to be, a small sandbox one can pick up and play to scratch an itch for a skateboarding game, and I don’t hate it. I could easily recommend it for more casual gamers and for those who used to play other skateboarding games. I know that I’ll be going back to it as one of my games to relax with.
Developer: Coatsink, Hyperparadise
Publisher: Coatsink, Hyperparadise
Platforms: PC, Nintendo Switch
Release Date: 15th August 2021