The Ramp is a relaxing ice skating game with a banger soundtrack on Steam
Did not skate enough during the Olympics? All is well because a new bite-sized Steam game has all the skating you need – without any pressure to nail down complicated combos.
The ramp is a new game developed and self-published by Hyperparadise, real name Paul Schnepf. It went on sale this week on Steam for a whopping $ 5.99. The principle of the game is simple: you fall on the ramp or the pool and do figures, much like other skating games. Except you won’t see a score area or combo multiplier anywhere on the screen. The game doesn’t even have levels or objectives that tell you how to spend your time. With such reduced functionality, it’s unlike any other skating game that came before – it’s the anti-skating game, reducing the weird tropes of the genre to get back to basics.
Take an Airwalk! – Just because the game is sleek doesn’t mean it’s less fun to play. The mechanics don’t require much from the player, but it took a few tries to get in sync with the particular pace of the game. I played with an Xbox One controller – you really need a controller to play the game. this game – so I will refer to these commands. To get some fresh air, you must hold down the “A” button to pick up speed, then release it as you approach a ramp. On your way down, hold the “A” button again, release it on level ground, press it as you approach the ramp, then release. After awhile, you stop thinking about when to hold or release, and it starts to feel natural.
When you’re up there, suspended in the air, it’s time to do a few moves that would make Tony Hawk blush. Don’t worry, you don’t need to remember a series of button presses; all you have to do is hold the right joystick in one direction when you’re in the air. Each of the eight directions on the joystick triggers a different turn; the restraint triggers for example a tailgrab. After familiarizing yourself with this, you can use the left stick to add a few rotations to your turn. Upon landing, the game briefly flashes the name of the trick and the degrees of rotation in a stylized text box. That’s all we can say about it.
It’s easy to access but difficult to master, and an optional hardcore mode is less forgiving. The game has no flip tricks or grinds except for a boardslide, focusing only on grabs and green tricks.
It also doesn’t require you to complete challenges to unlock all four maps, so you can access it right off the bat after completing the short tutorial. The selection of cards is somewhat limited, but there is some variety with a halfpipe, two pools, and a mega ramp for big air. The latter commands a little more precision during timing jumps, but the challenge is worth it, with the possibility of succeeding huge tips with rotations that read like modern TV resolutions.
Land aesthetics – I firmly believe that gameplay comes first, which The ramps effortlessly plays out, but I also have to stress how pretty this game is. The isometric camera and figure sets give the game a distinct look that feels in the best playful and toy-like way. The decors contrast sharply with the monochrome backgrounds, making them stand out from the screen. The character design is reminiscent of the polygonal graphics of the PlayStation 2 era and has no facial features, but they are fluidly animated, with fluid body movements for each distinct turn. And when you don’t get a trick, the game has some hilarious ragdoll physics that makes it just as fun when the going goes wrong. Sometimes you have to eat shit, but at least it looks cool in here.
With such a laid back style of play, I would normally say this makes for the perfect podcast game. You know, the type of game where you can lower the brain to a low level and enjoy a few podcast banter or a little murder story – we’re not judging. But the music is too good to ignore, and I stopped pretending to listen to a podcast after a few minutes. The music, which is composed by the developer, is pure lo-fi chill hop, going in the opposite direction of the soundtrack of the Tony Hawk games. Normally I don’t get excited about the music in a game and don’t think about buying an OST, but I would if it was available. (You can listen to a sample of the music in the video above.)
Skate and relax – The ramp never signal if I’m good or bad at locking down cards or other features that require getting tougher and tougher challenges. This is the kind of game that you can play for a few minutes or a few hours, and even though it is reminiscent of games like Skate town and the Olli olli series, which also have basic but sticky mechanics, this game expects nothing from me. He just wants me to have fun. Of course, this game would be ten times better if I could have it on Switch or even Apple Arcade. When I asked Schnepf, he kept his answer vague but said, “I’ll see what I can do.” Crossed fingers.
The ramp is available on Steam for download, with an ongoing sale dropping the price down to $ 4.79. He is also a third party of Grizzly Games, which developed the cute city simulation Islanders it’s also on Steam.
I purchased The Ramp, although a code was provided to me after the fact.