Developer: Paul Schnepf
Publisher: Coatsink Software
Genre(s): Sports, Simulation
Platform: Nintendo Switch (also available on Steam, the App Store and Google Play)
Age Rating: PEGI 3
Release Date: 17/03/2022
A code was provided for review purposes
The Ramp is a simulation skateboarding game that focuses on the flow of skateboarding instead of achievements. Having seen the trailer, I was excited to see how this game played especially given the budget price point. Did this game nail the landing? Find out in this Rapid Review.
As I booted up The Ramp for the first time, I began my experience with a tutorial. Having never played a skateboarding game before, I was eager to learn the tricks and mechanics. However, I found very little to learn. There were areas of the track to boost on, different spinning techniques to perform in the air, and a couple of tricks that I could do. Other than that, there was nothing that revolutionized my experience. Still, though there was not an abundance of tricks or character movements to do, the game felt comfortable, and I easily got used to the first arena. The game felt rhythmic and calming. Everything felt carefree.
Though this initial calmness was rewarding, I quickly became bored. Sure, it was fun to do the tricks, but I never felt challenged to do anything outside of my comfort zone or push myself to the limits. I experimented with the three other arenas to reinvigorate me, but I never felt motivated to master the mechanics, as there was no tangible reward to do so. The game quickly felt like it was reaching the end because there were no objectives for me to complete and no new mechanics to try and master. Unfortunately, for me, this lack of progression detracted from my experience.
This compounding apathy towards my performance in the game was also developed by the lack of a scoring system. Even in other similar games such as REKT, there is an emphasis on having a high score or completing small activities. Those simple tasks kept me engaged and incentivized me to optimize my playthrough. Completing larger tricks did not feel as satisfying as they have in other games because I never got to see my points go up. Instead, I only see what the trick was, and how many revolutions I performed. I was not rewarded for completing streaks of moves or keeping a chain going. This meant I could not push myself to come back and beat my previous score. The lack of objectives or a leaderboard make it challenging for me to justify purchasing The Ramp.
Moreover, considering how little I wanted to revisit the title, there were not many options for me to consider when determining what I wanted to do. Apart from a cosmetic adjustment to the main character, the only difference between alternate runs was determined by selecting one of the four stages. These were unique and had different mechanics present, but I still felt that there needed to be more substantial differences or additional alternate stages to justify the purchase. I constantly felt as though there was not enough content to keep me interested.
Good Skating Fun
Still, there is a lot to enjoy here too. The calming atmosphere cultivated by the chill music design and the colourful visuals are stunning. I enjoyed the soundtrack and thought it helped promote the carefree theme present in The Ramp. The visuals are similarly good, standing out from the background while still being minimalist. I also thought the colour palate was lively and enjoyed seeing unique shades of colours that I have not seen so much of in other titles. I liked the presentation of the game a lot.
Moreover, I did enjoy skating here. Though there was nothing revolutionary keeping me intrigued, it was fun learning the mechanics initially and seeing my progress with the game. Something about seeing the colourful text describing the stunt I performed was exciting, and I felt good performing the tricks. There is even a harder mode for more skilled players to remain interested. Unfortunately, despite these positive feelings, I find myself drawn to play other titles instead of this one, as they cultivate those same feelings while also adding the additional reward of challenges and scoreboards.
Overall, The Ramp has many good attributes. The game creates a calming atmosphere where I could learn simple mechanics and feel good about my performance. The visuals and music are similarly charming and engaging. However, it lacks the long-term achievements that are present in other games, so I rarely felt inclined to pick the game up again and play more. Even at the budget price, I felt there are other titles that were more rewarding at the same price point.
Rapid Reviews Rating
3 out of 5
You can purchase The Ramp on the Nintendo eShop here
You can find and read our reviews on OpenCritic.