Paul Schnepf is a game developer that I’m a big fan of. He worked on Superflight, one of my favourite games to play when chilling out, and is also known for Islanders, a similarly chilled out game and now he’s just released The Ramp. The Ramp is a fairly chilled out skateboarding game with a couple of levels and a bunch of tricks to do.
For me, The Ramp has a lot of what I look for in a game. It looks nice, the crisp art with bright colours always makes me want to continue playing even when I’m running low on time. The sound quality and soundtrack as well is tip top and thoroughly enjoyable as you play around. It isn’t a game that you’ll exactly need to focus on, and there’s no scoring or competitive elements to it, but you’ll find it amazing just to tune out, relax and do some kickflips.
Although The Ramp is fairly basic, there are a surprising amount of tricks to perform. It’s really easy to perform each one as all it takes is a flick of the right analog stick to do a grab trick, or pressing the right shoulder button when approaching a lip to grind along it. The physics of the game seem pretty accurate as well which gives you the challenge of pulling off some Tony Hawk-esque spins while avoiding the floor.
Where The Ramp falls down (or should that be bails?) is in the small things. There aren’t community maps, and with there only being four fairly basic maps to skate on, it does get a bit boring. Add in the option for the community to pad the game out and you’d be on to a game that almost certainly would have unending content and plenty of value for gamers to keep coming back to it. I don’t think they need to amend any of the core functions – all the skating itself is pretty fun – it just needs to have more content to skate on. I usually just stick to one or two maps when I play and that only really lasts for five or ten minutes at a time before I get bored with falling off my skateboard.
The other very minor issue is when you’re in a bowl, if you go towards the bottom of it, you suddenly can’t see yourself. The bowl is completely opaque – which I definitely understand, given most bowls are, but when you’re trying to line up a grind or a jump, it does make things a little bit trickier on the timing front. I don’t think this would be very difficult to alter either, just adding a highlighted option when the playable character goes behind an object is all that needs to be done and voila! You’re able to see your skater at all times and not getting frustrated at having to restart your line.
I like The Ramp, but unlike Superflight, it feels unfinished. There definitely needs to be some improvement for me to consider it as good as Paul Schnepf’s previous games, but it does have a great soundtrack and a nice chill game to waste time in.