Ok, I am just going to come out and say it, I am addicted to Touchgrind HD! I have been playing with Illusion Labs’ new iPad version of their award winning app and it is even better than the iPhone version.
The basic premise of the app is simple. You control a skateboard with two fingers and try to do tricks on an assortment of ramps and rails in a virtual skate park. If this sounds easy, trust me it’s not. It’s a lot more challenging than you think to do a Frontside Pop Shuvit using only your two fingers.
Once you launch the app, you’re given a basic skateboard to start riding. As you get better and get enough points, you can unlock up to 12 new boards to go shred. From the main menu you have several riding options to choose from. You might want to start off with the built-in “How-To” tutorial and then move to the “Warm Up” area once you’re ready to give your new board a try.
In the “Warm Up” zone you’re able to practice in a basic skate park to get the fundamentals down. After you’re warmed up, you can enter a “Jam Session” where you’re skating in the big park with the full set of ramps, rails and stairs. There are no time limits in the “Jam Session”, but you do get points for your best tricks so you can challenge yourself to see how many points you can get for a single trick.
Once you’re done practicing, pack up your deck and head for the “Competition” area. Here it’s you against the clock to see how many points you can get before your time runs out. The more consecutive tricks you do, the higher your point multiplier. If you don’t land a trick, your multiplier is gone and you have to start over from scratch to build it back up. The competition area is where you’ll spend most of your time as you try to get enough points to unlock the next board.
The game has several other nice features, such as a camera zoom function that allows you to get a bird’s eye view of the whole park. The game also supports online high-scores and allows you to customize your deck with your own pictures. Two of the coolest features I liked are two-player game play and instant replay. In the two-player mode, the iPad goes into a split screen and you and a friend go head-to-head to see who can get the most points. With the replay function you get an instant replay, including slow motion, of all your skating action. The replay feature even shows you where your fingers were positioned on the deck during each maneuver so you can see how you pulled off that last trick.
What I liked: Touchgrind HD really shines on the iPad’s bigger screen and fast processor. The graphics are smooth and rich. The game play is fun and enjoyable for kids and adults alike.
What I didn’t like: The price.
To buy or not to buy: This is a great app and one of my favorite games on the iPad.