Skater Cally Review

Screenshot of Cally skateboarding in Skater Cally
Cally decides to try out skateboarding in this spin-off title

  • Reviewed by: Mark Goninon
  • Developer: VDO Games
  • Publisher: VDO Games
  • Release Date: 25 Sep 2018
  • Time played: 1.3 hours (INCOMPLETE)

What is it

VDO Games have been developing the Cally's Caves series of games since at least 2013 including 2D platformer Cally's Caves 4 which I reviewed back in 2018. Later that same year, VDO Games released the latest game to feature Cally called Skater Cally and, no surprises here, but the game is a 2D skateboarding game where you have to skateboard across a level full of obstacles while trying to perform a number of tricks and combos in order to achieve a high score. Achieving goals on each level will award you with stars that are used to unlock subsequent levels.

Skater Cally does not have a Metascore and has only 3 Steam User Reviews (at the time of this review) so it's not currently rated on the platform. Steam user reviews of the game have drawn comparisons between the game and Tony Hawk as well as OlliOlli; the reviewers also tend to praise the game's responsiveness, replay camera and Steam achievements but tend to be critical of its dull graphics, daunting tutorial and cumbersome keyboard controls (a controller is recommended).

How I got it

I was quite impressed with Cally's Caves 4 so I've been keeping my eye out on any games developed by VDO Games since. So despite not actually being much of a fan of skateboarding games I still wishlisted Skater Cally on Steam when it was released. Skater Cally has surprisingly not been on my Pile of Shame for too long since I purchased it as a Christmas present for myself in 2020, probably thanks again to some generous family and friends (it's mainly the only way I get games nowadays).

I always like to keep a family friendly game that you only need to invest a few minutes at a time into, so I downloaded Skater Cally and gave it a shot.

Screenshot of the different types of tricks you can do in Skater Cally
There are a lot of tricks to master in this game

What I like:

Charming retro graphics

I love the retro art style in the Cally games and Skater Cally is no exception.

A variety of tricks to pull off

While it's easy enough to pull off some basic tricks, you'll need to learn a bit more than that to pull off some sick combos: in total there are 32 special tricks you can perform.

Lots of levels

Provided you're good at skateboarding games, there's quite a bit of content here as there are 117 levels to complete.

Can play on the Steam Link

I had no issues using a Logitech F710 controller with it while using the Steam Link app on a Samsung Smart TV.

Steam Achievements

The game has 37 Steam Achievements you can earn. There are no Steam Trading Cards to collect.

Screenshot of Zone 2 level select screen from Skater Cally
Unfortunately if you don't have the skillz you're note going to be able to progress very far

What I dislike:

Not for novices

Admittedly, I played this game mostly on the keyboard but even with a controller, it can be a bit tricky to be coordinated enough to pull off tricks without "bone shattering bails" as the result. I don't believe I'm the target demographic for this game as you need someone who has lightning reflexes and impeccable coordination in order to achieve the required goals on each level. There's no denying that having those skills in a 2D platformer is important but I found Skater Cally to be more unforgiving in this regard when compared to Cally's Caves 4.

Gated content

I can see the pros and cons of having gated content in a game. The pros are that it gives the player motivation to complete levels in order to unlock more of the game and it might also mean the player has to master certain skills prior to advancing, instead of just bumbling their way through the game in a haphazard manner. However, if you're not particularly skilled in this sort of game, it means you will miss out on what the rest of the game has to offer and this is the quandary I'm in. After playing the game for about an hour and completing several levels, I'm now unable to progress any further. I've tried many times to be awarded more stars but to no avail, which means I'm basically stuck where I am in the game forever unless I miraculously somehow "git gud" and become Tony Hawk himself.

Score – 6/10 (Okay)

If you like arcade skateboarding games with charming, retro graphics along with plenty of levels and tricks to pull off, Skater Cally isn't a bad way to pass your time. However, your experience with the game will be cut short if you don't have the reflexes or coordination to play one of these sorts of games due to gated content: if you're one of these people, try out Cally's Caves 4 instead.

Is the game worth $9.95 AUD?: Yes, but only if you're really into skateboarding games and have the skill to pull lots of stunts off. Otherwise, it could be a waste of time. For the same money, I'd recommend trying out Cally's Caves 4 instead.

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[ LINK: Skater Cally on Steam ]