Though it’s not nearly the craze it was in the 90s, skateboarding is still extremely popular. With that craze came the partnership between Activision and Tony Hawk, the most well-known and recognizable skateboarder in the world. Over the next 16 years, they would produce 19 Tony Hawk games; the series placed users in the body of pro skater Tony Hawk and allowed them to perform entertaining and impressive jumps, flips, and tricks.
Though the licensing deal between Hawk and Activision ended in 2015, the prominent skateboarding professional has recently thrown his hat back into the gaming ring with the mobile (and free!) Tony Hawk’s Skate Jam. When you make 19 video games, some of them have to be flops; Hawk discussed how he felt regarding a game that has his name plastered all over it in an interview with For The Win.
“I know that anytime I release a game with my name on it, it comes with great expectations and scrutiny. What I love about this is it’s free,” he said. “I’m not feeling like someone could be so disappointed and losing money on it if they don’t enjoy it. But I do believe it’s a lot of fun.”
Skate Jam is supposed to be reminiscent of some of the older games in the series which, of course, were the fan favorites. Available for both IOS and Android, it has three modes: “Career,” in which skaters collect items and perform tricks to complete stages; “Free Skate” for fun practice with no risk of penalties; and a tournament feature that allows you to compete with skaters around the world to win bonus content. Hawk has assured fans that he’ll let them know his username so they can take a crack at the master himself.
In the last two decades, Tony Hawk has brought skateboarding into mainstream culture. Even now, there are approximately 1.4 million skaters between the ages of 18 and 24 in the U.S., although the way they find their wheels has definitely changed since 1999: only 3.1% of skateboard sales occur in stores as the rest are sold by online retailers. Regardless of how you got your original board, if you’re a fan of Tony Hawk and the many games he’s churned out over the years, you’re sure to love Skate Jam.