OlliOlli World Review

Richard Walker

OlliOlli World is fantastic. Where the original OlliOlli and its superior follow-up provided deeply challenging skateboarding platformer action, World goes beyond, conjuring a delightful, colourful, and wonderfully stylised place where you can bust tricks with reckless abandon, and generally enjoy being 'rad'. The third game in the series, OlliOlli World signifies developer Roll7 fully realising the potential of its side-scrolling skate 'em up, with a bit of a story, lively characters, and a raft of customisation options. It's hard not to be completely hypnotised.

Few things beat a well-executed Firecracker.

Starting by building your very own skater – a contender to become the next Skate Wizard – you'll subsequently be dropped into the realm of 'Radlandia'; a map dotted with level markers like a classic platforming game. Initially, you're acquainted with the basics, before tackling distinctive districts packed with quests, side quests, and optional hidden levels containing gigantic friendly bees, banana people, frog fellas, and a litany of other likeable oddballs. With the help of retiring Skate Wizard Chiffon, aspiring filmmaker Suze, a skater who everyone calls 'Dad', and the excitable Gnarly Mike - who lays down three challenges to complete during each level - your character must shred their way through five different regions on a journey to impress the five Skate Godz. Only the raddest skating skills will earn you a place amid the hallowed pantheon of 'Gnarvana'.

Things begin gently enough, easing you in with tutorials that hold your hand through the intricacies of performing simple tricks, graduating to core skating techniques like grinds, wallrides, manuals, grabs, rotations, and landings, slowly drip-fed as you advance from the easy, breezy beaches of Sunshine Valley to the idyllic forests of Cloverbrook, and trippy deserts of Burntrock. OlliOlli World then saves some of its integral combo-stringing secrets for the later stages in polluted urban mess Sketchside, and glitzy casino town Los Vulgas. It's only here that you'll learn how to grind-switch, unleash stylish 'late tricks', and land safely on stairways or clatter down steps with a well-timed 'Firecracker'. If only we were given knowledge of these skills from the beginning, we could have avoided a lot of nasty faceplants.

Presumably, Roll7's decision to hold back some tutorials until the latter parts of the game is to send you back to previous levels, armed with a few new tricks up your sleeve, enabling you to take your high scores into the stratosphere. And while high score targets begin modestly enough, demanding mere tens of thousands of points, by the time you're reached the final stages, the Skate Godz demand colossal multi-million scores be racked up, with Gnarly Mike occasionally asking that you manage it in a single, unbroken combo via a handful of level challenges. Only the most dextrous (and most patient) of OlliOlli players will achieve immortality on the game's leaderboards, and once you've dispensed with the dozens of stages offered by the solo adventure, Leagues, asynchronous multiplayer, and randomly generated levels in the Gnarvana Portal have near-infinite amounts of replayability to offer.

Gameplay in OlliOlli World is perfectly pitched – anyone can pick up the game, skate, and pop a few tricks (and a smattering of mid-level checkpoints help to alleviate frustration). But, to really master its tricks and various nuances, you'll have to invest time in really getting to grips with every single skill at your disposal, learning how to string together combos without unceremoniously slamming into the ground then having to jab the Y/triangle button for an instant restart. You could go through OlliOlli World from A to B, simply beating every stage without striving for high scores or bothering to complete Mike's Challenges, but you'd be getting only a fraction of what Roll7's deliciously addictive 2.5D skateboarding yarn has to offer.

Here's your crew. Gnarly Mike wears shoes from the bin.

Branching paths take you to more difficult 'Gnarly Routes', some characters offering bonus side quests hidden away on specific routes, with certain areas only accessible by executing a grab to smash through a floating purple crystal or crystal floor – the number of little secrets and Easter eggs tucked away among OlliOlli World's nooks and crannies is rather impressive. Every set of challenges completed, every little side quest (some of which offer unique objectives, like popping inflatable cats), and every score target beaten has an unusual customisation item of some sort to unlock, too, so there are rewards to be had for putting in the requisite hours and effort. Mastery goals and remarkably tricky challenges doled out by the fifth Skate God - the one with a psychedelic inverted pyramid for a head, named Radysus - will potentially keep you playing for countless hours on end.

Truly, no stone has been left unturned in OlliOlli World. There are few feelings as transcendent as reaching a trancelike flow state, grinding along the spine of an expired hulking beast's half-sunken ribcage in the desert, spinning and tweaking a grab as cactus people look on in awe, landing into a nose manual, springing into a Firecracker, and leaping to the next ramp, wallride, or grind. It's always been one of the greatest pleasures in the Tony Hawk games, and it's every bit as thrilling and rewarding in OlliOlli World, especially when you hit the perfect landing, and roll over the finish line with a big smile on your face.

OlliOlli World

A perfect evolution of the previous two OlliOlli games, OlliOlli World goes big with a uniquely appealing art style, fun character customisation, and a slew of options, without compromising what makes the series so addictive and inviting. It's good to be rad.

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Mellow lo-fi beats, garbled chatter from your skater crew. It all fits in with the game's unique charm.


Bold, vibrant, characterful, and immediately smile-inducing, it's impossible not to enjoy OlliOlli World's pleasing art style.


Deceptively simple and intuitive to begin with, OlliOlli World's complexity gradually falls into place with each tutorial. It's challenging, then, but oh-so rewarding.


A single-player adventure stuffed with hidden secrets and masses of replay value, as well as nigh-on infinite longevity to be found in the Gnarvana Portal mode.


A list with an incredibly long tail that asks quite a lot of you – completing every challenge, grinding out mastery objectives... it's a tough one that'll take ages.

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