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Apple Arcade: Skate City is dreamy and refined

Sorry ollie.

At first, I thought Skate City had started with an impossible choice. Los Angeles or Barcelona? (Okay, or Oslo.) In truth though it was even worse. I could go to Los Angeles now, but I would have to unlock Barcelona! Still, what a line-up. What a selection of temptations.

Skate City is elegant and transporting. At the core of this side-scrolling trick-'em-up is a system that sees you triggering different moves by swiping in different directions. Push one button to move, and then swipe. That's it.

Except it's not it. From there you get a steadily increasing amount of complexity, never coming at the cost of confusion. It's a beautiful arrangement of swipes and taps that works well with a progression system that offers both challenges and a decent free-skate mode.

Best of all, though, is the sheer mood of the thing. Los Angeles, Oslo and Barcelona are all gloriously strange places to skate through, bloomy, misty, given to sudden downpours. There is a real sense of melancholy to Skate City that fits beautifully with the business of subverting urban spaces for the hell of it. High score chasing is well taken care of, in other words, but there is a pleasure to be had simply by being in these places. Skate City is a portal as much as it's a game.

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Christian Donlan avatar

Christian Donlan

Features Editor

Christian Donlan is a features editor for Eurogamer. He is the author of The Unmapped Mind, published as The Inward Empire in the US.

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