(Cover art: skateboard on a subdued green and pink background underneath the game’s title)
The best way I can describe SKATE OUT! is as a skate sim with a dark twist. You showcase your sick (or slick) skateboarding moves to an adoring audience, but all the time half your mind is occupied thinking about other, more pressing issues at home.
The use of language in this game makes an interesting study: the skateboarding tricks are described with generic hyperbole, which alienates the reader from the narrator’s external face, even though the terminology seems legitimate. The PC’s monologue, on the other hand, is described more naturally, even if it occasionally verges on the melodramatic. The clash between the internal and the external formed an interesting contrast, highlighted by the visual aspects of SKATE OUT!.
This is probably one of Paperblurt’s more introspective works. It works quite well as a ‘concept game’, as it uses a deliberate contrast in tones and styles to illustrate the divide (a divide is particularly nebulous here, compared to other works which have done this). As always, the writing could push the story further and there could be a clearer story arc for the ‘internal’ side of the story, but it’s an interesting little game all the same.