Created by Paul Schnepf, co-creator of Superflight and Islanders, The Ramp is what I would describe as the virtual love child of the beautiful world of skateboarding games mixed with titles that solely exist to offer you a laid back, relaxing experience.
Given my experience with skateboarding titles is fairly limited bar the odd experience with the Skate franchise I went into The Ramp with very little expectation but found myself treated to a short, fun and visually pleasing experience.
Block and Beautiful
There isn’t a doubt in my mind that The Ramp is one of the most visually pleasing indie title’s I’ve played in the last while. That’s not to knock any of the fantastic indie titles on the market, that is to say, that I genuinely found myself just staring at my screen taking in the simplistic set designs that somehow managed to capture so much beautiful detail. The four skating arenas on offer in The Ramp each bring with them a familiar and consistent art style but provide a unique experience with their visual layout and presentation. The ramps and areas themselves are teaming with a large level of detail and paired with the solid light blue background and the simplistic nature of your skater they combine together to create an overwhelming pleasing visual experience mixed with a calm and comforting vibe.
Taming the Beast
The Ramp provides the player with the freedom to play via either mouse and keyboard or with any standard controller. This may be a personal experience but I definitely found using a controller to be a much easier and enjoyable affair. Being able to perform tricks and move my skater with the left and right thumbsticks just came a lot more natural to me than with the WASD and arrow keys. This is certainly no major criticism of the game’s controls however as they are, from my experience, very accessible and intuitive with the tutorial introduction providing the player with all the knowledge they’ll need to enjoy the game to its fullest.
Flawless Sound Design and Groovy Music
Whilst I love the look of The Ramp, the audio design is certainly nothing to be glossed over. The game’s soundtrack is composed by Paul Schnepf and Hendrik Lux and it is absolutely phenomenal. I’d often find myself just enjoying and jamming out to the game’s beat drive, laid back score in the main menu as I listen to the sounds of skateboards travelling from one ear to the other. The music helps to elevate the chill and relaxed atmosphere of the visuals to a whole new level and the game really benefits from its inclusion.
The Ramp is a difficult game to review without taking into account that it’s not really a “game”, at least in the traditional sense. It’s definitely a cool pickup I’d recommend to people looking to scratch a very specific gaming itch. The game’s creator Paul even describes the title as more of a “digital toy” and honestly, that’s probably the best way to describe it! No unlockable stuff, no score and no missions. Instead, it’s just your skater, four ramps and whatever your imagination can pull off. If that sounds like something you’d be interested in, you can pick up The Ramp on Steam for only €4.99.
We were provided with a game code for The Ramp for review purposes, but this does not affect the authenticity of the praise or criticism the game received.
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