App Army Assemble: Perfect Grind - "Does this skateboarding game successfully bring the thrill of the sport to mobile?"

We ask the App Army

App Army Assemble: Perfect Grind - "Does this skateboarding game successfully bring the thrill of the sport to mobile?"

Perfect Grind is a brand-new skateboarding game from Noodlecake that draws inspiration from the most iconic title based on the sport - Tony Hawk. It's a great influence to draw from, but that also brings high expectations. So, we handed the game over to our App Army to see if Perfect Grind delivers.

Here's what they said:

Jim Linford

My quick impression is. This is a nice little game graphics-wise. It reminds me of Tony hawk back in the day with the camera angles and the way it feels. I just wish there was an option for a virtual controller as the single-touch controls are ok but when you have to do multiple tricks at once they are a bit tricky. Also for me the way the character turns it seems like a quick 180 would be nice (maybe I never got to learn that move). It’s a fun skate game but I think the controls hold it back.

Oksana Ryan

This is an enjoyable game that takes you steadily into the world of skateboarding. The tutorial is informative with different characters taking you through the basics as you go through at your own pace. The backdrops are colourful and there are plenty of objects around to do as many trick manoeuvres as you want. There are several modes to play and you can choose from an array of weird and wonderful characters as your avatar. I did find the controls were a little fiddly but not enough to spoil my enjoyment. All in all a fun game with lots of playability.

Eduard Pandele

Perfect Grind isn't perfect, but it's damn close. And it isn't a grind, because it doesn't feel like it - you'll be trying again and again to complete the tasks in front of you, but you'll have fun doing it. It's a skateboarding game that instantly reminded me of the classic Tony Hawks Pro Skater games - it nails down both their ease of use and the "just one more try" aspect. The graphics are minimal, colourful, and clear.

Controls are great, as long as you adjust the steering and swiping to your liking (I also activated the Release to Jump checkbox). I also highly suggest you complete the Playground level challenges multiple times until you learn the controls properly - to reset challenges, tap the arrow next to "Challenges Completed" in Career mode's Level Select screen. As for content, there's plenty - a career mode with four levels and over 60 challenges, a score chase mode, an exploration mode and (ta-da!) a park editor.

Minor issues: there's no cloud save (uninstalling = losing your progress), you can drop off maps (just pause the game and restart the level when that happens), and IMHO it takes way too long to unlock new characters (I want that alien and I want it now!). Overall, a massive bang for your three bucks.

Robert Maines

Perfect Grind is a skateboard game that guides your skateboarder over 3D levels using touch controls. The tutorial level in the playground teaches you the basic controls and as you unlock levels by completing challenges you learn more ways to do tricks on your skateboard. This is a fun game. The cartoon-like visuals do the job and the controls are forgiving to the point I didn’t get frustrated doing the challenges. One I will certainly keep on playing.

Michael Purdy

A fun skateboarding game with a cell-shaded art style. The style reminds me of Tony Hawk American Sk8land in ds, but I noticed that the environments are very flat and plain compared to the character models. Controls work well in theory, but I had a lot of issues getting jumps and grinding to work properly. If they could tighten the controls, it would be a lot more fun to play. Each level has challenges to complete and things to collect. It would be easier to recommend if the controls were more consistent.

Sangeet Shukla

Everyone can play Perfect Grind because it is available in both free and paid editions. The game features portrait and landscape modes. There are several skate moves and seamless gameplay with swipe/touch controls. The cartoon graphics suit it. The only drawback is that there is no instruction if you forget how to perform the moves after the tutorial level. You may create your own skate park and download others using the excellent park editor, which offers an infinite degree of customization. overall very enjoyable casual game.Nothing wrong with going with the premium version.

Mark Abukoff

This is a colourful game that’s pretty easy to pick up and play. Basic character customization is available. The tricks are pretty easy to pick up. Controls are simple and work well. I enjoyed the different play modes. Career, which seems to be the most challenging, when I wouldn’t have minded the ability to free-look around the room in order to spot things. Single run, which is a timed mode, where you’re just seeing how many points you can rack up in a given time… and just free skating. The only drawbacks I found were minor. If you skate too close to an in-game character, you automatically stop and initiate dialogue, whether you want to or not. And once or twice I found what seemed like graphic glitches. Transparent walls. But overall it’s a fun and colourful skateboarding game that’s not too frustrating for beginners like me. And you can play a free sample before you pay. Worth picking up to look at.

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Jason Rosner

Perfect Grind takes its influence from the classic console Tony Hawk series from back in the day, and why not? It’s the gold standard for what makes a great skating game and mobile has been waiting for its king. Perfect Grind comes close to achieving that goal with a really solid skating game that gives you a lot for your buck. You get a full career mode, on top of the likes of single skate and free skate modes where you can beat your high scores and show off your best moves. I absolutely adore the bright, colourful graphics that are a real treat to the eyes.

The music is very chill and upbeat which fits right alongside some really challenging objectives that lead to unlocking new levels. You can tell a lot of love was put into this game with the cool diverse mix of characters you meet that not only act as a tutorial for the game, they even become a part of your crew. This was carried over to a great character editor on your part with lots of customizable variations to make your skater as unique as you want them to be. There’s also a Park Editor that lets you play and share your creations which adds an almost endless replay to the game.

If there’s a fault to be had here I’ve been up and down on the controls. On one hand, at times they seem to be very intuitive with one-finger touch, on the other hand, there are some rather complex moves to pull off and some of the challenges presented are timed which makes the difficulty a real problem as I don’t see myself completing them anytime soon. Overall I can feel the love that was put into this game and that’s what gives me hope that with time and more practice, I’ll be coming back to Perfect Grind for many years to come!

Chad Jones

Perfect Grind is like Tony Hawk for phones but without the endorsement. Great touch controls plus controller support if you need it. 5 different areas to complete in the Career Mode. Try to get the top score in the Single run or just skate around in a zen-like fashion in the Free skate. If you want to really get creative you can make your own skate park with the Park Editor. There's a lot to do and for only $3, it's a must if you like this style of gameplay.

Nice graphics, great controls and the music, well it's alright. It's kind of forgettable but It doesn't irritate me either. There is some challenge here that will keep you trying to complete that objective. If you're a fan of Tony Hawk or just skating in general this is the game for you, plus you can download and play the tutorial and first few levels to see if you like it before you commit. And with Noodlecake behind the development you know it's going to be great.

Torbjörn Kämblad

I wish I was younger, and I wish that if I was young again I would have had an iPhone with Perfect Grind. I would have sunk hours into it during recess or waiting for my soccer practice. Playing a portable touchscreen skateboarding game highly inspired by Tony Hawk Pro Skater is not that appealing to the older me. The older me has limited time and the remastered version of Tony Hawk 1 + 2 on my Xbox series X. If however, I took the bus to work I would have a hard time finding anything more fun or worthwhile to play on my phone. Sure it tries a bit too hard to get an arcade skater working on a touch screen, but by golly, the aspects that work are really fun. Wall ride that!

Jojó Reis

Perfect Grind is a skateboarding game with several challenges throughout the scenario. There is a career mode and other free modes where you can stay freely just by training the combos. The mechanics remind me a lot of the old games of tony hawk and that's very cool. Perfect Grind is a super fun game and very well done, but it misses only one thing, the controls. It's kind of difficult to control the skateboard perfectly, they should fix this also from the controller support, it would be perfect! But the game even with this problem has a lot of fun and is super worth your purchase.

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Stephen Gregson-Wood
Stephen Gregson-Wood
Stephen brings both a love of games and a very formal-sounding journalism qualification to the Pocket Gamer team.