The developers behind Spartan Fist and Hot Tin Roof are back with a new game: SkateBird. I played a little bit of it earlier this year at PAX East, and was delighted by its can-do optimism and low-fi “birb-hop” soundtrack. Now, this rather lovely skating game about a tiny bird trying their best is fluttering over to Kickstarter to help kick-flip it towards a final launch sometime in June 2020. And if you simply can’t wait that long, you can try out a free demo right now. Here’s a shiny new trailer for it.
Now, I’ll admit I probably spent more time falling over than successfully pulling off tricks when I played this sandbox skater back at the end of March, but I still very much enjoyed what I played of it. One of the most charming things about it is that every single one of its bird-sized challenges has been constructed out of assorted household items, with objects like bendy drink straws transforming into makeshift grind rails, and staplers and erasers turning into budding kick-flip opportunities.
I also found it very difficult not to tap my feet along to its catchy, hip-hop soundtrack, and I could quite happily listen to the trailer’s The Heron track for hours. If songs in the style of Baz Luhrman’s Sunscreen aren’t your particular jam, though, you’ll also be able to drop in your own MP3s to listen to as you roll around each of its bird-sized skate parks.
SkateBird isn’t just a big old sandbox game. As well as having a swell time just noodling around its various courses, you’ll also be working toward building up your bird skating follower count by completing various challenges. The more birds that flock to your skate park to see your skills in action, the more you’ll be able to do and explore. Eventually, you’ll also be able to host your own bird skating events, which in turn will unlock new areas to ollie in, as well as more secret hats, mixtapes and clothing accessories to find.
Before that, though, devs Glass Bottom Games are hoping to raise $20,000 to help push SkateBird over the finishing line. If all goes according to plan, they may even release the game before than their Kickstarter’s June 2020-dated reward tiers might suggest, but there’s also a chance it could end up being pushed back a bit, too.
“Believe it or not, we really can finish the game on $20k,” Glass Bottom Games’ Megan Fox writes. “That gets us to, roughly, late Q1/early Q2 2020, which is about when we want to launch SkateBird. All the reward tiers say June, but ideally we’d launch a bit earlier than that. We’re not giving a more specific date because, depending on how this funds, we may expand scope slightly, which would bump the release date back some. We want to make it clear, though, that we aren’t going to run up stretch-goals forever. If, somehow, this makes it past $100k? We’re not doing any more stretch goals past that. We’ve seen how expanding scope can destroy a game, and SkateBird needs to stay small and cozy to be true to birbs.”
See our E3 2019 tag for more news, previews, opinions, and increasingly surreal liveblogs.