The Ramp’s solo developer Paul Schnepf built his skateboarding game “to scratch a very specific itch”. He’d always wanted a simple, complete skateboarding experience. No moves to unlock, no vast levels to scour, no online scoreboards. He just wanted to hop on a skateboard and ride around small levels, flowing from one move to the next. So he made it. The Ramp is a four-level skateboarding game for those who just want to flip, spin, and grind. It’s out next month.
He said his game is “maybe not even a game, but rather a digital toy.” Watching the trailer, I can see that. Everything about it is clean and concise. You don’t even get backgrounds, just the small levels you play on. It’s not meant to swallow up whole days, but rather to give you something to do. The sort of game that you could play while waiting for the microwave to bing and the meal to cool down.
As far as challenges go, there’s the half-pipe, an empty pool, a long jump, and a couple of bowls linked together. The player drops into them and rides around doing whatever they want, the only ceiling is their skill and time, and possibly how long the biryani will take to warm up. You’re prodding at the skateboarder section of your brain and nothing more.
If you like the idea of a game about getting into the flow of things, Schnepf worked on Superflight at Grizzly Games. It’s a game about drifting through procedurally-generated levels in a wingsuit, trying to get as close to the obstacles without crashing. Though it’s a lot more complicated than The Ramp, it clearly shares a sensibility.
The Ramp will be out on Steam on August 3rd.