True Skate is a skateboarding simulator with excellent gameplay, letting you use precise touch-screen controls to pull off complex tricks as you explore a 3D skate park.
The 3D graphics are a sight to behold with realistic-looking obstacles, multiple light sources, and natural-looking shadows -- all with high frame rates. The sounds are great as well, with sounds for every kick to go faster across the pavement and the tell-tale high-pitched grinding noise as you slide down a metal rail.
There are no buttons in the control system for True Skate. You'll need to swipe next to the board to kick up to speed, then touch and drag to a side to make the board turn. You can perform tricks by flicking at different parts of the board depending on what you want to do. A flick off the back of the board makes you perform an ollie (launching your board into the air), while a flick off the front does a nollie (similar but using the front part of the board to jump). While in the air, you can flick the board to perform flip tricks and touch it again at the right moment to stop the rotation in time to land back on the ground. There are an enormous number of named tricks you can perform, all of which show up in a list once you've successfully land them.
There are plenty of spots for tricks, too -- the True Skate park has tons of rails, a large bowl, and even a half pipe. You can skate around and perform tricks as you explore, or start from a nearby start point (there are several scattered around the park). With the default settings, if you want to start fresh after a big crash, you have a reset button at the top of the screen to position you at the nearest starting point. But to really master a trick down a specific rail, for example, you can create a session start point in the options, which lets you try your trick, then reset back to your original position for another try.
Along with the reset button, you also have buttons across the top for pausing the action, changing the camera settings (to toggle distance from the board), and a rewind button. The rewind button goes back in time so you can go back to a previous spot, but it also has the unintended purpose of being the only way to view a trick after you have completed it. A way to view replays would be a welcome addition, and hopefully that will come in a later update.
That's not the only annoyance with True Skate. The game has a limited mission system that seems like more of an afterthought, with challenges to complete specific tricks or get a high score in a set period of time. But there's little reason to do the missions, making me believe the game was intended to be more of a free skating session. Setting a session point is harder than it needs to be, making you dig down three screens into the options to set one. Also, the included skate park is pretty good, but I hope the developers add another (or more) in the future for a more varied experience. As is, the game is plenty fun, but you will get sick of the same old area every time you play.
Overall, True Skate is probably the most realistic skateboarding game in the App Store, and it's a lot of fun with some practice. With great swipe controls, the ability to set session start points, and excellent graphics and sound, this game is easy to recommend for both skaters and fans of the sport.