A real grind.
With the Temple Run franchise being such a phenomenal success, you don't have to look far on the App Store to find a "me too" clone, and there's very little to separate titles from one another. But by replacing the usual running hero with a suave skateboarder named Hopsin, on the run from evil monkeys in the jungle, Gamechanger World has at least stumbled on an interesting idea with Skate Madness.
Unfortunately, this core idea is the only thing that's really original, as the gameplay is almost an exact copy of Temple Run's. You'll maneuver Hopsin through danger-filled jungles and ruins by jumping onto wood planks and ramps, duck underneath branches, and collect fruit which acts as in-game currency. That's about it really, and aside from the skateboard grinds you can perform, there's nothing about the game that feels genuinely fresh.
That might not bother you too much, but Skate Madness also suffers from rather inaccurate controls at times. Hopsin does respond to most of the commands you issue, but on occasion he won't jump or slide over an obstacle precisely when you tell him to, and that often results in a frustrating collision that will end your turn.
During each blast through the game, Hopsin can collect power-ups to help him out, such as a magnet that attracts fruit, and a jet booster that shoots him a few hundred feet further into the jungle. You can buy these power-ups at any time using your fruit, or you can spend real cash if you don't feel like waiting.
Those power-ups are the only really valuable items you can buy though. The rest, such as unlockable outfits, don't really offer much value beyond cosmetic changes. It's not really a thrill to grind through a game for several hours just to see what Hopsin looks like in yet another get-up, after all.
The GameChanger software that features in the game is also problematic, and makes its presence known far too often when it comes to in-game promotions. There's a pop-up where you can sign up and win free prizes, which might sound tempting, but really it's just a way of advertising a game that you've already paid for. No thanks.
Skate Madness has decent visuals, but hardly anything worth writing home about. The animations aren't bad, and the three zones you run through do show a bit of variety, but it's ultimately all weighed down by lackluster audio. The music is repetitive and will get on your nerves rather quickly, and Hopsin himself really doesn't have much to say for himself.
For a dollar, Skate Madness isn't the worst Temple Run clone out there. However, its somewhat inaccurate controls, combined with poor audio and unfavorable reward systems, may well send you packing sooner rather than later.
What's Hot:Generally decent game controls, an initially interesting skateboarding theme, passable graphics, and plenty of power-ups to be earned.
What's Not:The controls are occasionally unresponsive, music and sound effects are repetitive, in-game promotions are overbearing for a paid app.