While a Free Play mode is available for leisurely practice, the main game mode of Tech Deck Skateboarding has Finger Guy racing against the clock to collect Tech Deck mini-boards scattered across each park. An arrow points you in the direction of the next board on the Easy and Medium difficulty settings, but on X-Treme mode you'll have to memorize each board's location (and the order in which they appear) before starting the level. As the levels progress, the time allotted to move from board to board gets shorter, and you'll be hard pressed to collect them all in time. Luckily, Finger Guy can add precious seconds to the clock by completing tricks as you move from spot to spot. Unfortunately, there are serious flaws in the collection-based gameplay. For one, many of the mini-boards float high above ramps and obstacles, where logic would dictate only a high-flying trick could help you reach. But Tech Deck allows players to simply jump vertically up or down to reach these boards, essentially cheating players out of an otherwise enjoyable challenge. The other major problem with the collection-based structure to the game? It gets dull faster than a $2 Ginsu knife. Some degree of variety could have made Tech Deck Skateboarding a kid-friendly alternative to Tony Hawk, but with only two gameplay modes available Finger Guy simply comes up short.
If collecting the various Tech Deck boards is supposed to be the primary incentive for players to complete every level and difficulty setting of Tech Deck Skateboarding, the visual payoff is disappointing at best. The gallery of Tech Deck mini-boards players collect are flat, unimpressive reproductions of the beautiful prints that grace the actual boards. Minor glitches litter the game as well, with some of the platforms and ramps flickering in and out of existence if you approach them from the wrong direction. Most of the parks are visually bland, made up of gray obstacles on gray surfaces. Only the Tech Deck ramps themselves use vivid colors. As for Finger Guy, his grimacing animations do their best to keep convey excitement, but the limited number of moves (and his monotone brown coloring) make it hard to feel much of a thrill as he contorts through the air.
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Now Tech Deck Skateboarding is not supposed to be Tony Hawk's Pro Skater. Developer wisely chose to go for a simpler, more accessible game that younger kids (the mini-skateboards' biggest fans) can pick up and play. Controlling your board is easy enough - simply push your D-pad and Finger Guy takes care of kicking himself along. The A button Ollies and handles ground tricks (Kick Flips, Shove Its, etc.) while the B button allows players to pull off various grinds. The parks themselves are packed with plenty of pipes and ramps to take on, with giant-sized baseballs and shoelaces standing between you and half-pipe glory. As Finger Guy approaches the lip of a pipe, you can pull off tricks like flips and Screwdrivers by simply tapping the D-pad, no Ollie required. This slimmed down set of controls serve well for the most part, but getting lined up properly with the various ramps can be an exercise in frustration. Grinding on rails is particularly difficult to accomplish, but there's few long stretches of pipe to take advantage of anyway.