OlliOlli World Review – Just Gnarly

With the launch of OlliOlli World across PC, Xbox One, Xbox Series X/S, PS4, PS5, and Nintendo Switch soon, we shove off into review of Roll7’s bodacious new skating sim.

Alley oops, tweaked grabs, and even the humble kickflip, are all activities that are beyond us here at Gamespace, but thanks to OlliOlli World, the newest title in the well-regarded arcade skating series, you can grind through a different sort of adventure with nothing but your gamepad. As the third mainline instalment in the OlliOlli series, OlliOlli World is a new incarnation of the pixelated runner and has come a long way since it first screeched onto the PSVita back in 2014. Initially a twist on the infinite runner genre, OlliOlli World now puts players in the shoes of an aspiring skate guru and unleashes their talents on a rich lore filled world full of eccentric ideas and exploitable environments.

olliolli world e3 trailer screenshot

Pretty Fly

If you caught the announcement trailers for OlliOlli World back in June 2021, the new aesthetic for this dreamy-looking game will be familiar by now. The striking change from earlier entries discards 2D pixelated characters and hard edged obstacles, morphing into a gorgeous set of 3D comic book cells full of diverse and different personalities sketched out using soft edges and bold outlines that even could fit nicely on a Saturday morning Nickelodeon show. These coloring book characters are filled with gorgeous pastel paints and wonderfully bold colors, making this new title feel like the summer getaway we all really need right now. The accompanying range of equally oversized and odd backdrops, psychedelic animals, sentient cactuses, unusual NPCs, lo-fi beats, and skate gods culminate in making this instantly feel like a mix of charming innocence and surrealism on a new skateboard.

Before we even get to the giant bees, endearingly illustrated characters, and bright blue street ramps that make up OlliOlli World, you’ll first need to become acquainted with whole new lore. Rather than just break out the board and skate headlong into some unforgiving rails, OlliOlli World introduces a team of mystical skate gods. Each of these deities embodies the various zones of OlliOlli World and a particular style of skating. It’s up to you, as a budding prophet, to journey through this new land, master every element of skate, and reach the higher plains of Gnarvana. It’s as outlandish as it sounds but yet somehow this all seems perfectly logical when rolling into action.

Just as OlliOlli World adds its own lore and lick of paint, players can put together their very own character this time. This is another brand new addition to the series and is something I certainly don’t remember from the early days of OlliOlli. While this isn’t as complete as a fully fledged MMORPG model, it fits perfectly with the overall style OlliOlli World. Characters get oversized appendages, basic shapes, and a palette that fits well with the wider aesthetic. There might not be tons of sliders on offer, but here are sufficient body types, facial formations, hair, hats, and other threads available. It’s great to see this 3D comic style play out with little obvious gender bias and oodles of accessory options. Even better, you’ll be able to add tweaks to those accessories thanks to the game’s play to unlock reward system, which we will get to later. Everything from wheels, to the board, knee pads, tops, dresses, coats, and more can be swapped as you clock up achievements out in the world. You can even have a look at character creation below.



The introduction of a player character in OlliOlli World is a key element in crafting a journey for players. It provides a way for gamers to interact with a cut cast of wholesome characters, Big Mike’s track challenges and enthusiasm for breaking things being a highlight. While you’ll already know the overarching goals, this light touch narrative is used to draw players into the world, explain the way to play, and engage with the wider themes that run through the title, via skits that bookend each level. The tone, much like the rest of the game is a welcoming hug and that is reflected in the gameplay.


Whether you’re riding along a forest floor or blazing across the bright blue pavement of a beachside resort, OlliOlli World is easy to get to grips with. Those early introductions drip feed in a simple control system that is best approached with a gamepad but is largely built around a few basic forms of movement. While twisting the analog stick at exactly the right time is an acceptable way to roll through OliOlli World, more advanced features are introduced later on, but rarely require more than holding a button and excellent timing. There’s a low skill ceiling to getting through tracks, but pull off perfect landings or ratchet up a combo on the rails, and OlliOlli World will reward you handsomely. OlliOlli World is all about encouraging every type of play and manages to refrain from punishing players. Save zones appear regularly, and the game won’t abandon a whole run while you are trying to learn a particular section. Landings that are sketchy can still be made but perfect ones will rack up more points, and that’s the goal.

olliolli world grind a rail

Track Time

Along the way there’s plenty of variety with rails, dinosaur bones, steps, backboards, new paths, and even side quests to keep the simple act of  looking cool engaging. Numerous tracks slowly unlock across an overworld, that drops in these new elements with enough regularity that jsut one more track might blow your mind too. Across this multi-levelled skate track, you’ll catch air, snatch, grind, skim over chasms, chase bees, and bop frogs just to make the most points. Leader boards, in-game challenges, and bragging rights are key to the title’s asynchronous multiplayer, where the players will face real-world rivals placed kerbside to gloat over a disastrous washout. That isn’t the only way to play with friends in OlliOlli World. The Gnarvana Portal introduces a little bit of procedural gameplay, allowing players to generate postcodes and play custom skate tracks over in Gnarvana. From here you’ll chase for the best scores, building the trickiest or most chill ride and inviting friends to take on your own slice of skating heaven. The ingenious way Roll7 has added a competitive system, without penalizing anybody for failing to be the 1%, and allowing them to play at their own pace simply keeps me coming back for more. When the fantastic presentation, tight controls, and the reams of in game challenges were not enough, the option to just keep coming back to perfect flip has already stolen too much of my time.

Like we said during our initial preview, OlliOli World is far from a simple remaster and it is not the hyper-real reincarnation of tony hawks that Skater XL aims to be. Instead, this big-budget bubble gum comeback for the OlliOlli series is a fitting update that understands what made the original a must-buy in the first place. It throws the doors of Gnarvana open to everyone, keeping the core game exciting, the world jsut incredibly wholesome, and allowing everybody to dabble in some breakneck turns on a plank of wood.

OlliOlli World is near enough skating perfection. It is easy to pick up, but difficult to master. Wholesome yet at the same time utterly rage educing if you let it. It’s already one of my favorite games this year, and that’s not jsut because it has stolen all my free time since I strapped on a helmet and sat down to take on this  boardacious new skating sim. In fact, buy it, and reach for the skies of Radlandia across PlayStation 5, Xbox One, PlayStation 4, Nintendo Switch, Xbox Series X, and Series S on 8 February. Find out more on the official website.

A gorgeous piece of skateboarding. The culmination of everything we've come to expect from OlliOlli with a heart-warmingly wholesome approach that reminds us anybody can board if you've got the urge.
  • wonderfully wholesome
  • tons of variety
  • simple to ick up and play
  • can be as frustrating as enjoyable
  • plenty of repetition
Written by
For those of you who I’ve not met yet, my name is Ed. After an early indoctrination into PC gaming, years adrift on the unwashed internet, running a successful guild, and testing video games, I turned my hand to writing about them. Now, you will find me squawking across a multitude of sites and even getting to play games now and then

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