The world of tabletop gaming is about to get a visit from skateboarding culture. Pandasaurus Games have officially announced Skate Summer, a board game all about pulling off skateboarding tricks and competing with your friends, is coming soon to Kickstarter.
As Skate Summer's official press release states, your players are skating on the sun-drenched half-pipes of Pelican Park. Competition is high and there is plenty of terrain for you to show your moves on. As for who will rise up and be a skating legend and who will just fade away, that's what the game will decide. Skate Summer is meant for 2-5 players, will take about 45 minutes to an hour to complete, and will emphasize card combos, set collection, as well as push-your-luck mechanics.
We reached out to Pandasaurus Games about Skate Summer. We asked them what their key influences were as well as what players and backers can expect from this crowdfunding campaign. Lead Designer, Randy Reiman, was happy to answer some of our questions. The biggest one, Skate Summer's artistic inspiration, was thanks in part by a certain video game that made an entire subculture mainstream. Reiman states:
"Tony Hawk's Pro Skater was a special video game and major influence on Skate Summer. That era of extreme sports games connected with a lot of people and got them interested in skateboarding. However, it's not just about performing tricks. Skating is an entire subculture with music, clothing, and art. My friends and I would watch skate tapes and discover so many punk bands from those soundtracks. Everyone can visualize Venice Beach's palm trees and graffiti because it's such a specific vibe. I was very interested in exploring that world. In regular sports, you need a field or court to play. With skating, any piece of the city can be your launching point. All of this inspired the look and theme of Skate Summer."
That particular influence can be seen with how turn order is done. First, players play trick cards, which earns them rewards, followed by them rolling dice to see if they keep their balance. Next, players score points and can then improve their skills, making their next tricks easier to pull off. Finally, players move to different parts of the park in order to pick up gear and finish goals. One of those goals incidentally includes finding hidden video tapes. This continues until the one with the most points win.
It's a tricky experience to translate to tabletop, something that Reiman admits took a lot of playtesting and iteration. "Skateboarding itself has a push-your-luck element where you want to extend your trick line a little further than what's sensible. That became a focal mechanic when creating the board game version. The problem is you need players to fall on their face when they bail. How do you capture that pain without making them rage-quit your game?"
As for Skate Summer's Kickstarter campaign, there is plenty to unpack as well. The campaign will launch January 18th and will last until February 11. There will only be two tiers available. The Retail Edition will include just the base game as well as some stretch goals. As the name implies, this will be the version available to the public when it goes to retail stores. Alternatively, there is the Special Edition which will include all reached stretch goals and will only be available to Kickstarter backers. In addition, Pandasaurus Games is running a special contest on their social media pages as well as their Discord channel. You can submit names for four unique skater characters in Skate Summer on any of these pages. If the name you submitted is chosen, you get a Special Edition of Skate Summer for free. You can sign up to their newsletter on their official website here.