There are few game series in history that demand precise controls as much as the legendary Tony Hawk games. Sure, a simple ollie comes at the press of a button, but when you’re chaining dozens of flips and spins into a monster combo, you need the controls to feel second nature.

So, it’s hard not to be a bit skeptical about the latest entry into the once-great series, a mobile-only effort named Tony Hawk’s Skate Jam out now for Android and iOS.

It only released a couple of days ago, and the immediate reaction hasn’t been great, with the game currently sitting on a rating of 3.2 out of 5 on the Google Play Store, based off just under 3,000 ratings.

The main complaints so far? Well, let’s start with the graphics. The game, created by Maple Media (a developer who have previously released mobile titles such as Snowboard Party: World Tour and Skateboard Party 3), is coming under fire for looking like a PlayStation 2 title rather than a slick modern mobile game.

It’s definitely not a looker, but still, gameplay is king – right? Unfortunately it’s getting even worse marks in that column, with players bombarding the store page with complaints that the touch-based control scheme just isn’t up to the task of delivering a satisfying Tony Hawk experience.

The trouble doesn’t stop there though, with the developer getting players even more worked up with their treatment of the complaints. In an effort to deflect the criticism, many of the dev’s responses attempt to frame the controls as “a bit tricky at first”, and tell frustrated players to “keep practicing”.

“You’ll get the hang of them soon,” they continue, adding that they’ll have some YouTube tutorials up soon to help hold their players’ hands through the minefield of jank.

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tony hawks skate jam

tony hawks skate jam

What the devs don’t seem to realise here is that they’re speaking to a fanbase renowned for pulling off insanely tricky moves in these games for years, and they’re certainly not afraid of having to put in a little effort to master a control scheme.

The message back to devs is clear: we don’t need to get better at playing games, you need to get better at making them.

To be fair to the developers, their previous boarding games have been better received, and they may not have been expecting the extra level of scrutiny that was always bound to come with slapping a beloved brand like Tony Hawk onto an existing framework.

The devs’ helpful guide to fixing their busted controls making the game feel more “nostalgic”

But with so many of the recent Tony Hawk games being crushing disappointments for fans of the once-revolutionary series, maybe this is the entry that finally uses up the very last of their remaining goodwill.

Oh well, we can always look back on better time instead, with our review of the classic soundtrack from the very first Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater almost two decades ago. Better days, indeed.

Read: The Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater soundtrack reviewed

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