Dropping into even a little quarterpipe in real life makes me nervous. That’s why The Ramp creator Paul Schnepf has managed to make faceplanting off a steep wooden cliff appear quite peaceful.
The Ramp, which will be available on Steam on August 3, presents itself as a digital toy, giving a variety of pipes, bowls, and ramps for your little skater to cut around. There are no points to accumulate or tasks to accomplish; only the sheer joy of landing a 540 nose grab on the first try.
I first saw The Ramp back in November, when it was a bit more pastel—and since then, it’s earned a place in the new wave of indies reinventing what skateboarding games can be. Apart from being less gamey than the other skaters I looked at, The Ramp is also distinct in that it emphasizes vert skating (performing large aerial feats over halfpipes and bowls) over the typical park or street skating we see in games.
“While there are already awesome skateboarding games like EA’s Skate series or Skater XL and Session, they all focus on street skateboarding,” Schnepf explained. “I’ve always wished for a game that does proper justice to how pumping vert really feels, and this is what I want to capture in my game, to give people a chance to experience what is so magical about skating vert themselves.”
Schnepf previously worked on comparable tiny, tidy games such as Superflight and Islanders. The Ramp wants to replicate that mood with short, 15-minute skate sessions for $6, or the price of “a medium-sized cinnamon pistachio latte to go,” as Schnepf puts it.