Have all the fun of extreme skateboarding without the pain of wipeouts

Extreme Skater may not be the most intense sports game for your iOS device, but with its well-designed interface and easy-to-understand gameplay, it proved to be a fun way to while away the hours.

The goal of Extreme Skater is simple. You guide the skateboarder as he collects coins and crystals, and (basically) you keep him from running into anything sharp. We like that the game is tilt-controlled, which means it's very responsive and also a little forgiving. Initially, you can swipe up to jump or tap onscreen controls to grab an object. As the game progresses, you'll … Read more

Hot new action games for iOS

I look through the new iOS releases and popular apps several times a day to find hidden gems to talk about here at the end of the week. Usually I try to come up with a theme to tie them all together, but I've been tracking some games over the past couple of weeks that are all good, but can't be wrapped up neatly in a nice little package.

Still, though the games are from different genres, each one has something unique to offer and I hope you'll be able to pick a game from the genre you like best -- I promise you won't be disappointed.… Read more

The 404 1,020: Where Tony Hawk shows us how to 900 (podcast)

Tony Hawk is back for his third appearance on the show to tell us all about his new YouTube Channel, Ride. Curated by Tony Hawk and his crew, the channel broadcasts original content every weekday with shows that range from trick tutorials to skate spot history, and Tony's own interviews with legends like Rodney Mullen, Trent Reznor, and more.… Read more

Stickman games that shine on iOS

Sometimes the bare essentials are all it takes to make a great video game. In this collection, our hero is the stickman.

Everyone knows that in today's hottest games (for any platform), high-quality graphics are at a premium. Whether it's a first-person shooter, an MMORPG, or even a console golf game, realism and fancy graphics seem to be key to getting people to buy the product. But if you've played games for a while, you know that graphics aren't everything.

A whole slew of games in the iTunes App Store have enjoyed a ton of success by completely ignoring fancy graphics and instead focusing on the gameplay aspect. Some developers have even distilled graphic concepts down to the most basic level--stick figures--to prove that it's not about antialiasing and bloom, and more about having fun using clever game mechanics.… Read more

The 404 Podcast 468: Where we take a RIDE with Tony Hawk

CNET's The 404 Podcast is very proud to welcome Tony Hawk to the studio today! The man who rode skateboarding to mainstream success sits down with us for a chat about his expansive video game franchise, skateboarding being added to the Olympics, and, of course, his newest game, Tony Hawk: RIDE.

All of us have been huge fans of the Tony Hawk video game franchise since the first Tony Hawk Pro Skater, but his latest game, Tony Hawk: RIDE, brings a new level of entertainment to the series with a physical skateboard equipped with a contoured base, infrared sensors, and four smart motion sensors that help you push, turn, lean, and pull off unbelievable tricks within the virtual environments. Tony tells us all about the creation of the board and the prototype decks that didn't make the cut. He also explains the motivation behind making the switch to a physical board instead of the hand-held controller that propelled the original games into instant classics, making comparisons to the Wii Fit Balance Board to show how much extra work went into the dual accelerometers.

After getting the full scoop about the game (in stores tomorrow for $120), we're all very excited to see him in action with a live in-studio demo on an Xbox 360. Tony shows us how the accelerometers pick up the movement of your feet on the board and how to grab the nose by simply bending over and reaching toward the front of the board. After he goes through some of the basic moves, he hands the board over to me to give it a shot. Obviously, Tony Hawk himself is a hard act to follow, but I think I pulled off a few tricks before face-planting onto the concrete. Be sure to check out the video for all the action.

After the break, we talk to Tony a bit more about the game and how influential the series has been on bringing the sport to mainstream popularity, the eclectic music choices in the soundtrack, and some of the active characters you can choose. And, of course, we have to get Tony's take on the future of skateboarding and whether or not the sport will ever go the way of snowboarding to make it as an official event at the Olympics.

There's a whole lot more to talk about with Tony, a few Calls From the Public, and some insightful questions from the chat room, so be sure to listen or watch the entire episode for the full scoop. Much thanks to Tony for coming on the show and keep listening for a chance to win a copy of the game!

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Your own skate jam!

TouchGrind is good game for anyone who likes skateboarding or fingerboarding, but it could use a little work to make it a great game. Pick a board and either practice your moves in your backyard (Warmup); practice tricks and attempt your single-trick high score at the main park (Jam Session); or go for the high score in a timed format at the main park (Competition). TouchGrind lets you use two fingers on your touch screen to control your board for turning and performing tricks. An easy-to-understand How To section helps you get used the controls. The physics are very good, … Read more