It’s funny how licensed games work. I expected to like Adventure Time: Pirates of the Enchiridion (a title from the same developers and publisher) and came away disappointed. A name like Crayola Scoot doesn’t exactly inspire confidence yet I ended up enjoying this one once I got my hands on it. Here’s the thing: I secretly had interest in the game since its unveiling because it looked unique. Sure, the visuals and gameplay are blatantly inspired by Splatoon but blending that with the skateboarding genre popularized by the Tony Hawk games? Sounds pretty interesting to me!
It probably goes without saying that the inspiration from Splatoon is evident in Crayola Scoot‘s style. The characters and menus have similar “hip” vibes going for them and the gadgetry can be beefed up by purchasing upgrades from a shop just like in Nintendo’s kid-friendly shooter series. And of course, colors are used to be splashed all over the playing field as much as the time limit allows. While it’s debatable how much the color spraying adds to the look of these areas, I do have to say I like the way the places look to begin with. Crayola Scoot has quite the creative skating-er…scooting parks featured in its world.
I can’t say there’s anything I found infectiously catchy in the soundtrack (at least not when I was playing), but I’d be lying if I said the tracks weren’t fitting to the skating / scooting atmosphere. The sound effects tend to slightly drown out the music, anyway. Sounds like the color splatting and score increases are very Splatoon-esque, as is likely the intention. Others include the usual sounds coming from using walls for stunts and the like. Par for the course, but I’d say it checks out fine.
I’m not a big player of Tony Hawk games or anything like them but I have a feeling fans of that series would be at home with Crayola Scoot. With your scooter you can perform cool tricks, grind on rails and half-pipes, and establish combos to maintain. Despite the child-friendly branding, the game doesn’t slack on its control scheme which appears to be surprisingly full-featured for this genre. With this and the variety of missions the game has on offer (ranging from stunt scoring to painting the locales), it is a fundamentally sound experience.
As far as progression is concerned, you can play any of the missions you have access to and you have a bar to fill up with your results. If you’re not a completionist, you don’t even necessarily have to rank 1st in them or play them all – albeit it helps add points to the meter if you do. The only required missions Crayola Scoot throws at you are the ones where you have to play a game of H.O.R.S.E. (Well, S.C.O.O.T. in this game’s case) against a CPU and out-do each other with trick combos. Once the progress bar is filled, you face off against one of the other characters and the bar resets after your victory; if you beat them all, the main game ends.
Funnily enough, those are the missions I’ve had the easiest time with. I had to do plenty of the others on Easy mode because the AI can actually be pretty no-nonsense on harder difficulties. If you want all the Gold Stars, though, you must beat every mission on Hard. While I did enjoy the game for the most part, there were a few things that proved to annoy me. The crayon-grabbing missions were bothersome because only one crayon appears at a time at a random point in the map, and there’s a good chance the AI will get it before you. The structure in general also seems somewhat one-note; no rival character feels like a climactic encounter. You just play them missions until you get that ending cutscene.
One other thing I’d like to note is that while I won’t be knocking off points for this, I feel like attaching the Crayola name to Crayola Scoot severely hurts the potential it has to gain an audience. Preteens, teens, and adults would be put off by the idea of owning a game with “Crayola” on it, and little kids would get turned off by the complex scooting controls and challenging AI. I think if it were a $19.99 eShop game without any attachment to Crayola, it would have a much better chance. As is, you’d really, really, really have to take my word for it.
So what is my word? Well, for what it’s worth, Crayola Scoot is a good time once you get past the name barrier. It’s the best game that the folks at Outright have put out for the Switch so far; even if it still has some quirks that could be improved on, what’s there is an interesting game that can satisfy cravings for a skateboarding game on Nintendo’s hybrid platform. With a neat color twist, that is.
Review copy provided by Outright Games