November 29, 2021

A compelling way to advertise a video game on social media is to make an elevator pitch catchy enough to make you stop scrolling and pique your interest. This is exactly what happened in the case of Ollie-Oop when it appeared on my Twitter feed; I had to investigate the cute pup on a skateboard and knew I had to get it on my screen ASAP. The prospect of a quirky collectathon is always something I’m excited to try out, so how does this skating dog fare?

Ollie Oop Skateboarding Dog Cute Hat
Tons of cosmetics and they’re not microtransactions? Who would have thought of that?

Visuals

Ollie-Oop opts for that classic fifth-generation presentation chock-full of polygons and colorful landscapes. Levels are decently-sized and collectibles levitate/spin, begging you to pick each and every one of them up. You can trick out Ollie with a wide variety of hats each with their own cute audio cue when you swap, and can switch it up at any point in a level. Animations are pretty well-crafted for an Early Access phase of the game, but there’s a little bit of jank here and there – nothing that can’t be ironed out in the coming months.

Ollie Oop Skateboarding Dog Cute Hat Yip Bark
There’s a dedicated “bark” button that you can spam to your heart’s content, a la Duck Game.

Gameplay

Anyone familiar with a Tony Hawk game will transition into Ollie-Oop with little hassle. Movement is a breeze as Ollie traverses levels with ample opportunities for ramps, races, and pumpkin-smashes. You’ll take tasks from the other dogs out and about, whether it be scaring some birds or clearing a mineshaft with dynamite. It’s a blast whittling down these requests and collecting pupcakes as you watch the completion meter get closer and closer. There was only one mission I struggled with: gathering tumbleweeds within a brief time limit, which hopefully gets higher as the game keeps getting worked on.

Ollie Oop Skateboarding Dog Cute Hat Soccer Football
Ollie-Oop still has kinks to work out in Early Access, like this soccer minigame I dominated thanks to spamming a key.

Audio

The cutesy delivery in Ollie-Oop is compounded by a relaxing soundtrack from Robert Frost III and adorable sound effects. If you happen to not land on your wheels, a squeak will play when Ollie’s body bounces on the ground. Ollie’s barks are a hoot when you mash the designated bark button. The appropriate sound effects when equipping a specific hat are just the cherry on top.

So, why should you play it?

  • You want to support an indie dev’s great idea and see the game grow within a respectable timeline.
  • You want to skateboard as a dog.
  • You can’t get enough of collectathon classics such as Super Mario 64, Banjo Kazooie, etc.

But why shouldn’t you play it?

  • Bugs are too much of a distraction to you.
  • You’d prefer a completed game (which will be priced higher upon completion).

A press key for Ollie-Oop was provided courtesy of the developer.

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