After a visit to the Castle of Lucio during the events of the prequel, Tcheco in the Castle of Lucio, Tcheco is back in action as he takes on another herculean journey but this time on his trusty and shiny new skateboard.
Skatemasta Tcheco is a mix of platformer and auto-scrolling skateboarding game where players have to avoid various obstacles in order to reach the end of the level. As you avoid holes and quickly jump from platform to platform, you can also pick money bags. Throughout every level, you can also pick up various letters to spell out one of Tchecho’s friends.
Successfully, spelling out Tchecho’s friend’s name will summon Tchecho’s friend against the boss battle at the end of the level. It does provide very minimal support during the battle as players will have to pull most of the weight during the fights. While Tcheco has a generous lifebar, you only have one life so dying once means game over. Dying at the boss throws you back at the level select screen.
Thankfully, along with avoiding obstacles, levels are peppered with various enemies which can be eliminated by either jumping on them à la Super Mario Bros or dashing through them. Some enemies cannot be killed, but simply (very) temporarily incapacitated by standing on them. There’s an interesting enemy variety and boss battles, while simplistic, are pretty fun.
The main problem here is the overall platforming. Being an auto-scroller, it’s a literal pain in the ass trying to jump from platform to platform before reaching the solid ground; especially platforms that are shorter than the skateboard’s width or disappearing ones. There are also a few trampolines in various levels in order to reach higher areas. The problem here is that trying to move while bouncing is that you’ll more often than not bounce further than you need.
Also, when falling into a pit, it will take away half a heart from Tcheco’s life bar. Another problem is that if you fall around the platform, there’s a chance you’ll keep falling until solid ground appears. They should’ve frozen the auto-scrolling while adding a temporary invincibility frame so players can move and give them a chance to land on a platform instead of constantly falling down.
Skatemasta Tcheco’s presentation is a faithful homage to classic NES/Famicon games from the 80s-90s. When booting up the game, old school gamers will feel like on a trip back in time while giving newcomers a taste of what once was. Each level is uniquely designed and presents a unique challenge to overcome as they feel vastly different from one another. Soundtrack wise, it’s nothing special. It does the job well and it also feels like an homage to classic 8-bit games. A little addendum however that those who played FoyxLand will recognize the Concrete Jungle level score as it’s the same song.
As much as I’m a fan of classic homages to the golden NES/Famicon gaming era, Skatemasta Tcheco is a frustrating mess. While the concept was great on paper, this shouldn’t have been an auto-scroller or a game with a skateboard. This could’ve shined as a traditional platformer, but the auto-scrolling on a skateboard makes the platforming more frustrating than it should. Try at your own risk.
- Great platforming concept…
- …hindered by auto-scrolling
- Tcheco controls like a bouncing ball
- Saving requires money (in-game money collected throughout various levels)