There’s not many– if any– shooters centered around extreme sports, and after watching the trailer and spending some time with an early build of TrickShot by minority-owned indie studio Meddling Kids, I’m not wholly convinced there won’t be more. Taking the frenetic energy of arcade and arena shooters and laying that over the combo-based trick system of pro skating games– TrickShot looks to meld these two genres together into magical multiplayer mayhem.
Matches in TrickShot have you choosing between hoverskates or hoverboards for your mode of transportation while maneuvering around the skatepark to build your score through performing tricks or shooting your opponents. While building combos of tricks and kills together can be a balanced approach to securing the win, players can choose to focus more on tricks or more on kills and still have success. Although, the perks of landing combos and kills enhances your special meter allowing you to traverse quicker and deal more damage– boons that will surely help tip the scales in your favor.
The flow of matches felt calm yet chaotic, with players zipping around ramps and rails with a myriad of weapons at their disposal looking to take aim at me. Though, my matches were only filled with computer controlled skaters, I can only imagine the level of skill that a flourishing online player base could showcase given time. A whole new meaning to 360 no-scopes could soon be our reality.
TrickShot has the opportunity to stand out from others in the genre simply because of its core design. Although adding new types of gameplay mechanics to genres that typically don’t have them isn’t in itself groundbreaking, this particular seesaw of gameplay reminds me of another interesting approach to the genre.
While sharing virtually nothing with Splatoon in gameplay and aesthetic, I feel as though TrickShot share’s the most important aspect of Splatoon in regards to shooters– approaching the genre through an augmented lens. Instead of placing the focus solely on shooting your opponents, TrickShot places an equal amount of focus on the trick and combo systems to help you or your team achieve victory. I think this way of approaching the genre, when done right, can lead to something special and I feel like Meddling Kids is onto something special here.
I’m eagerly awaiting future updates on development and the future release of TrickShot. While the version of TrickShot I had the chance to play was a pre-alpha demo and will surely go through different stages of changes as the game continues development, I can’t imagine much about the core concept and mechanics will be altered. With those values in tact, I think that TrickShot is something that should stay on your radar if you are at all interested in third person shooters or skateboarding games in the vein of Tony Hawk Pro Skater as it masterfully molds the two ideas into something fun while feeling fresh bringing a whole new way to stunt on ’em to the genre.
If you’re interested in TrickShot be sure to show the developer Meddling Kids some love on Twitter and wishlist the game on Steam. For all things TrickShot, PAX Online, and indie game related, be sure to keep it locked to Pass The Controller. For a deeper dive on all things gaming and nerd culture, listen to the Pass The Controller Podcast with new episodes weekly on your favorite podcast platform. Want to continue the conversation with us and our community? Join our official Discord server.