Developer: Illusion Labs AB
Price: $4.99 Download on the App Store
Touchgrind is addictive — but for all the wrong reasons. I found myself madly playing for hours trying to master a control scheme that was nearly impossible to navigate.
Touchgrind is a skateboarding game that works like a virtual Tech Deck fingerboard. You control the board using your index and middle finger to act as your skating legs. By moving your fingers off the board it will jump and earn you points through various tricks. More points are earned by performing tricks off the many ramps that are inside the skate course.
The problem with Touchgrind is that you have to have a second sense to know where you are going. During gameplay the screen's focus is on the skateboard and little else. There are a series of icons on the edge of the screen that point out where the ramps and walls are that you can jump off. They also get larger as you get closer to a target. Unfortunately Touchgrind is just not functional.
Even after playing around with Touchgrind for a considerable amount of time it's still too difficult to anticipate when and where to jump. By clicking the magnifying glass icon on the bottom right corner of the screen an aerial view pops up that shows the entire skate park from a bird's eye view. But after seeing this, your hopes may be crushed when realizing that this is a view-only screen. You must return to the original scenery in order to control the skateboard.
Despite the difficulty in controlling the skateboard Touchgrind has some strong design elements. There is plenty of opportunity to practice, and there are tutorial videos for how to do the different kinds of tricks available. When you are ready to display your mad skateboarding skills enter the competition section and skate away.
With just a few tweaks Touchgrind could be a great game. But in its current state Touchgrind has too many oddities to be enjoyable.