Words: Zane Foley
In November of 2002, The Simpsons Skateboarding video game hit the shelves of BlockBuster and gaming stores with mixed receptions. The game was developed by The Code Monkeys and published by Electronic Arts (EA) and Fox Interactive. That’s right, the dudes who brought you EA Skate also brought you The Simpsons Skateboarding.
The premise of the game goes like this: Springfield has been converted into a skatepark with ‘skateable’ objects on landmarks made famous from the television series. Players are able to play with Homer, Marge, Bart, Lisa, Nelson, Otto, Krusty, Professor Frink, and Chief Wiggum, with each character having over 40 unique tricks. Each toon’s in-game soundboard was recorded by the actual voice actors from The Simpsons. There were several game modes for players to test their skills in multiplayer head-to-head skate-offs, or in a single player ‘fast and furious’ mode. Players could get down on free skate, skate fest, trick contest, and H.O.R.S.E. Playing these in single player mode unlocked new characters and locations to skate, such as Springfield Elementary, Burn’s Mansion, and the Nuclear Power Plant.
Ultimately the game had a poor reception, mostly due to terrible graphics and counter-intuitive controls. The sounds of the game and music were particularly poor as well.
Andrew Reiner of Game Informer was quoted: “Never before have I seen a developer put forth such an effort to secure the Worst Game Of The Year award. I’ll even go as far to say that this may very well be the worst PlayStation 2 game on the market.”
Still, for skateboarders, it’s something to smile back on. And surely some people somewhere still play the game. Not to mention, a new copy of the game is still selling on Amazon for around $50. That’s pretty insane.