Most Tony Hawk games on Game Boy Advance don’t have much in common with their console-based inspirations. Sure, they’ve got the family name, but not the gameplay or the addictive quality. Kiss those hack jobs goodbye: Tony Hawk’s American Sk8land for Nintendo DS has the same gravity-defying move sets and over-the-top objectives likes as its bigger brother, even if it’s still clearly the baby of the family.
Like American Wasteland on the GameCube, the similarly titled American Sk8land casts you as a Midwest skater who comes to Los Angeles to build the ultimate skatepark with your new punky friends. It’s a kinder, gentler version of the console plots - Tony befriends you as soon as you get off the bus instead of having you prove yourself. As you explore the city, strangers will offer you trick tips on kickflips, plus they’ll give you cash to fund your custom skatepark. It’s all done with friendly, cel-shaded cartoony graphics intended to make the kiddies feel right at home.