PAX East 2024: Streetdog BMX Dances Between Arcade Sports Game & Hardened Simulator In The Best Way

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In the current age of sports simulators, it feels like the glow of these rubbed off decades ago. And while annual installments still release each year, that magic still remains absent. Similarly, the same can also be said for skateboarding titles too. With Tony Hawk games out of the equation, titles like Skate remain with a new live-service plan. Additionally, Crea-ture Studios’ Session is available too, but approaches players with a hardened gameplay flow that could be overwhelming.

But while at PAX East this month, Yeah Us! Games’ Streetdog BMX has shown to be a passion project that could be both a return to classic arcade sports & offer a grounded gameplay scheme that keeps you engaged. To add some context, this is actually not the first entry from the English team in this sphere. Before, the studio rolled out a slew of BMX titles for mobile and eventually to console as well.

When approaching Streetdog BMX this time around, I asked developer Adam Hunt where he started for this new endeavor. Initially planned as a new mobile game for Pump BMX amid the COVID pandemic, Hunt later decided against another free-to-play title. Instead, he pursued creating his “dream game”, in Hunt’s own words. With his now-seasoned experience with systems and game development, he could create the ultimate experience he conjured a decade ago.

“Streetdog BMX is an extreme sports game that sees you riding through six expansive levels in search of extreme tricks, great lines, and devious challenges. Fans of Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater and Dave Mirra BMX will be right at home in this fun and challenging BMX game,” the synopsis from its Steam page reads. And from my demo of the game, it fits that slot perfectly.

Hunt explains that there is an equilibrium that Streetdog BMX is after and it shows from the build on the show floor. “[It] features the best bits of an arcade game and the best bits of a simulator to make gameplay accessible to all players.” Of course when comparing itself to titles like Tony Hawk & Dave Mirra, Hunt did acknowledge the control scheme and its appearance is where Streetdog BMX draws the line from its influences.

But he does press that much of that glow from those 2000s games is there in Streetdog BMX. “I’m kinda hoping to bring that magic and give space for players to mess around.” In-game, there is free roam on fixed maps with challenges to complete – alike the games it draws inspiration from. Hunt expresses that missions are scattered across all settings and these layouts are created to ignite a draw to explore and find new places to trick.

From my time with the build, it is already air tight. The controls take pointers from both legacy & modern games of the genre that deliver a satisfying experience. In action, performing tricks are straight forward: pop the right stick and push it to do a trick. Probably the mechanic I appreciate the most is how snappy grinding is. In other games, it’s a strategic effort and is more annoying than satisfying when I land it. In Streetdog BMX, it’s a simple button prompt.

Looking ahead, Streetdog BMX is a console-first release this time around. But when asked if there is room for a mobile version like its heritage, Hunt said that is not the case; unsure if it is in the playbook for the future. And with a planned release for 2024, he also insisted that he plans to iterate on the game in post. But, the chances of DLC is not in motion as performance is what determines that ultimately.

If you’re have any interest in Streetdog BMX, we recommend you wishlist the game on Steam. You can do so by heading here.

Streetdog BMX is listed to release sometime in 2024 for PC & consoles.

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