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Retro Game of the Day! Skate or Die: Bad 'n Rad

Retro Game of the Day is a daily look back at some of the games we loved - and some that we didn't - during the formative years. Today's entry is Skate or Die: Bad 'n Rad.

Ron Alpert, Blogger

July 29, 2010

3 Min Read

Retro Game of the Day! Skate or Die: Bad 'n Rad



Skate or Die: Bad 'N Rad by Konami for the GameBoy, released in 1991.


Skate or Die was a very popular skateboarding game for consoles and computers in the 1980s. Konami acquired the rights to port the EA original on the console - and when it proved to be a hit, they developed some of their own follow-up titles in-house, which had little to do with the original. Milking the name of the franchise essentially, which is something that has happened once or twice in the videogame industry.


And so, with that we have Bad 'n Rad. A memorable name is was probably devised to sound appealing to the punk skater culture, which would probably have eschewed it because of that if they'd ever acknowledged this game even existed. Bad 'n Rad was not really very true to skating just like it was not very true to the original Skate or Die. It's an action title, dressed up somewhat in skater clothing. Does this make for a good game?


A game like this will certainly polarize an audience for several reasons, but considering this plays something like "Skate or Die meets Castlevania GB,"it certainly makes for an interesting and enjoyable experience. To be honest, in some ways it feels like they took a theme and piped it through "generic platformer formula #37-B," but considering who was behind the wheel, the job turned out pretty decent. Unique in this game is that you are not merely walking to the right, you are continuously skating and must ride and dodge appropriately. Features such as stating-stage select, top-down platforming levels, and even boss fights help to solidify the experience.


Bad 'n Rad is a forgotten GameBoy title which is actually a nice little find. It's got some issues (short, controls are a bit funky) but the game holds up well considering. I could see a reissue (or rip-off) being made for the iPhone in the form of "Canabalt Skater" and being quite fun and successful. Maybe I should keep my mouth closed...


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