Hidden away within the already totally radical, skateboard-obsessed world of OlliOlli World lies a hidden realm, a skate-cropolis in the sky called Radlantis. Having already tricked and grinded (ground?) across the different biomes of this game, the quest to find and then skate in Radlantis in this second and final DLC proves to be a real pinnacle for this game’s take on skateboarding.
The Finding the Flowzone expansion sees you teaming up with Squid, Licht and Professor Planks, on a quest through the Flowzone Layer of cloudy realms to try and find Radlantis by piecing together smashed map pieces. There’s a nice new batch of pre-level nattering between the three of them, each with a different outlook on life and the search (Squid’s a sky pirate with a missing eye, while Professor Planks is more philosophical about the whole endeavour). As with the main game, you can skip this entirely, so if you don’t like puns and some of the more daft elements of this setting, you can get right into the action.
There’s a couple of new quirks that immediately make themselves known, with Winzones and Burly Routes. Windzones are new localised gusts of wind that will blow you in a particular direction. These are great, helping Roll7 to open up the level design in new and interesting ways, whether that’s be shoving you along a rail so you’ve got enough speed to cross the next jump, forcing you back on yourself to take on a section in reverse, or propelling you up into the air. It’s another variable that allows for plenty of creative new ideas to be thrown in the mix.
Meanwhile, each level is made all the more complex by having new Burly Routes. These are alternate paths, exactly like the Gnarly Routes from the main game… but they come in addition, so every level now has three paths to follow. Some of them are clearly marked and obvious, some levels can let you chain regular, Gnarly and Burly together in a single run, but most will force you to both search for the added routes, potentially pull of a feat to reach them, and that will take successive attempts to do.
Finding the Flowzone will take you to a new map up in the troposphere of cloudy realms, but it’s dotted once more with levels to beat. To unlock further parts of the map, you need to find the map pieces sprinkled through the levels, with three apiece and certain progress gates to each new area. You won’t need to complete every level or collect every map piece to reach Radlantis, and you’ve always got the ability to go and play a different level if you’re constantly face planting trying to reach a particular thing. Thankfully you still have a few checkpoints mid-level, and if you grab a map piece and then flop into failure, you keep that piece when you respawn. It will be up to you if you can live with that lower score and the knowledge that you didn’t manage to pull off a perfect run. You’re OK with that, right?
These levels feel faster and more technical than what we were served up before. Having the Windzones ramps up the speed at times, and that can be combined with short sharp sequences of grinds and jumps, but you still need to get good landing times on your grinds and Manuals to keep your speed up in other places. There still so much variety within the trick system, though I’ll admit that I kind of just spam different analogue sticks, just trying to zone in
In other words, you might reach Radlantis and see all that it has to offer (a few extra levels and a really taxing finale), but in overcoming those challenges? Well, maybe the flowzone was inside you all along?
If you enjoyed OlliOlli World’s revival of Roll7’s excellent side-scrolling skateboarding series, then Finding the Flowzone is an easy choice. It’s a bunch more levels, a couple new gameplay ideas, and its heightened challenge lives up to the ‘just one more go’ vibes that has always been at the heart of OlliOlli.