Generally favorable reviews - based on 31 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 26 out of 31
  2. Negative: 0 out of 31
Buy On
  1. One heck of a game that rises above its genre as something everyone can play.
  2. It has the solid gameplay you expect from the Tony Hawk franchise and adds some online multiplayer and fashionable visuals.
  3. Without a doubt the finest handheld version of the franchise you can currently play. It might even be one of the top five DS games released to date.
  4. Another amazing release by Vicarious Visions. One where they have not only gone all out with their effort, but have pushed what we can expect out of the system. It is easily one of the best titles to be released on the system thus far.
  5. What differentiates Tony Hawk's American Sk8land from "Mario Kart" is the level of involvement. Sk8land is far less pick-up-and-play, but those who take the time to learn its intricacies will have a blast.
  6. 90
    Definitely the best DS game to date that has been produced by non-Japanese developers. The single-player story mode is goofy and fun, classic mode rocks, and the online multiplayer serves as a standard for what future DS WiFi games should use for their website/DS integration.
  7. It may be the best looking DS game yet, and it matches the console experience to a degree that you'd expect only on the PSP.
  8. An excellent mix of single and multiplayer options, and online gameplay that will force DS developers to try real hard to beat it.
  9. A monster of a package. I was expecting a cheap tie-in game and ended up playing one of the best titles that the DS has to offer, and one of the better games in the Tony Hawk series. Marvelous.
  10. It's rare to see a quality console-to-portable translation, but Vicarious Visions pulls it off with flying colors. A fresh new art style, mildly intriguing story, rock-solid classic modes and a stellar multiplayer component launch American Sk8land to superstardom on the DS.
  11. 90
    With the addition of true online play, content download, and some creative touch screen use this is certainly one of the better games available right now for Nintendo’s handheld wonder.
  12. One of the most impressive handheld versions of the Tony Hawk series to come to the portable gaming format, Tony Hawk’s American Sk8land is a true thrasher classic.
  13. 88
    Even though it’s a been there, done that experience, Tony Hawk’s American Sk8land still a fun, frantic, and fantastic design that works extraordinarily well on the handheld due to its pick-up-and-play, quick-shot construction.
  14. Game Informer
    To put it simply, Sk8Land is a no-brainer for Tony Hawk fans with a DS. [Feb 2006, p.112]
  15. A great DS game. The short and relatively easy story mode is still a blast to play through, and the other modes make it a fun game.
  16. This is a great representation of the series, with very attractive visuals and a robust collection of maps and tricks, and it’s pretty amazing that Vicarious Visions managed to turn this one around so handily.
  17. Its novel look, its online play, solid gameplay, and its revamped goals make this a great one for the Nintendo DS.
  18. It is a solid game with only a few issues, and is deserving of a purchase.
  19. The perfect kind of portable title -- while it's based off a console game, the unique visual style alone makes it worthwhile to own both.
  20. 81
    Though the touch screen gameplay in Sk8land isn’t as intuitive as it should be, Vicarious Visions hit all the other bases of a good Tony Hawk title.
  21. Nintendo Power
    Aside from a few minor issues, though, Vicarious Visions had done a fantastic job creating a faithful and fun Hawk game. [Jan 2006, p.112]
  22. A really solid rendition of what made those early Tony Hawk games great, but on your faithful friend, the DS. It's smart and sassy, and it looks far better than you could possibly expect.
  23. 80
    American Sk8land manages to create a feeling of fun that has been missing from recent Tony Hawk titles, by focusing on pure skating, rather than mischief.
  24. It's nice to spend a few minutes getting some goals knocked out while waiting for the bus, and while the world may be tiring of Hawk style, now you can have a respectable version in your pocket.
  25. The game has a 100 percent pure Tony Hawk pedigree. For gamers looking for more innovative experiences for their innovative little system, it probably should be a rental-before-purchase situation.
  26. I didn't want to put this game down. I took it with me in the car, in my room, everywhere. Wiping out and failing goals only made me want to play more.
  27. The Touch Screen is both used and abused, offering a few poorly executed trick concepts and a slew of customization options for the creative artist in all of us.
  28. Sk8land is the best attempt yet to convert the old boy of skateboarding to a portable.
  29. The developers went back to the core ideals of the franchise, and came out with what made it fun, and fully customized to really shine on the DS.
  30. Tiny DS buttons make tight and efficient combos downright painful, and unless you set your sights on buffing your skater’s speed stats from the get-go, the pokey pace of play will put you to sleep.
  31. There's enough levels to provide a bit of variety to the single player modes but multiplayer is definitely where it's at, and always has been.

Awards & Rankings

#18 Most Discussed DS Game of 2005
User Score

Generally favorable reviews- based on 58 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 48 out of 58
  2. Negative: 5 out of 58
  1. JonathanGraham
    Apr 16, 2006
    This is a great game, although I wished that it was a little longer(I beat the story mode in one day). I just got so addicted to it. TheThis is a great game, although I wished that it was a little longer(I beat the story mode in one day). I just got so addicted to it. The sound track had a few good songs. I liked how customizable the game was compared to other hand held Tony Hawk games. Full Review »
  2. mise
    Mar 20, 2006
    Quality game; highly enjoyable gameplay, great visuals and sfx, decent music, and superb replayabilty with WiFi. Definitely a must for DS owners.
  3. hardcorerebelsk8tr
    Feb 25, 2006
    seriousedy man this os the crasiest raddest game eva. i mean i skip skewl to play this masterpeece, cuz im so bad. dude, if you are kewl youseriousedy man this os the crasiest raddest game eva. i mean i skip skewl to play this masterpeece, cuz im so bad. dude, if you are kewl you would buy this game because sk8boardins not a crime, an al the rents dont understand cause there not teenagers ands we are cool but they AINT! cause once ma rents said turn that dumb game off and i said screw you guys i dont care wut you say you dont controll ma life!! and this is the best gam in the world because the graphix are awesom and the rents dont like it so u guys that play it will seam relly rad and cool. i think i got ma point acroos cause of this the detail in the wallpapers are so good you will swear its real, but it should totaly be on the psp cause the ds is for kids, and im not a kid im a teenager and theres a humongus differene cause kids arnt hardcore rebels like me cause i say dude and man after everytthing. i only think they should have greenady on the music because they are rebel like me so rock on!!!!! sk8bordin aint i crime!!!!! Full Review »