'Mike V: Skateboard Party' app released

  Ratrod Studio Inc.

Rolled out as the only 3D skateboarding game available for smart phones and tablets, "Mike V: Skateboard Party" became available just before Christmas, joining a small buzz created by pro skaters with stakes in the gaming world.

At its site, developer RatRod Studio -- which headed up the well-received 3D games "DriftMania Championship" and "Hockey Fight Pro," along with 2010's "Mike V: Do or Die" -- emphasizes that "Skateboard Party" ($1.99 at iTunes; $1.94 at Android Market) is the "only HD skateboarding game on the market" and features "next-generation" graphics.

"Since all titles currently available in the same genre were outdated, we felt like it was time for skateboard fans to finally have a game utilizing the full performance of their recent phone or tablet," RatRodPresident Pat Toulouse said in a press release. "We aimed to bring something new, easy to play and well adapted for both casual and advanced players."

Mike Vallely's game drop comes on the heels of Tony Hawk's early December interview on the red carpet at Spike TV's "Video Game Awards," where he detailed the next installment of his popular gaming series. "Tony Hawk's Pro Skater HD," he said, will feature the best levels and characters from past versions, and hit gaming consoles this summer for digital purchase only.

In mid-November at Bob Burnquist's Dreamland MegaRamp Invitational, fans at the weekend event had the chance to test drive a working version of the Brazilian's game app, which was running on a handful of iPads powered by solar panels. At the time, developers were anticipating a January release.

While Burnquist's app featured competitive gaming with a MegaRamp backdrop, the canvas of "Mike V: Skateboard Party" resembles the abandoned cityscapes and lost-world roundwall common to the Hawk franchise.

In other news from Mike V's camp, the 41-year-old New Jersey native announced the return to the Federal Hockey League's Danbury Whalers. According to his website, he's scheduled to play two games during the weekend of Jan. 13. The site also carries his recent posts regarding his long love-hate relationship with on-again, off-again sponsor Powell-Peralta, which he parted ways from for the third time in October 2011.