Skate or Die

Critic Score User Score
Apple IIgs
Amstrad CPC
ZX Spectrum
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Skate or Die incorporates five distinct styles of skating, which can be attempted individually or in turn. You skate around a menu room to choose which one to attempt. Before taking off you can visit Rodney's skate shop to buy equipment.

The first event is freestyle, in which your aim is to score as many points as possible in 10 attempts. Judges determine how much style and skill you have shown. The High Jump uses the same equipment, only this time your task is to jump as high as possible at the end of the ramp.

The downhill events are overhead-view races. In the Downhill Race you simply try to complete the course within 90 seconds. In the Downhill Jam you try to outperform a human or computer opponent whilst dodging or jumping hazards. You can use attacking moves to either remove hazards or knock your opponent over.

The pool joust is more of a one-on-one beat em up using a stick, set within a pit to skate around.


Skate or Die ZX Spectrum This is the Race, a down hill slalom. The pane on the right represents the slalom but does not show the players position, the obstacles, or the actual course
Skate or Die DOS Rodney's Skate Shop
Skate or Die Commodore 64 Not quite managing the high jump
Skate or Die ZX Spectrum All actions start at the skate shop. From here the player directs their character down the street appropriate to the sub game / skate board move at which they want top practice

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User Reviews

Skate or Die is a game lacking in certain areas but overall has some replay value. DOS Stuart Bergstrom (3)
I love this game!!! Great skating!! Great intro song!! Commodore 64 lowlife13 atjuno (4)
Horrible! DOS Tomer Gabel (4361)

Critic Reviews

Zzap! Commodore 64 Jan, 1988 92 out of 100 92
ACE (Advanced Computer Entertainment) Commodore 64 Jan, 1988 878 out of 1000 88
The Games Machine (UK) ZX Spectrum May, 1989 76 out of 100 76
ASM (Aktueller Software Markt) Commodore 64 Dec, 1987 8.8 out of 12 73
The One DOS Feb, 1989 72 out of 100 72
Power Play Commodore 64 Dec, 1987 7 out of 10 70
Joystick (French) NES Sep, 1990 68 out of 100 68
The Games Machine (UK) Amstrad CPC Nov, 1989 65 out of 100 65
Total!! UK Magazine NES Jan, 1992 52 out of 100 52
ASM (Aktueller Software Markt) Amstrad CPC Oct, 1989 5.6 out of 12 47


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This game is commonly confused with the Atari coin-op 720º. The confusion stems from the spoken "Skate or die!" yelled in the coin-op.


A line in the credits reads: "If you like Skate or Die, drop us a line and we'll see that the nurses read it to (the developers)."


Not sure about the PC version, but on the C64 version if you could skate through steel wire fences, only to fall into little pieces a moment later.


Skate or Die! was Electronic Arts' first in-house game, i.e. the first developed by full-time employees. All prior EA titles had been done by independent contractors.


Rodney of Rodney's Skate Shop is an obvious, blatant reference to Rodney Dangerfield. It's funny just how much they ripped off his image.

Spectrum version

The manual for the Spectrum version states:

"There is no abort key on the Spectrum version of Skate or Die due to the ease of simulating the same key value from other input devices, this removes the chance of accidentally aborting the game."

Leaving aside the woeful grammar, this isn't very good design. Although most Spectrum joysticks did map to certain keys, it was easy to choose which ones these were.


  • Commodore Format
    • March 1994 (Issue 42) Heaven – The Path to Righteousness: 20 Essential Games
    • March 1994 (Issue 42) – Heaven: Music of the Gods
Information also contributed by Joshua Dove, Martin Smith, and Terok Nor

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Contributed to by Quapil (4733), Trixter (8712), The Imperial Darkhorse (29), Kabushi (134585) and Parf (7315)