Rollerdrome - stylish rollerskating gun-toting bloodsport

I just started this and have fallen in love with it. Cracked the first level and thought ‘let me see what my friends are up to on the leaderboard…’

Oh dear.

So off I went to check out the dedicated Qt3 thread. A game as cool as this must have a dedicated thread…

Oh dear.


Not going to lie: I’ve never really been one for tricks in games. I remember playing Joe Danger some years back and feeling cheated when I realised that button mashing got me more points than trying to do specific tricks. It was the same with Uniracers on the SNES.

But in Rollerdrome tricks are what reload your gun, which in turn allows you to keep shooting to keep your score multiplier rolling. There’s a modern Doom-like quality to that ammo-flow economy. Dodging attacks even helps replenish your ammo so skating up to a club dude for a deliberate dodge is a great way to get some more shots off in a pinch. Also: grind (on a rail) for ammo! I was terrified of playing this on a controller as recommended but between the lock-on targeting and the slow-mo effect, it’s been a joy.

Anyway, I need some leaderboard targets so friend me on Steam if you’ve already played this, or if you fancy a target in the future!

This is up next on my agenda. As someone who rates the likes of Tony Hawks Pro Skater, Max Payne and Jet Set Radio as highly as I do, this looks right up my street. Good to see that you’re enjoying it Gregg.

Might as well drop my Steam profile here too for what it’s worth. Always fun to get more scores to attack in games like this; Steam Community :: 𝕭𝖚𝖒𝖍𝖊𝖆𝖉

Rollerdrome gets nuts. Every button on the controller is getting hammered along with both sticks (and d-pad) so it’s a real workout for the ol’ fingers and thumbs. Trying to track your challenges, which enemies are where, how much ammo you need to dispense with them, what weapons work best against who, which tricks you haven’t done yet to maximise ammo and points, how to get around the arena efficiently and dodging everything the game throws at you… it’s a lot. I’m really happy to have just snagged my first S rank so far. It feels amazing to pull off certain manoeuvres and I really can’t stress how stylish all this is. The transitions from the story segments before each bracket into the arenas are chef’s kiss.

Ha ha, “[?] Givenchy” sucks more (i.e. played this less) than me!

I wanted to try playing this with mouse and keyboard because the left analogue stick is only used for tank steering, accelerating, decelerating and doing tricks, but the tricks require up/down/left/right combos which, in a pinch, can be tough on a thumbstick. And the most work I’m doing is spinning the view around to see enemies which isn’t great on the right thumbstick either. It still works I just sometimes want that whip-snap of a mouse. Anyway, I tried it and… yeah, ‘Controller recommended’. Listen to the developers.

Between this and Post Void, I might have worked out my current shooter jam, and the new Doom games are largely responsible for it: I love it when enemies are a key part of the game’s ‘economy’. In Doom you popped enemies open for ammo, health or armour–you couldn’t just kite forever. In Post Void, kills keep you alive; they literally top up your ever-depleting life gauge so you can keep barrelling forwards–no kills, no life. In Rollerdrome they’re score multipliers, weapon reloads, health pinatas and potential damage buffs rolled into one. They aren’t just things that get in your way: they’re resources, and capitalising on their attacks and properly sequencing their demise keeps you going and actively empowers you for the next lot. Post Void is brain-dead simple (and still great) but in Doom and Rollerdrome, when you’re playing on the edges, it feels thrilling and cerebral. Actually, toss Assault Android Cactus in with these as well: enemies are score multipliers and drop batteries that keep your androids going.

There’s another big similarity with Doom: the distinct enemy types and weapons. It’s not lock and key, but certain combos work better than others. I love launching grenades while mid-air, stringing a few tricks together and replenishing my ammo again before I hit the ground.

I’ve just reached the semis and I love the minimalist story segments before each bracket. They do just enough to create a backdrop and context for the action while getting your imagination going.

I just wrapped up the main campaign of this and it was such a spectacular, fresh, exhilarating and laser focused shooter with so much style and a killer soundtrack. It’s firmly up there with my favourites. The Case of the Golden Idol was my game of 2022 but I think Rollerdrome would have given it a good run. Or skate.

On the last few levels I was really struggling with certain challenges but once they were out of the way and I could take a good swing at the usual ‘beat the level in a single combo’ I always fell back in love with it. It reminded me of Rayman Origins’ end-of-level challenges where you had to beat each one in a certain amount of time, almost in one continuous unbroken dash, to get the final electoon. They were the ultimate expression of your mastery and so rewarding to pull off, but like Rollerdrome, entirely optional.

I might stick around for the ‘Out for Blood’ campaign which is effectively NG+. All weapons from the start. More enemies that hit harder. Remixed tunes and fewer challenges but focused entirely on high scores, combos and speed. Maybe more story? I’m intrigued by the prospect of that.

Coinciding with my campaign victory, today Rollerdrome won a BAFTA for the best British game:

I suppose I should check out Roll7’s other 2022 skating game, OlliOlli World, now… :)