Rollerdrome — If Tony Hawk Had Guns
Not the actual Tony Hawk, mind you
Nowadays, games can weigh well over 100 gigabytes, with every character model having a million polygons and whatnot, so it’s rare to see a game today that weighs much less than that. I recently found interest in a game called Rollerdrome, and it’s as every bit good as people say it is. But the most peculiar feature (to me, anyway) is the fact that the game weighs only 1 gigabyte, and I thought “why is this game so light?” So, I had to check it out.
And the answer to the why is pretty clear once you play the game. The game is cell-shaded and in general, has only a few details, which is what gives it its weight. Also, it’s made with Unity. I don’t know if that means anything, but for someone who’s learning it, I can’t help but notice.
But just because the game is light doesn’t mean that it’s not good, as the game is very good in how dynamic the gameplay is. Not only that but it’s very retro in its design as well. Basically, you play as a roller-skater who not only skates off half-pipes to perform tricks, but also shoot all the bad guys that keep popping up at random locations in the arena. The game is quite the thrill… but what was it like?
So, the design of Unity is very clear. Since I’m still learning how to work with Unity, it baffles me how one can achieve all these effects by writing so much code. But that’s not relevant, as the first level already gives off the Tony Hawk vibe.
You start the game in this skateboard arena, even though you have 80s-style aesthetics. As the game teaches you the basics of how it is, you are already grinding off rails and acid-dropping down half-pipes. All of these are just terms that not even I am familiar with. And then there are the goons, some with baseball bats and others with a sniper. You’re supposed to activate your bullet time (like in the Matrix) and shoot these bastards in slow motion as the game’s aim-assist does all the easy work for you. All in all, the game has a strange feel of flow to it, as if the controls are adaptive and liquid-based. Of course, sometimes the game can be frustrating in its applications, namely in how hard it is to perform the tricks you want because the character is moving too fast, or isn’t performing the move I wanted even though I pressed the right button. But aside from a few quirks, the game is quite fun.
However, the game is rather short, and relies on a high learning curve and difficult challenges as a progression system, which means that you’ll be repeating the same levels often because some of these challenges are quite hard. I’d rather just play for the chill, skatin’ and shootin’ baddies instead of getting stressed out over that one impossible challenge I can never seem to beat. In regards to its length, the game falls a bit short (no pun intended), but it’s a great experience overall. I didn’t quite get the story, though. In that regard, I fall short… but I got the impression that this game isn’t much for the story… so I’m just playing it for the gameplay.
How far did you get in Rollerdrome?
Even though this game is short, I’m still stuck at the early stages of the game. I suppose you got further ahead than I did. If so, do tell of your rollerbladin’ adventures on the Rollerdrome, skatin’ around in that red jumpsuit and that white helmet, all the while synth plays in the background and you just want to shoot stuff instead of having to mind the challenge. That was my experience at least, and I assume yours was different. Do tell, as everyone wants to hear… or maybe just mostly me. Regardless if you have a say, this is the place.
I’ll be frank, today is a terrible day. Why? Doesn’t matter, but it’s a good thing I discovered Rollerdrome because it easily made the day better. Movin’ around and shooting people all the while… you should try it out too if you haven’t already.
Off topic, I’ve been stressed out with Ocean of Giants, which explains the decline in quality of my writing style. I find it hard to juggle both this passion project and writing thorough articles about games I discovered. Just thought you should know, but I’ll get better soon enough. Once this project is done, I can go back to focusing full time and trying to make these articles better.
In any case, I hope for a better future where I can tend more to these articles. But until then, I’m off skatin’… and shootin’.