Rollerdrome has a striking comic-book art style and paired with its kick-ass reveal trailer (seen two paragraphs below), I was instantly intrigued. Visually it’s most comparable to Sable, but the gameplay is a mix of Tony Hawk and 2009’s under-talked-about Wet. And although the reveal had plenty of talk about multiplayer, Rollerdome is a single-player-focused affair, though there are scoreboards to chase friends with high scores.

The gameplay is fast and easy to lose yourself in, like all good arcade sports games; just as the aforementioned Tony Hawk games had 10-level goals to complete, so does Rollerdrome. These include specific high scores, performing tricks at certain locations, and collecting the games equivalent to ‘S-K-A-T-E. But the big twist is that Rollerdrome has guns and people shooting guns at you. 

Through an excellent sling of tutorials, the game introduces you to all the pieces you need to master Rollderdrome. Within the six levels, I got to play for this preview, and I quickly grasped how exactly you vibe with the kinetic action and combination of tricks and shotgun pumping.

Once you’re rolling, you don’t need to get up the acceleration of any kind, and instead, just focus on which direction you want to move and who you want to aim your guns at next. With one button press, you can lock onto the closest enemy, another lets you slow down time if needed, and finally, you can full the trigger to fire. And although you’ll be chasing high scores and whatnot, you need to defeat all enemies in a level to complete it. Each gun — of which I had access to dual pistols for quick-fire damage, a shotgun for close-range high damage-output, and a grenade launcher for slow but intense explosions — runs out of ammunition. To refill your caches, you need to perform tricks: which is where everything about Rollerdrome starts to come together. 

At first, paying attention to your ammo and remembering to hold a trigger to perform a backflip while shooting an enemy as you fly over a jump can seem complicated. Still, it didn’t take my brain long to start to piece together how to string together cool-looking aerial Gun-Fu combat. Performing a double backflip in slow-motion while putting a shotgun shell into two enemies below you with each rotation never got old. 

There’s a surprisingly exciting world and narrative being told between each round within the Rollerdrome. In two levels, I could explore an area in first-person and read notes and check for secrets. The transition while working out the door into third-person as Kara Hassan skates into battle is also very sweet. Her goal is to become the Rollerdrome champion, but I can’t help but sense there’s a little more going on behind the scenes for this bloodsport than meets the eye. 

Roll7 had a great game already released this year with OlliOlli World, but Rollerdrome could be their breakout hit.