The melon grab 180, a.k.a. “melancholy.”
Gif: Roll7 / Kotaku

Rollerdrome is an indie rollerskating murder game from the OlliOlli crew out on Playstation 4, 5, and Steam starting August 16. Rollerdrome is a single-player third-person shooter that sends you rolling toward your fate on bulletproof white skates. Rollerdrome is a shaken can of soda, exploding with color and energy, and I was able to preview it to deliver you hot gossip on what to expect and how to play.

In Rollerdrome it’s the year 2030 and you are Kara Hassan, a promising Rollerdrome newbie. In the game’s fiction, “Rollerdrome” is a roller-rink Hunger Games situation—champions navigate hostile rinks with style and guns, and it’s broadcast to the masses by a faceless but likely nefarious corporation bathing in viewers and dollars.

This story hums under each level, which become more elaborate and demanding as you complete the time requirements and challenges necessary to unlock them, but Rollerdrome is more about making you feel cool than delivering social commentary. Your character, Kara, has taken out a $342,240 loan just to participate in the arena, and the flips, tricks, and multi-kills you complete for points and glory prevent your hands from washing completely clean. But, hey, it’s all for the sake of entertainment. And to entertain you, here are five things to keep in mind for your future skate sesh that I learned while taking Rollerdrome for a ride.

Rollerdrome makes you feel good.

1. Assists are there to be used

Rollerdrome assigns an action to every part of your controller, B to roll, right bumper to shoot, X for tricks, and so on, and its default settings add a time cap and challenges to clear before you can move on. Juggling all of this at Rollerdrome’s grand-rapids speeds can be frustrating and overwhelming, and if you need help, don’t shy away from using the assists offered in settings.

There, you’ll be able to toggle your invincibility, the game’s damage scale, add infinite ammo and infinite reflex time, alter the game speed, remove the challenge barrier to levels, and activate easy slug shots for the shotgun you’ll eventually unlock.

Activating assists means your score will not appear on leaderboards, but still, they’re there to help you pluck the barbs from Rollerdrome’s bloodsport. They’re a smooth way to ease into its high-speed, neuron-blasting levels and master minutiae without worry. That being established, the rest of these tips will refer to playing without assists.

The rollerskating protagonist of Rollerdrome shoots a rocket launcher at enemies.

Blast off.
Screenshot: Roll7

2. Try and try again

You probably won’t master a Rollerdrome level on your first try, but you don’t need to. Each time you replay a level, the challenges you complete are saved and recorded. You can dedicate one playthrough to grabbing floating golden tokens, for example, and another to shooting five “house players” (bad guys) with your dual pistols.

You only need to complete a certain number of challenges to unlock the next sea of levels, so remembering that you can make incremental progress helps them feel more like benchmarks than barriers.

3. Keep your eye on the clock

That clock is a real bitch. Completing a level under the par time awards you points, while being under drains them. Be aware of it at first, but try not to dwell on it. Mastering the game’s basic level of multitasking—shooting at a house player while doing a 180-turn melon grab sounds complex and looks complex, but it’s basic to Rollerdrome—should be your number-one priority. As you become more confident in killing guys and grabbing melons, your par times will improve.

Kill those bad guys.
Gif: Roll7 / Kotaku

4. Shoot to kill

Don’t waste your time with poorly calculated shots. Rollerdrome offers you a charcuterie board of unlockable deadly weapons, and all of them require you to perform tricks and grinds to load them up with ammo. The dual pistols are your premier option for rapid kills and the shotgun is a heavy-duty way to fell armored enemies, but aiming for orange oil cases will save you ammo by sparking a deadly explosion. You want to kill, not injure, because killing everyone ends the level. Killed foes also drop green beads that restore your HP. Topping off your health is a necessity in a game where snipers are shooting at you, people on the ground are shooting at you, rocket launchers are shooting at you, and so forth, but you have to skate over to where health has fallen to collect it.

The Rollerdrome protagonist grinds on a dark orange railing in the desert.

On my grind.
Screenshot: Roll7

5. Keep your skates on the rail

To kill efficiently, you’ll have to perform. That’s just show business. While a nose grab will net you a couple of bullets, it’s the more technical and time consuming way of obtaining them. Grinding a rail or wall riding by pressing Y while near a compatible surface is fast and stocks you up on bullets. To be extra efficient and mindful of your par time, take advantage of Rollerdrome’s generous aim function and kill enemies while grinding on a rail or wall. It’s sort of like drinking water while you pee, but it works.

So that’s what I picked up on my first stumble through Rollerdrome, but we’re still two weeks away from the game’s official release, and I still have a lot of cool flips to master. But what about you? Are you looking forward to tumbling around in the Rollerdrome?

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