Today I had the pleasure of checking out Roller Derby Dash (referred to as RDD) by Utara Works Inc. The game is an interesting 2D take on an infinite runner. The game is a very simple concept that takes the endless aspects of infinite runners and adds a layer of “combat” into it to provide a unique experience. Most infinite runners that you’d play would have more of an obstacle course setting which has you dodging or jumping over objects while collecting coins or other items throughout each play. RDD, however, does not rely on these original mechanics. Instead, the obstacles in the game are in fact other enemy AI characters that seek to stop or slow the player from progressing.
As the player, you take control of the main character, Nikki. You are tasked with dashing as far and as fast as you can to earn the highest score possible while avoiding falling behind the edge of the screen. Simple swipe controls are used to move forward, back, up, and down. Swiping up and down will move the player respectively unless an enemy teammate is there. In that case, the player will execute what is called a “hip check” and will either slow the enemy or knock them down entirely.
You have to be careful though because not only can the enemy hip check you as well, but their team also has a champion of their own named Britney Bruiser. She is quite a bit smarter than the average enemy teammate and will do whatever she can to knock you out or slow you down. If she passes a certain distance by you, it’s game over.
What sets this game apart from other similar games is that you not only have your player character that you can control, but there are actually other teammates that you have, all of which you can control to help with clearing a path through the enemy team by hip-checking them, slowing the enemy team by blocking their path, or assisting your character with extra boosts of speed.
The game progression is done really well. The further you go, the more teammates and enemy teammates appear on the screen. This can eventually cause one heck of a SNAFU because it will be nearly impossible for you to get past your own teammates, let alone the enemy teammates.
Unfortunately though as with most infinite runner type games, the gameplay can get pretty repetitive after long periods of time. What helps to balance this is being able to control your teammates in addition to your character. That way it mixes things up a bit but it’s still the same repetitive swiping motions regardless of what character you’re controlling.
Overall I would definitely recommend this game for people who like to sit down and kill some time as it is rather fun in short bursts instead of a long play. The only thing I disliked about the game was the same two tracks played on repeat during the entire game. While not too rough on the ears, hearing the same guitar track of about 30 seconds on repeat the entire time did get a bit annoying which had me muting it after about 5 minutes of playing.