Roller Drama characters

Roller Reviews

need to know

What is it? A narrative and sports management game
Developer: open lab game
Publisher: open lab game
release date: January 26, 2023
commented on: 64-bit Windows 10, Nvidia GeForce GTX-970, Intel i7-4790K, 16GB RAM
multiplayer game? No
Association: Official Website(opens in a new tab)

Anyone who knows me will be surprised to know that I have never actually competed in roller skating. Violence on wheels? Thankfully, Roller Drama came along and not only gave me a tantalizing taste for the sport itself, but for the drama and camaraderie that surround it. When it’s not being solved by its own UI flaws or incomprehensible puzzles, Roller Drama skates with its charming characters, art style and almost unbearable responsibilities as a team coach.

You take on the role of Joan ‘Jeanne D’Arc’ Galliano, the coach of the girls’ roller derby team, who have moved into the same house together. The game is divided into keeping your team in order, plus their personal lives, in order to win the game. It’s part management game, part visual novel; though there don’t appear to be any branching paths. Linearity isn’t an issue, but it means the writing and small dialogue choices have to do most of the work convincing you that your particular coaching style is working. It doesn’t always manage. When it does, however, you’re drawn into Joan’s role, responsible for the women in your care, and stressed about how to talk to them.

(Image source: Open Lab Games)

Relationships in games are often simply about wanting characters to like you, but in Roller Drama, as the coach, you also worry about being respected and trusted. This character gave an interesting angle to the narrative and got me thinking about options other than trying to be on everyone’s good side. Sometimes I can be too strict and lose the trust of players, or spend too much time flattering them and not gain their respect.


Matches are where your strategy comes into play. From the vantage point above, you can watch the game in real time, providing input directly to your jammers (players who run and score) while giving instructions to the rest of your team, who must balance breaking the enemy’s defenses and protecting theirs. Jammers and slow down the opponent’s jammers. It may seem simple at first glance, but timing and tactics can be really tricky to master – and you have to manage your team’s energy levels so they don’t burn out before the game is over. There’s a solo practice mode, but through the story you’ll learn to work with your team and slowly find your synergy so you can make it big in the finals.

None of this will work if your team is unattractive, but thankfully, they are a colorful and diverse bunch. However, all of these have serious flaws. Accommodating them requires a lot of meticulous work around their problems, as direct confrontation rarely solves the problems here. Upsetting anyone too much means they leave the team and it’s game over. Yet Roller Drama isn’t a subtle rumination on the idiosyncrasies of a team when you resolve conflict in truly bizarre ways, but rather an absurd, almost sitcom-like comedy series. Like having a player Anne hand over a pair of roller skates she stole from teammate Portia, get her excited by holding a magic disco ball. Classic coaching conflict resolution. The game never lacks for imagination when it comes to coming up with these unlikely scenarios.

(Image source: Open Lab Games)

Unfortunately, this does have a downside: making the game’s puzzles difficult to understand at times. With these odd solutions, the logic is tricky to predict, even if the game is actually spelled out with helpful advice from Joan’s paranormal healer, a Shakespearean ghost who hangs around and gives you provide feedback on performance. Like I said, the game is weird. Almost every time I come across a new problem to solve, I am immediately disoriented and unable to grasp the specific sequence of actions that must be taken to solve it. The aforementioned disco ball might be the solution to that puzzle, but getting to that point can be a little difficult, with lots of steps and chances to fail, kicking you back to the beginning of the section if you make a mistake. That means a lot of repeated conversations and trial and error.

While rewards are fun, getting there can be a chore.

Given the arbitrary nature of some of the solutions, it feels like a more forgiving failure state should be implemented rather than a punitive restart of the entire task. If success leads to these weird, humorous scenarios, failure just gives you another chance to make the right choice. The rigidity of the game weakens the coaching role, since you can only deviate slightly from the intended path of the game. While rewards are fun, getting there can be a chore.

(Image source: Open Lab Games)

Roller Drama at least always looks good, even when you’re struggling. The character designs are fun, but I especially like the large cross-sections of their houses, like when I see all the characters fighting to use the elevator. However, despite the attractive visuals, the user interface is often difficult to read, if not completely broken. Too often, I thought I had selected an option on the menu, only to have selected one above or below it. This didn’t break the game until a bug forced me to restart a chapter and instead of selecting my current chapter, I ended up choosing chapter one, erasing all my progress. As you can imagine, I’m not thrilled…

Questions like this are a shame, because when Roller Drama got out of its own way, I started getting really invested in taking care of my little team. Like them, Roller Drama has its faults, but it shines through with heart and raw enthusiasm.

Discover more articles in our categories Gaming & News & Anime.

Thanks for visiting we hope our article Roller Reviews

, think about share the article on Facebook, instagram and e-mail with the hashtags ☑️ #Roller #Reviews ☑️!

Bart Thompson
Bart is's List Writer . He is from Houston, Texas, and is currently pursuing a bachelor's degree in creative writing, majoring in non-fiction writing. He likes to play The Elder Scrolls Online and learn everything about The Elder Scrolls series.