R, r, r, rock, rock, rock and RollerGames!

Review Date: April 24, 2021

Release Date: September 1, 1990

Platform: NES

Publisher: Konami

Genre: Linear Platformer

Konami botched the translation here. Chuck Underwood (left) and David Sams (right) sound MUCH better than this on the show. David Sams was also the executive producer, so he is who I can thank for the show.

Anecdotes: In 1989, two TV shows were added to the lineup, both of which were part of an action block. Those two shows were American Gladiators and RollerGames. RollerGames, easily, was the more popular show, but sadly, it’s distributor went bankrupt and the show ceased production after 12 episodes. I enjoyed both shows at first, but RollerGames disappeared while American Gladiators suffered from seasonal rot after its fourth season.

Infield reporter Shelly Jamison asks what team I want to play as. Shelly did a great job on the show and from what I read, she has a successful career with the Phoenix Fire Department.

Normally, I try to avoid watching the source material for games, but that was impossible here. I was a big fan of RollerGames and I know a good amount about the show. With that in mind, I will mention this, even though it won’t affect my grade: There are some glaring errors in the manual. There is no one named Rolling Thunder; I presume the Hot Flash skater is Vicki “Sly Fox” McEwan because she was the only woman on the team with pink hair. “Lucy Ferball” and “Skull Scraper” are actually Ms. Georgia Hase and the Skull, respectively. At least they were close with the Skull, but I have no idea where Lucy Ferball came from. Guru Drew, Ice Box, and California Kid, though, are all accurate and match the names used on the show.

Description: Basically, the three “evil” teams have captured the commissioner and it’s up to the “good” teams to fix the situation. Let’s go team by team here, both on the show and in the game.

-Bad Attitude: Led by the late Ms. Georgia Hase, this ranks average on the villainery scale. Hase, however, was the main villain on the TV show. In the game, she appears at the start of the first level and her skaters attack in stage 1.

Sly Fox navigates a level filled with water. I used her most of the game.

-Hot Flash: Their manager, Juan Valdez-Lopez never did anything of significance. The team was more focused on being stars than winning matches. They disappeared after the third episode and were never seen again. On the women’s side, skater #1, Vicki “Sly Fox” McEwan, dyed her hair pink. Because there is no one on the show named Rolling Thunder, I assume Sly Fox is the playable woman in the game.

-Maniacs: This group of third rate villains was led by Guru Drew. They were odd and a bit strange, but the only way anyone would know they were evil is by being told so. In the game, Guru Drew appears at the start of stage 3 and his team shows up throughout the stage.

-Rockers: They had a lawyer running the show, D.J. Terrigno. They were a face team, and they allegedly had the most popular skater in the league (Dar the Star), but nobody ever cared about them. We’d actively groan when they came on. In the game, players can play as the California Kid, but why anyone would want to is another question.

-Thunderbirds: This was the team the show insisted was the most popular team in the league and they expected everyone to be enamored with them, too. I was a bigger fan of the Hot Flash and Violators. The T-Birds coach is some guy who’s as plain as the center of Nebraska. The team is a bunch of “good” guys and gals, but they end up just as dirty as everyone else. The only guy that was awesome on the team was #6 on the men’s side, the Ice Box. The guy had an awesomely stupid move called the Deep Freeze. Even though it didn’t cause any pain, it looked cool. Players can control him in the game, but he moves slowly. I may try using him, but I prefer the faster Sly Fox.

-Violators: As their name implies, they were just dirty, rotten cheaters. All rules were optional to them. They just had to keep the Skull happy, who would manage them with a whip in his hand. In the game, the Violators run stage 5, with the Skull having a line at the start.


-The game is difficult, but it’s very fair as far as progress. Losing a life hurts, as the skater is sent back to the beginning of the area to try it again. The “game only” screen means nothing; the skater starts at the same place, but the player can change skaters if desired. Levels can be quite tough, but it never feels impossible, even though it can be cheap at times.

-The game offers three skaters to choose from: Box, Fox, and Rocks. Each plays slightly different. I mostly used Sly Fox, switching to the Ice Box when I felt like changing things up.


-This game is really hard and there are way too many instant death traps. Konami must have brought a few over from Transylvania. There are just too many holes to fall into and waterways to sink in. Some of the traps aren’t even visible when approaching them, meaning skaters have to anticipate them in advance. A skater can be run over by a van with no warning in stage 4.

-Even the stuff that isn’t instant death is problematic, too. Skaters will run into oil spills, flame shooters, traffic blockers, and who knows what else, then they’ll have to deal with enemies on top of that. If the instant death pits don’t kill, the slow health leak certainly will.


Sly Fox has to navigate around these holes. It’s not too difficult, but if she fails, she loses a life.
Sly Fox clearly studied up on her Double Dragon. She’s using the knee and toss move.
That person in the gray got tired from running around aimlessly.
And always have a finger ready to hit the jump button.
This is how to tell a game was made in Japan. They’re driving on the left.
Wait, all of this just to try to take out ONE skater? What’s the budget for this?
What’s with all of the stacks of tires here?
Here’s a fun jump, with even a conveniently placed flame shooter.
That person stabbing Sly Fox from across the chasm gets really annoying. Luckily, Sly Fox gets to beat him or her up after finishing the gray enemy first.
Who let the dogs out?
This van first tries to run Sly Fox over, then it drops lots of barrels out the back to try to knock her out.
Ah, waterfall scenery. Sly Fox better be ready to punch; there’s a Violator waiting on that platform.
Hello, crumbling floor room. Oh how I hate this room.
Sly Fox is going to jump docks for a while.

Final Opinion: RollerGames has three skaters to choose from and six levels to play. It’s difficult, but far from impossible. It also offers infinite continues and checkpoints in some areas. I enjoyed it, but it’s far from perfect.

Grade: B

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