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A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this game.
The game's competitive nature promotes teamwork, communication, and good sporting behavior.
Positive Role Models
Outside of the announcer, the characters are online representations of other live opponents. These players could be great teammates or they could be toxic troublemakers.
Players create their own avatar using a handful of body types and skin tones available in the game. Further customization and personalization can be done with cosmetics earned through gameplay or purchased from the shop.
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Ease of Play
Seems simple enough, but gameplay is actually pretty difficult. Players have to manage speed, positioning, aim, etc., while also communicating with teammates for passes, grabs, and whips, all while simultaneously working to keep or recover the ball and tackle or dodge opponents.
Violence & Scariness
The game plays much like a real roller derby, with players able to bump, nudge, or outright tackle opponents. At most, it's similar to the level of violence one would find in a game of football.
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No profanity in game's dialogue, but in multiplayer matches there's a risk of players being exposed to offensive language from teammates via party chat.
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Products & Purchases
A free-to-play offering with a number of items you can earn just through regular play. Still, there's a heavy push to buy cosmetic items and to purchase a "Battle Pass" each season to earn additional rewards.
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Roller Champions is a free-to-play online competitive sports game available for download on Xbox Series, Xbox One, PlayStation 5, PlayStation 4, and Windows-based PCs. Two teams of three compete against each other by skating around an arena, maintaining control of a game ball, and scoring by throwing the ball into an open goal. There's some mild violence, with players able to tackle other skaters and knock them to the ground. Players can represent themselves through custom skaters created with a range of body options combined with cosmetic items that can be earned through gameplay or purchased via the in-game shop. While there's no profanity in the game's dialogue, parents need to be aware that the game's online nature could expose players to offensive language in available party chat with teammates.
Is It Any Good?
What would you get if you crossed roller derby and football with a heaping helping of physics and physicality, topping it all off with just a pinch of futuristic flair? You'd get something a lot like Ubisoft's free-to-play competitive sports entry, Roller Champions. There's no shortage of team-based competitive matchups on the market, though most usually involve big guns, bigger explosions, and usually an ever shrinking barrier of some kind. What makes Roller Champions stand out is that, for all its bright colors and flashy personality, it still manages to feel like something you might see and even play in the real world. The game's relatively simple controls hide a lot of nuances in movement. Still, skating up the side of the arena, tucking in to build extra speed, and even coasting on your teammates' coattails before getting whipped ahead to gain that crucial extra ground are all surprisingly natural and fluid in the game. Thankfully, unlike in the real world, you never have to worry about stumbling with your balance here, although there's something satisfying about bowling over an entire opposing team with one well placed tackle.
Matches in Roller Champions tend to end really quickly or eat up every second of the seven-minute play clock. Either way, matches are short enough that they never feel like a repetitive grind. Where things can fall apart, though, is less an issue with the game itself and more an issue with the players. It's inevitable that you'll come across trolling and toxic players in random matches that actively sabotage their own team. This can range from behaviors like tackling teammates, hoarding possession of the ball, or even intentionally throwing it away from the goal. This can quickly suck the fun out of a match. Ideally, it's not something that happens frequently and, due to the short duration of matches, it's not something that has to be put up with for very long when it does.
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.