Rooftop Renegade Review – Subway Surfer meets Blade Runner in this speedrunning treat

Rooftop Renegade review header copyMelonhead games

Rooftop Renegade is the newest Indie title to take on the world of speedrunning in what is a fun, challenging, and electrifying experience, one that is most enjoyable when played with friends.

Developer Melonhead Games is a small Indie team from Adelaide, Australia. At PAX Aus 2022, the dev team showcased early builds for Rooftop Renegade, something I was lucky enough to get my hands on during the event. In Dexerto’s round-up of the best Indie Games on display at Pax Australia, I wrote that “For some party game fun, Rooftop Renegade stood out as one of the more thrilling local multiplayer experiences on the show floor.”

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A sentiment that holds true now that the game is finished and ready for an official release. Rooftop Renegade is a fluid, fast-paced, and engaging experience, one that utilized Unreal Engine 4 to create a spectacular 3D platforming world. Without further ado, here is our complete review of Rooftop Renegade.

Rooftop Renegade – Key Details

  • Developer: Melonhead Games
  • Price: $26.50 AUD
  • Release date: February 17, 2023
  • Platforms: PC, Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4, Xbox One

Rooftop Renegade – trailer

A solid, albeit simple narrative sets the scene for some speedy gameplay

Rooftop Renegade gives gamers the chance to take control of Svetlana, a speedy thief who has stolen crystals from the evil company Globacorp. Each level will have players speeding over, under, and through obstacles, the aim to avoid capture from the pursuit of Globacorp as they try to reclaim their stolen crystals.

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Unfortunately, there isn’t much more to the storyline than this, with gameplay being the driving force and focus of the Rooftop Renegade experience. However, a more fully realized plot – or at least more context and world-building – could help elevate the experience to more than a cookie-cutter escape from the big bad type story.

Regardless, the David and Goliath setup does help assist the excitement and urgency of the gameplay, something that shines through in each and every level.

Gameplay that will bring out everyone’s inner speedrunner

Svetlana will run across various obstacles, jumping and ducking to keep moving and maintain her speed. She must reach the endpoint on the right as quickly as she can, all the way making sure she isn’t captured.

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To help avoid being caught, players can equip different Hoverboots that offer bonuses and boosts such as extra height, speed, and more. While gameplay is simple, the short and quick courses make it the perfect game to pick up for small amounts of time.

Rooftop Renegade review gameplayMelonhead games
Gamers who love side-scrollers will have a blast in Rooftop Renegade.

Once players figure out the controls, the speedrunning can really ramp up, with some courses able to be completed in mere minutes. A challenge that will have gamers going back over levels time and time again to try and beat their previous time.

What’s more, Rooftop Renegade is a lot more forgiving than similar games of the genre. It is very rare that you will actually get caught by your pursuers when racing through a course despite the urgency of the game making it feel as though one wrong move and you’ll be restarting the level.

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While this may seem like a downside for those who want a challenge, it makes the experience fun rather than frustrating, something that similar titles often leave players feelings. 

Exciting and colorful visuals that are a feast for the eyes

While the gameplay and controls may be the biggest drawcard for Rooftop Renegade, the illuminating and at times mesmerizing color palette serves as the perfect backdrop for the fast-paced chase.

When completing levels, the strobing lights and neon visuals add another level of urgency and chaos to the race, one that seems heavily inspired by the likes of Blade Runner and other neon, futuristic-styled movies and shows. With a very similar feel to the widely popular Subway Surfer game as well.

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A localised multiplayer experience that is pure fun

Rooftop Renegade review multi_Melonhead games
Do your best to slow your friends down in local multiplayer games.

While the single-player aspect to the game can be slightly repetitive, Rooftop Renegade excels and is at its best when being played with friends. Local multiplayer can be played with up to four people.

One player takes control of Svetlana while the other three pick their weapon and do their best to shoot and slow her down before she makes it to the end of the course. Each player then takes it in turns to play as Svetlana,  the user with the fastest time winning both the round and bragging rights.

So while the single-player might not keep gamers around for long, multiplayer definitely will as Rooftop Renegade proves just how enjoyable and special local multiplayer can be, even if many bigger video games have chosen to move away from the feature.

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Verdict – 3.5/5

Rooftop Renegade offers up a fun, fast-paced experience that is sure to have players engaged, interested, and on the edge of their seats. While the single-player is entertaining for a short while, the main drawcard for Rooftop Renegade is its chaotic local multiplayer feature. 

While content and variety are on the shorter side, the potential for added DLC and customization leaves the door open for an even greater and fully realized experience in the future.