Between the likes of Skate, Skate Story and OlliOlli World, we’re in the midst of a renaissance of skateboarding games. Helskate looks like it’s going in a different direction from many of them. It uses skateboarding as a foundation for monster slaying.
In this project from Phantom Coast, you’ll make your way through the hellscape of Vertheim with arcade-style skating. You’ll power up attacks by pulling off combos, and unlock abilities and buffs as you progress. Ultimately, you’ll need to battle the Gods of Skating. You’ll need to conquer a score challenge to defeat one and grind up another to target its weak points.
Since this is a roguelite, some progress will carry over when you die, but otherwise you’ll be starting again. You’ll be able to put together a unique build for each run by combining weapons, gear and tapes. Permanent ability upgrades come in the form of tattoos, which is a neat touch.
HELSKATE is a skateboarding action roguelite!
Grind, perform tricks, and chain combos to power up your attacks and slay the monsters of Vertheim. Combine unique weapons and gear, as you fight, die, and upgrade your abilities, to come back to this labyrinth over and over again! pic.twitter.com/7NWJWKQPuK
— Phantom Coast Games (@thephantomcoast) June 8, 2023
In case you’re concerned that the skateboarding aspect might not live up to other titles in the genre, the fact that veteran designer Steve Swink is leading the team may sate your concerns. Swink has some previous experience in that domain, having designed one of the levels in Tony Hawk’s Underground.
In any case, Helskate made a solid first impression. The action looks fast paced and it has some slick visuals. It brings to mind Hades as well as the fantastic Rollerdrome, which requires players to pull off rollerblading tricks to refill their ammo.
We’ll need to wait a while longer to see if Helskate can meet the heady heights of those other games. It’s slated to hit Steam early access in early 2024.
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