An indie parkour game is blowing up among sport fans and genre enthusiasts

A recent Steam release from a solo indie developer has really taken off, racking up nearly a thousand overwhelmingly positive reviews since it released into early access on May 21. Rooftops & Alleys: The Parkour Game is a sport game focused entirely on the experience of parkour and freerunning—which is to say it's not also a shooter or a game about stabby people in hoods.

Rooftops & Alleys combines the discipline of parkour, letting you hop around and explore to try tricks and chase challenging tricks, with the more competitive practice of freerunning, serving up medal-scored time trials and trick challenges to chase on its maps. It's also a proper multi-button game, requiring you to use controls to leap, land, sprint, mantle, and vault. Per the developer there's "no 'hold button to parkour' mentality" at work.

For my money, the layout, how it's played, and the ethos behind it are the closest that parkour has ever gotten to a game like Tony Hawk's Pro Skater, complete with an original, very chill and of-our-time drum and bass soundtrack.

The Early Access release has three maps to do parkour and freerunning tricks on, along with a trick-chaining and scoring system to score on and trick challenges and time trails to attempt. There's also dynamic weather (that you can also change at-will) and a bit of character customization, along with a really stylish slo-mo button for taking videos.

I'll also note one really killer feature: You can drop a "session marker" wherever you go, letting you reset to that spot whenever you like or when you take a nasty fall. It makes trying tricks with a lot of setup really easy and takes the sting out of a failed shot at something hard. You can also turn into a pigeon and fly around, letting you easily explore the maps to set up routes.

You can find Rooftops & Alleys: The Parkour Game on Steam in early access. You can find a video about it from solo developer Michel on YouTube or embedded below.

Jon Bolding is a games writer and critic with an extensive background in strategy games. When he's not on his PC, he can be found playing every tabletop game under the sun.