As fans of the original Rocket league game, we were pretty excited to find it had come to mobile in Rocket League Sideswipe and got it as fast as we could. Since the game launched we have been playing it quite a bit during our downtime and we gotta say, it’s a lot of fun. There are a couple of quirks though and we’ll go into detail about them for you. So far, they thankfully haven’t been enough to deter from the genuine fun that is Rocket League. Now if you have no idea what Rocket League is, no worries, we can give you a short introduction.
Rocket League in a Nutshell
What is Rocket League? The short version is that it is a game of football (soccer if you’re American) but you’re driving a car with a booster jet equipped on the back of it. Either play 1v1 or with a small team and boost around the map trying to score points. As if that isn’t crazy enough, there is a small jump mechanic and because of that booster engine, you can do some seriously crazy aerial stunts and legitimately fly all over the place. Sounds fun ya? It’s absolutely amazing and just never seems to get old and the transition to mobile is just as fun as we think.
Rocket League On Mobile
The transition from console and PC to mobile has come with several changes to the game but it still keeps its core mechanics and is now far more accessible and easier to start up for a quick match than ever before. Just like the original game, it’s easy to play and have fun while being surprisingly deep enough to be hard to master.
The biggest change is that instead of being a three-dimensional game you are now playing on a small 2D side-scrolling map with an elevated goal on either side. Originally this looked like a turn-off for us, we love those big fields to speed around in and fly over, but this small 2D map works. All of the action is confined to a smaller space making it a lot more hectic of a game and faster-paced compared to the original version.
The controls have been simplified quite a bit to better fit on mobile and they really work well. You have an analog directional joystick control and then two buttons, one for boost and one for jumping, and the game has kept the classic double jump feature. A nice change to the game is that the boost meter automatically recharges quickly as long as you’re not in the air. So if you’re on the ground, riding down the wall, or even riding along with the ceiling, that boost meter will recharge. That boost meter is also big enough that you can boost from one side of the map to the other, or all the way to the ceiling. We had a few matches where some of the players enjoyed staying at the ceiling non-stop thanks to these two mechanics working together like this.
A major bonus point in our book is it also has offline play! We were totally blown away when we saw this. In offline mode, you are given three options to play, Tutorial, Sandbox, and against bots. In the Sandbox mode, it is just you, the ball, the two goals, and all the time in the world to learn new little tricks. Against bots, you can set it up to be either 1v1 or 2v2, any of the 3 available maps including the Basketball map, and you can even set the bot‘s difficulty level. They can get pretty good and they gave us a fair run for our money every time at the hardest difficulty.
A Few REDMAGIC Pointers
After dumping more free time than we really should have into the game, we’ve learned a fair bit and we’ve learned that we're pretty good at this game. Now it’s time to get out from under the rock we crawled under to hide and play this great game to our heart’s content.
So what did we learn from our marathon of Rocket League Sideswipe?
- Don’t be afraid to use that boost. It recharges so quickly you’ll find yourself boosting around the field all the time.
- Aggression will more than not win the game. As long as the ball is staying near your opponent’s side of the field, you’ll score eventually.
- When playing 2v2 it’s always good to play a little less aggressive than your partner so you can follow up your partner’s plays to score some shots.
- If you’re caught out while in the air you can use the double boost to quickly change direction and momentum. Or you can boost to the nearest surface to get back into the game quickly.
- In a match, the game will autoplay for you after a short delay if you are afk.
A Couple Things They Could Improve On
While we love the game, there are two things we felt they could make changes to improve the gameplay.
- The field feels a little too small.
- It can be too easy sometimes to get complete control over the ball and just boost it into the opponents' goal and there is nothing they can do about it. Especially if you’re boosting the ball through the air. A larger field or a smaller boost meter might counter this and give the defense a better chance to make at least an attempt to recover if they find themselves caught out.