I never thought I would spend more time playing games on my phone than on my PlayStation 5, but here we are. Mobile games used to be the worst example of predatory, pay-to-play, ingenuous bullshit – and there’s still plenty of it – but if you don’t think there are good mobile games out there today, you haven’t been paying attention. . Between Pokemon Unite, The Room series, all of Riot’s games, everything on Game Pass, and countless ports of classic and modern ports, I’m never short of something new to play on my phone, and I juggle constantly with a list of mobile battle passes. But against my better judgment, I downloaded the new Rocket League game, and damn it if I’m not already addicted to another grind.
Rocket League Sideswipe is not a port of the original Rocket League, which is mechanically difficult even without the imprecision of the on-screen mobile controls. Instead, Sideswipe reimagines Rocket League on a 2D plane with one objective on the left and another on the right. The controls are thankfully simple: steer your car by moving a virtual joystick to the left, and press the two buttons on the right to jump and boost. These are all the tools you have, and your only goal is to hit the ball into the net.
If you played the original Rocket League, the basics are exactly the same. The developers managed to perfectly replicate the fast controls and floating physics of the. Rocket League has always been the best example of a game with the lowest skill floor and highest skill cap, and Sideswipe has exactly the same quality. Matches only last two minutes and goals are scored every few seconds. It’s not uncommon to end a match with double-digit scores once you learn how to manage your boost gauge and hit the ball from the right angle. I’ve never been very good at Rocket League, but I’m already double jumping back and returning the ball into the goal in Sideswipe, and it’s awesome.
Mobile games don’t have the best reputation for their monetization practices, but nothing in Sideswipe sets off my alarm bells. In fact, there’s currently no way to spend money in Sideswipe even if you wanted to. The Rocket Pass rewards new cars, paint jobs, wheels, toppers, and other cosmetics every time you level up, and it’s completely free. The in-game store is full of cosmetic items that can be purchased with a currency called SP, but there is no way to purchase SP with real money. You can earn SP on the Rocket Pass, collecting junk cosmetics and freebies earned by completing challenges – and that’s it. Sideswipe is a free-to-play game so I have to assume it will have some form of monetization eventually, but right now everything in-game has to be earned by playing the game. How delightfully old-school is it ?
I am extremely addicted to Sideswipe. The three game modes – 1v1, 2v2, and 2v2 Hoops – add just enough variety to keep things fresh, and the long list of weekly, seasonal, and event challenges kept me coming back for the grind. I don’t know how Epic can go on without ads and without a way to spend money, but I’m not complaining. If the original is any indication, it won’t be long before we also have the Batmobile and DeLorean in Sideswipe, in which case that will become my main and only game. Apologies in advance to my Destiny 2 clan.
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Well, I think we all saw that coming.
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