It’s hard to believe but it was more than a decade ago that developer IceFlame launched the original Soccer Rally on mobile. The game took the idea of playing soccer using vehicles–prior to Psyonix making it mainstream in video games with Rocket League in 2015, but well after Top Gear made it mainstream in real life in 2005–and offered up a super-playable top-down affair with great physics and an exciting same-device multiplayer mode. In 2014 they released the sequel, Soccer Rally 2, bringing tons of improvements and new content.
Soccer Rally 2 went on to become a pretty big hit, but following its release IceFlame closed up shop, and some of its previous developers went on to found LavaSkull Games. They aimed to release a third Soccer Rally game and we saw it live and in person during GDC back in 2018, when it was called Soccer Rally: Arena. After a few years in development Soccer Rally: Arena soft-launched in early 2020, where it seemed to get a really positive reaction from early players. Of course not too long after that the Covid-19 pandemic happened and, yeah, we didn’t really hear much about Soccer Rally: Arena after that. However, unbeknownst to us LavaSkull had been toiling away on the game since that soft launch, and over the weekend the latest game in the series, now titled simply Soccer Rally, launched globally on iOS and Android. Here is a brand new trailer.
Now, this comes at kind of a weird time because an official mobile version of Rocket League has been available on mobile since late last year, and it’s pretty good. That being the case, Rocket League Sideswipe is a pretty different version than its console and PC big sibling with it being confined to a single 2D plane, whereas the Soccer Rally games are more typical soccer matches taking place in 3D arenas. The Soccer Rally games were always much more grounded compared to Rocket League too, and I mean that literally as there was almost no emphasis on crazy aerial acrobatics. So what I’m trying to say is that there is more than enough room on the App Store for both styles of this particular genre, and I’m really interested to see how the new Soccer Rally turned out. Based just on the trailer it looks like it has evolved a lot since its soft launch.