A free-to-play Rocket League mobile spin-off called Rocket League Sideswipe will release later this year. Sideswipe squishes the cars onto one plane to make touchscreen controls manageable, but the basic elements are all there: rocket-powered battle cars, a ball, and goals.
I’m curious to know how my fat thumbs will manage even in this limited 2.5D perspective—I don’t even know how I do the things I do in regular Rocket League with a controller. According to Psyonix, Sideswipe features “intuitive touchscreen controls that make it easy to pick up and play.”
Sideswipe is presumably another result of Epic’s influence—the company bought Rocket League developer Psyonix back in 2019. Since then, Rocket League has gone free-to-play, moved to the Epic Store for new PC players, and gotten rid of paid loot boxes. (I’ve spent a lot less money on Rocket League since that latter change, so I guess loot boxes were doing to my brain what everyone says they do.)
Whatever the reason, a mobile Rocket League spin-off makes some sense. I can think of lots of things I’d like to change about Rocket League—my ping being at the top of the list—but it’s not the sort of game that can be overhauled while retaining its identity. Simplifying the playing field for mobile devices is one way to branch out without making a “Rocket League 2,” which there isn’t really an appetite for.
Then again, does Overwatch 2 make sense? I do wonder if, after this, Psyonix has something bigger planned for the future of the PC and console versions of Rocket League. It flies under the radar, but it’s still one of the most popular games on PC.
Time will tell. For now, if the idea of playing Rocket League on a small screen appeals to you, and you live in Australia or New Zealand, and you have an Android phone, you can give Rocket League Sideswipe a try in a limited Google Play alpha starting today—more details on the Rocket League blog. If you’re part of that very specific demographic, let me know if it’s good, would you? Psyonix says there’ll be beta tests in other regions, but hasn’t announced specifics.
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