The Soccer Rally lineage goes back more than a decade, as the original games brought the “soccer with cars” concept to mobile even before the poster child of the genre Rocket League had released on other platforms. The second game in particular was quite popular and built up a loyal following. Back in 2018, developer LavaSkull officially unveiled the third game in the series, at the time called Soccer Rally: Arena. This looked to be the ultimate realization of what a car soccer game could be, with full cross-platform online multiplayer and loads of vehicles and gear to unlock.
It took several years of soft-launches and tweaking, but this week the global release version of that third game, now titled simply Soccer Rally, finally arrived on iOS and Android. Of course we’re in a different world now since within the past year the official Rocket League mobile version, Sideswipe, also launched on the App Store. However, I could spend all day talking about how, besides the very surface layer “cars playing soccer” concept of these two games, they couldn’t be more different from each other, and that’s a good thing. I love Sideswipe, but I’ve been loving the different experience Soccer Rally has been giving me so far.
Unlike Rocket League, there’s not an emphasis on aerial acrobatics or fantastical physics maneuvers in Soccer Rally. This is strictly a ground game, and aside from your special moves the vehicles and the giant soccer ball behave pretty much as you’d expect them to in real life. There are LOADS of things to unlock, both cosmetic and gameplay-wise, and there’s seems to be a lot of room for experimentation in regards to your strategies and how you equip your vehicle. You can choose to play in either 1v1 duels or 2v2 team battles, and online play is cross-platform between iOS and Android.
It’s hard to say at this point how the balance in Soccer Rally will be in the long term. There are top-tier vehicles with better stats, and an in-game currency for upgrading skills that seem like they might favor someone who spends real money over someone who doesn’t. But there’s a smart ranking system based on skill that determines who you’ll match up against, and in my experiences so far I don’t feel like I’ve lost any games because my gear was outclassed by some whale. Again, time will tell on that front, but for right now I’m having a great time with Soccer Rally and it is free to download and check out for yourself, and if the community behind it remains strong I can see this one being a viable option for those who want something different from what Rocket League Sideswipe offers.