Developer: IceFlame Games
Price: Free
Version Reviewed: 1.05
Device Reviewed On: iPad Mini Retina

Graphics / Sound Rating: ★★★★½
Gameplay Rating: ★★★★☆
Playtime: Rating: ★★★★☆
Replay Value Rating: ★★★★☆

Overall Rating: ★★★★☆

Soccer Rally 2 is inherently goofy, being a game about cars playing soccer. But what IceFlame Games decided to do is to take it as seriously as a standard car racing simulation would.

SoccerRally2-5It has that exact same feel as, say, Real Racing 3: it’s sleek and polished to a ridiculous degree, with a certain attitude of classy fanciness. Everything feels incredibly detailed, like it’s trying to show off. The physics feel quite real, with cars sliding around and taking time to develop momentum going forward and backward. Vehicles have weight and heft, and it is apparent. The different balls that come into play all have their own feel and work in that physics system: the beach ball is different from the soccer ball, for example.

Remember, all of this is talk is about a game where soccer is played with cars. It doesn’t need all of these fancy quasi-realistic elements, but they’re there. Effectively, Soccer Rally 2 serves as a brilliant deconstruction of serious racing games: put it in a car soccer game and it feels silly.

SoccerRally2-4But Soccer Rally 2 does make sure that it can be enjoyed on a serious level. There are an extensive amount of tournaments, and there’s the Academy mode that features multiple ways to practice various parts of the game while earning money for upgrade and new cars.

The game takes a lot of practice to figure out how to effectively control its vehicles. In particular, learning how to drive in reverse is key. The controls, particularly the directional arrows, operate relative to the direction the car is pointing. Thus, backing up requires not only figuring that out, but also the way that reverse turning operates. Once this is mastered, moving the car around and performing well is a much more likely proposition. Still, even a slight turn in the wrong direction might mean the difference between allowing a goal or not – and that could be the difference between victory and defeat, of course.

SoccerRally2-1

The game is free-to-play, where money can be bought via in-app purchases to get cars and upgrades faster – though some cars require a certain spec rating in order to participate. Golden balls are the other currency, which can be used for buying rematches (video ads can be watched for rematches, but only as long as there is ad inventory) and boosts. The ability to use a turbo boost in a match can literally be purchased. Golden balls are handed out for winning tournaments and scoring golden goals when the soccer ball turns gold in a match. Players who learn to not rely too much on the boosts can play this game for free for sure.

Soccer Rally 2 is really quite fun once the handling is figured out: the interaction of the two cars and hitting narrow angles becomes key to scoring, and matches can become really intense. There’s same-device multiplayer, though both that mode and singleplayer would be helped by the addition of gamepad support. This is well worth the free download, if only to see what a serious vehicular soccer game can be.


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