Rocket Racing League Review
When sitting down to review Rocket Racing League I naturally assumed it was based on something fictional. Shockingly enough, my assumption is wrong. While it’s not operating yet, Rocket Racing League is a real thing – something that actually exists on planet Earth. People are looking to race rockets against each other. I love living in the future. But while we’re waiting to race real rockets we can get our fix with the iPhone version.
Since this is a racing game, the only real objective you’ll have out there is winning races. The courses all take place in the air (obviously) and you need to fly through gates that appear on your HUD. Luckily the game also draws a gently curved line from gate to gate so you have a driving line to follow. Nothing about the setup and execution is out of the ordinary and should make sense to racing fans and new racers alike immediately.
There are a few different race modes which helps spice up the game and keep it from getting redundant too quickly. In addition to the standard race there’s also a drag race, which is mostly straight and all about speed, and an arcade race that requires you to fly around grabbing gems and stars faster than your opponents. There’s also a ground race which requires you to hug the ground while you race. They’re all pretty similar, but offer enough variety to stay interesting.
In addition to the standard career mode is one called “Beat the Best.” It sounds cool, but it’s really a mode where you race against ghosts of your best times from career mode. It turns out to be pretty lame to have separated out as its own section. Doing this seems like an easy way to make the game look like it has more than it does.
You’ll be tilting the iPhone to steer your rocket around, and the controls work really well. I always get nervous when I need steer by tilting since it seems easy to get it wrong. Rocket Racing League isn’t overly sensitive and allows you to glide comfortably from target to target. You also have the option to steer using an on-screen control system if you’d rather go that way.
The graphics look really decent with a pretty impressive draw distance. At no point did I see any slowdown of any kind, which is always comforting. The game takes place over 5 locales from standard canyons to the California coastline and even into space. They all look unique and help give a feeling of progression. There’s a pretty robust rocket design screen for you to customize your ride as well, which of course adds nothing to the game play but remains fun nonetheless.
While Rocket Racing League is most definitely based on a real life thing, the game does take a certain amount of wiggle room with the license. There are floating icons gas icons to refuel, not to mention rubies and stars to collect. Crashing into walls or the ground also doesn’t do anywhere near the damage it would do in real life, in fact it doesn’t seem to do any damage at all!
Rocket Racing League is a solid game, though I can’t shake the feeling that I’ve been down this road before. There have been many games similar to it in the past, though admittedly none of them were based on a real rocket league. While it’s a totally competent flying racer it just doesn’t set itself apart from the pack and is content to play it safe. If you’ve played a lot of games like this before, you’ll probably get a strong feeling of déjà vu, but the rest of us will most likely be pleased.