In Supersonic Acrobatic Rocket-Powered Battle-Cars the player is in control of a car and takes part in a game where the only aims are to get a futuristic ball into the opponent's goal and stop the opposition from doing the same. Played in one of 6 different arenas with up to four players on each team, players can smash their opponents, jump/double-jump their car, Do a Barrel-roll, powerslide and more to help control the ball. Each game lasts 5 minutes, with stoppages for watching an instant-replay when a goal is scored. If scores are tied at the end there is Sudden Death.
Players can also choose between one of seven different car types and a 4 skins for each type. Players have a boost bar which they can fill up by driving through floating gold boost canisters spawning in certain places, or can pick up small amounts of boost by driving over glowing pads on the ground. This boost can be used whilst airborne as well as on the ground, meaning that you can effectively fly by propelling yourself with boost through the air.
In single-player there are 20 mini-games in which players can hone their driving skills, examples include a game where there are 5 balls and you have to score them as quickly as possible, a mode where you cannot cross the half-way line, and a mode where time slows down the closer you get to the ball.
There are also a progression of increasingly difficult 'Tournament' games against the AI.
Gameplay can also be taken online via PlayStation Network. The servers and leaderboards are handled by Gamespy.
The player chooses their arena, and player-count (eg 2v2). The players are then randomly match-made into a game. The results move them up and down a comprehensive stat tracking leaderboard.
One of the most consistently populated online areas is designed to invite friends to your own personal lobby, before launching a game. Split-screen players can also join the matches here, and up to 4 players can play online on the same console.
Here you can create teams, or join another team when you are invited to it by the team leader. The teams are then pitted against each other with a similar leaderboard to the Ranked match. Up to 5 players can be a member of a team, although the maximum mode is still 4v4. Split-screen players can play in teams as well.
Additional Modes / Features
Among all of the features listed, is also an offline split-screen mode where players can battle against bots or each other, single-player or split-screen, in all of the modes and arenas.
One of the best features of the game that has kept the community alive this long, is the Replay Editor, and it's YouTube integration. You can save a replay of any type of match online or offline for future editing. In the editor you have full 3D control over the camera, a timeline that you can navigate along, many different preset camera angles or the ability to move the camera yourself. When you have finished editing the replay you can save it to the Playstation's cross media bar, or upload it directly to YouTube.
About the Developer
Supersonic Acrobatic Rocket-Powered Battle Cars was the first commercial release from developers Psyonix Studios, on the PlayStation Network. The community support has been exemplary throughout the game's history, as evident with patches including, 3 new maps, 2 new skins per car and generally making the online more stable. The developers are also very active on the game's forums, always happy to respond to a question or suggestion.
Because of the release date difference, as well as default display resolutions (among other tweaks), the European and North American versions of the game are separate, (i.e) a European player won't be able to play online against an American opponent.