This article is part of my ongoing “Indie Fighting Game Thursday” review/retrospective series, now on! This week we talk about FOOTSIES – Rollback Edition, a minimalistic 2D fighter with simple controls, distilled to just one attack button! This article was originally published on my Medium blog on 23th September, 2021, and has been ported to for preservation and sharing it with more people in the fighting game community!

A screenshot of the game, showing player 1’s FOOTSIE man using his donkey kick special.

No jumps, FOOTSIES only, Final Destination.

A one-dimensional fighting game

OneHitMan, an AI opponent from the game’s arcade mode, performs a dragon punch to seize the round against the player character.

OneHitMan LOVES to one-shot you with a raw shoryuken. Also, the hat on my character is a nice perk of the built-in customization engine, that allows for a modicum of creativity for editing your avatar.

The player character performs a guard break donkey kick on the AI opponent WhiffPunisher, thus seizing the match point.

Breaking WhiffPunisher’s guard has never felt so satisfying.

The essence of fighting

A screenshot from the mobile version of FOOTSIES, with two game screen mirrored and joined to allow two players to play it at the same time on the same device.

The original, old FOOTSIES on Android, with a split screen setting to allow two players to face each other on the same device. This version has been superseded by the Rollback Edition.

A complete set of training tools

FOOTSIES’s hit-confirm training, with the player character hitting a speical in a 19 frames window from when the normal move connected.

19 frames is the absolute latest you can hit confirm your low kick into donkey kick. My reflexes aren’t stellar, but I’m happy I could pull it out.

A screenshot showing the advanced options, such as frame advantage visualizer and hitbox viewer.

Science will help you understand why you suck at FOOTSIES and — hopefully — improving at it.

Arcade mode, or the frustration of learning to know your enemy

Screenshot from arcade mode, showing the title card of the last match, against the AI boss Rollbacker.

Boss music starts playing.

Rollbacker, the ultimate arcade challenge

A GIF showcasing Rollbacker’s screen teleportations that gave him the name.

My first encounter with Rollbacker. Now I understand what it is like to fight against a 1-bar Brazilian Ken on Street Fighter V’s netcode.

A screenshot of Google Search with the prompt “FOOTSIES how to beat Rollbacker” and the results of the first page.

No jokes, after the 15th attempt at besting Rollbacker, I have tried to search for some Google magic — in vain.

Arcade win splash screen, showing the time elapsed and number of continue.


A screenshot showing the aftermath of the special FOOTSIES move, a short range raging demon grab. The player character shows his back with an F logo printed on it.

Beating Rollbacker and learning the secret “Shun Goku Satsu” input is priceless.

How to play it?

Here comes a new challenger!

FOOTSIES moment 37 when?!

Game summary

Other articles in the series