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Sportsfriends Hands-On Preview – Local Competitive Madness

by Joey Davidson | April 14, 2014April 14, 2014 4:30 pm PDT

Super Pole Rider - 5

Sportsfriends is going to be ridiculous. The good kind of ridiculous. The kind of ridiculous that will inspire get togethers, sleepovers and parties.

Sportfriends is suddenly a game I’m very much looking forward to.

I had a chance to go hands-on with the title at PAX East this past weekend, and I can now safely say that I’ll be inviting friends over for beers, wine and four absurd Sportsfriends events.

What is it? Sportsfriends is a collection of four unique, simple on the surface, complex below competition games. There’s Super Pole RidersBariBariBallHokra and Johann Sebastian Joust. Hokra is a 2v2 minimalist sports game, and Johann Sebastian Joust is a motion controller based game that tasks players with keeping their input still while messing with others. There’s also a music element.

Now, I didn’t play Hokra or Johann Sebastian Joust, so I can’t speak to their merits. I spent time with BariBariBall and Super Pole Riders, however.

BariBariBall

Imagine a 2D take on a Smash Bros. like brawler. The action features simplistic controls, and expert players can pull off crazy techniques. Now, add a ball to the mix.

In BariBariBall, you’ll fight in order to gain possession of a ball, toss it into your opponent’s water and score points if the ball sinks to the bottom. If your opponent is knocked off stage or sinks to the bottom of the water in an attempt to retrieve the ball, they lose a point.

It sounds incredibly simple, and it is. I had a complete understanding of the controls and a few techniques within a minute or two of play. It wasn’t until minute 10 that I started trying more ridiculous maneuvers. That came at the expense of lots of yelling and laughing.

The game is a blast, quite honestly.

Super Pole Riders

The silliness continued, and possibly expanded, with Super Pole Riders. In this game two teams (either 1v1 or 2v2) tangle to push an object on a rope into their opponent’s goal.

The catch is that each player has a pole vaulting pole in their hands at all times. You swing the pole around with the right analog stick, and you move your character with the left. Combining the two flings you around the stage, colliding with opponents to knock them out or smacking the ball on the rope slide it towards your goal.

Again, just like BariBariBallSuper Pole Riders presented a relatively simple concept. The controls were tougher to figure out, but once they clicked, the game started to layer in complexity. And, again, there was tons of yelling and laughter.

During my stint at PAX East this weekend, few games left me extremely excited to get home and play. When Sportsfriends comes for the PC, Mac, Linux, PlayStation 3 and PlayStation 4 platforms soon, I’ll be checking it out.

I can’t wait.


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Joey Davidson

Joey Davidson leads the gaming department here on TechnoBuffalo. He's been covering games online for more than 10 years, and he's a lover of all...


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