QWOP A Load Of Poleriders

By Craig Pearson on November 8th, 2011 at 5:46 pm.

Make up your own filthy alt-text.
Poleriders is from Bennet Foddy, the delightful academic who has you thrashing your limbs to run 100m in QWOP. It’s an interesting take on the traditional and noble art of the pole vault, adding a ball and an opponent. I personally think “Pole-Lolting” is a more accurate title, because it’s one of the funniest things I’ve played in a while.

Pick up the pole and run at your opponent, using the pole (FYI: a pre-cut sheet of fibreglass, wrapped around a metal pole mandrel) to launch into the air. Now in a traditional pole vault, following the plant and take-off, the vaulter would then extend his legs up and out, forcing him or herself upside down in preperation for the push-off over the bar. In Poleriders the vaulter must kick a ball before the opponent does, or kick the opponent and land on them. Giggle and repeat.

Which all sounds somewhat easy, but Poleriders requires fingers of iron and a will so strong you might be better off taking up pole-vaulting rather than playing this ludicrious facsimilie. Every step jiggles the pole around. Every tap of Q or A (or the arrow keys if you’re player 2) swivels it around his body at impossible speed, meaning you’ll be lined up perfectly, dashing with your wobbling, wiggling sports equipment aimed right at your friend’s head, when a tiny adjustment will swing the pole behind your head and you’ll end up being squashed into the ground.

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24 Comments »

  1. Ba5 says:

    QWOP is bloody hard. What’s the rhythm to this game?

    • Nallen says:

      No idea. I got 1.9m, maybe I’ll try again after coffee.

    • Burc says:

      How to qwop:

      Start out with light tap on “o”, this will make you lean forward slightly, giving you a proper running stance.

      From here on, alternate between “q-p” and “w-o” to run. After a few tries you will get some sense of the rythm, but it will still be balls hard. You can correct rotational movement by trying to “lead” with either your thighs or your calves.

      Its quite a balancing act, like trying to handle a delicate flower that wants to fuck up your genitals, but the rewards are great.

      There is a hurdle after fifty meters. It will fuck you up. I’ve had nightmares about that hurdle. Fucking hurdle.

  2. Zarunil says:

    Feels like I’m trying to pole-vault with a string of boiled spaghetti.

  3. Hoaxfish says:

    I kinda preferred poking the ball with the other end of the pole, or flicking it along the line, rather then pole-kicking it

  4. Jesse L says:

    It’s always frustrating when a fun flash game appears and requires a second player.

    Also: don’t forget the mighty GIRP!

  5. sinister agent says:

    Why would you want to vault a Pole anyway? If they’re really in your way you can just ask them to move.

    Although I can see why you’d want to ri(dragged off stage by sharply yanked cane).

  6. DickSocrates says:

    Is it only two player? When was the last time two people sat next to each other at the same PC? That’s right, never.

    • Mehall says:

      Last time I installed Jazz Jackrabbit 2.
      That’s when.

      Dear Epic: GO back to being Epic Megagames and give me JJ3

    • Gnoupi says:

      Playing Trine 1, or any Worms.

      Recently, so.

    • Ericston says:

      Liero, about a week ago.

      Also, I broke the pole: http://i43.tinypic.com/rwswle.png

    • Jhoosier says:

      Proun was the last time I coaxed some unsuspecting friend into my lair.

    • JuJuCam says:

      There is a single player training mode but it’s rather unsatisfying compared to kicking someone in the head. Although some of the 4 and 5 star jumps are rather tricky. It does serve as an excellent tutorial because it gives you the absolute minimum instructions for the controls and presents a bunch of theoretically possible situations and dares you to wrangle your way through them. I eventually learned a trick to getting higher jumps without having to be told.

    • mechabuddha says:

      Almost every day. My wife and I prefer PC games over console, but buying every multiplayer game twice is absurd. So we greatly appreciate when developers put local multiplayer into their games.

  7. Dana says:

    Aw, from the picture I thought its some kind of jousting game.

  8. Tunips says:

    Looks sort of like Nidhogg, but I can actually play it.

  9. mcnostril says:

    This game is the most glorious spectator game I have ever seen.
    I saw this played on a giant screen at an indie game party last week, and it was awesome. This game is made for crowds. It’s like watching a foot to ball game, except better because it has sticks and the little running men can dropkick each other in the head. Also the hilarity of no one really knowing what the hell they’re doing.

  10. moziz says:

    Those who can name the operating system the mouse cursor is taken from deserve a medal.

    Spoiler/hint

  11. SiHy_ says:

    Games that are hilariously difficult to control should be a new genre.

  12. RizziSmoov says:

    Just played this with my brother, it’s funny as hell

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