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QWOP A Load Of Poleriders

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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Craig Pearson

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