Whee! Sports! Joust & Chums Go Crowd-Funded

Friends! Sports! Sports Friends!

One of the great tragedies of the last couple of years, other than that Meat Loaf is Republican and America cancelled space, is the continued inability for the common people to lay darting, sweaty hands on OSX/PlayStation Move-based live-action multiplayer game Johann Sebastian Joust. It’s toured festivals, events and gatherings of people who wear retro spectacles and don’t shave much (i.e. more confident versions of me) for a long while, but has until now had no public availability.

All that changes, as the free-form duel of glowing dildoes has taken to the Kickstarters, in the company of some other fine, vaguely sports-centred indies, as is promising a PC and Mac release in addition to the headline making ‘first crowd-sourced PS3 game’ version.

SPORTSFRIENDS is the package, which is as fine a title as anything could ever have, and four games are its contents. Die Gute Fabrik’s Joust is arguably the headliner due to its cult status, and is better shown than described:

Also in there is PoleRide, a new polevaulting game from that grandmaster of psyhical activity simulation and self-flagellation, QWOP/GIRP/CLOP’s Bennet Foddy, which like all the others in this four-game compendium will evolve from its current lightweight prototype stage to something more fully-fledged should the Kickstarter goal be reached. You can play an early, browser-based version of PoleRide here, or watch this:

Joining Joust and PoleRide is Noah Sasso’s BaraBiriBall, which looks like this:

And Ramiro Corbetta’s four-player ‘digital sports game’ Hokra:


Here’s the pitch video for the entire package, too:

They’re after $150k and are £23 in at the time of writing. More details on tiers and promises and all that stuff here.


  1. pupsikaso says:

    I don’t understand that ball game. Are you supposed to hold on to the ball? Shoot into the other team’s goal post? Hit the other player with it? Cause it seems like they take the ball and then throw it away… as if they are playings squash without a wall, but then at the same time one guy first throws the ball and then tries to take it back from the other player at the same time… so confused.

    • ElVaquero says:

      Not sure if you’re referring to Hokra or Baribariball since they both rely on grabbing the ball and throwing it but I’ll take a crack at both.

      I played Hokra at Indiecade and it’s a sort of king-of-the-hill type game where you try to hold on to the ball for as long as possible. You move slower when you have the ball so there is a lot of (hopefully strategic) throwing to balance not getting run into by the other team (which stuns you and loses the ball). Ideally you’re supposed to play keep-away with the other player on your team but it’s pretty difficult. Very risk-reward-y.

      I haven’t played Baribariball but I think you are trying to throw the ball into the water on the other team’s side (notice the two colors of the water’s surface, split in the middle). It’s more platformer/Smash Bros in that your tosses are limited and you fight over the ball in the middle and try to keep it from falling into the water on your side. Can’t wait to try that one and JS Joust

  2. Feferuco says:

    Is there anything else needed to play joust besides a couple sticks?

    Edit: Oh never mind, you need moves.

  3. elderman says:

    “as is promising a PC and Mac release”

    For Linux, too!

    I think this will be my very first Kickstarter.

  4. Lewie Procter says:

    BaraBiriBall is so fucking good. Everything else here is, too, but I think it’s had the least exposure. It’s Super Smash Brothers meets volley ball. Brilliant game.

  5. Soolseem says:

    Joust is one of those mythic indie unicorns that are written about often but played rarely, leading me to question their very existence. Like Nidhogg. And Antichamber.

    • pakoito says:

      Niddhog, Spy Party and Monaco have been delayed for so long the hype has died.

      • Soolseem says:

        I’m in the SpyParty beta, so that’s one mythical creature I’ve actually played. The beta should be opening up sometime in the next few months but I wouldn’t expect the finished, polished game until sometime after the heat death of this universe and the rebirth of the next.

      • m3metix says:

        I’ve played all three and they’re all really fun. I think Monaco will be a pretty big hit when it comes out. I really don’t see any way that Niddhogg could be released as anything other than a freeware game though.

    • flamesbladeflcl says:

      As someone with a Joust alpha version and 4 ps moves, I can tell you it is an excellent game. It is great for both just playing with a small group of friends or just setting up in a busy public area and letting people you don’t know make fools of themselves. I can’t wait for the new alpha next month with the new game modes.

  6. Branthog says:

    I’ve never understood this hipster “Joust” hype. I’ve seen it played. I just . . . . I don’t fucking get it. I mean, I understand what it is. I just don’t see why there is hype over it or why it would be fun to play.

    • m3metix says:

      I can see why it would be fun, but I hate it because everyone who plays it looks like a hipster douchebag. If Joust wasn’t a part of this Kickstarter I would have backed it. /spite

  7. Niche93 says:

    You know, I’ve been playing JS Joust for a loooong time already with my friends. Y’all should’ve just backed the Venus Patrol kick starter.

    And yeah, it lives up to, nay, it beats all the hype. It’s nothing less than fantastic.

    • flamesbladeflcl says:

      The venus patrol alpha, with its bugs and all is a fantastic game.

  8. The Tupper says:

    That Joust game could finally be the Star Wars lightsaber thing we need. In the original films, lightsaber duels were used as metaphors for the underlying narrative.

    If one arm was used for waving an animated lightsaber while the other was used to muck about with ‘rock paper scissor’ Force powers (and in the game), maybe we’d have something?

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  10. Giftmacher says:

    Radiohead bear? Is that you?

  11. nnooaahh says:

    spellcheck on BaraBariBall!

  12. apocraphyn says:

    My god. You mean to say that I can actually give Foddy money to make an improved sequel to Pole Riders?! Why didn’t I think of this earlier?

    On a related note, I hope they reach the target. That’s quite a high goal. (and my god, that Bippity Boppity Joust game seems to attract the hipster stereotype like flies)

  13. MartinNr5 says:

    I’d actually prefer if you described Joust as the video only shows a buch of Danish hipsters, presumably drunk, walking about and flailing their arms while the overlayed music changes vaguley related to what’s going on in the video.

    • elderman says:

      The goal of the game is to be the last person standing. You lose when you move your controller too quickly, causing it to beep at you and change colour. The speed of the music defines how tolerant the controller is to sudden changes in velocity.

      Have I missed anything?

      Looks like great fun to me. Local multiplayer is a great way to play games. I’ve been waiting to hear how Joust would go on sale for ages and I dearly hope it meets its target.