I’ve played Push Me, Pull You [official site] for years at events I’ve helped run, revelling in its Cronenbergian wrestleball, but only today did it graduate from the multiplayer party circuit to an actual proper game released on PC. PMPY is a local multiplayer ballsport played by eerie tubefolk with a head and hands at both end. Tubefolk try to keep hold of the ball, so the two twist and writhe and shrink and stretch and entwine and unravel like athletic Cumberland sausage. It is really a quite good game.
It’s a simple setup: the two sportsnakes are trying to keep control of the ball (or balls, in some modes) for long enough to win. As well as pattering around at the ends, they can grow their body, meat spooling out of nowhere, or shrink it back down, down to wherever meat goes. To keep control, they need to wrap around the ball, block opponents, and so on.
It’s simple but gets complicated. Australian makers House House have written a guide with some strategies they’ve developed, which have exciting names like the Bag, the Locked Bag, the Snail, the Weasel, Spear, and Cannonball.
While I think it’s best played with four players, each controlling one end of the body, it does support two-player too. But really you want four players, four people shouting and nudging and trying not to mention they find all the patting hands a touch erotic.
Push Me, Pull You is out on Windows, Mac, and Linux through Steam for £9.89/13,49€/$13.49, which includes a 10% launch discount. It’s also available both DRM-free and with a Steam key on Itch and through its site. Here’s the launch trailer:
[Disclosure: I know most of House House. They’ve shared accommodation with The Wild Rumpus. We’ve dined together. We’ve been drinking together. We’ve partied together. We’ve gatecrashed parties together. They’ve taught us a lot of Australian slang. We’ve taught them a little fake Australian slang. I once held a bottle of mayonnaise above one House Houser’s head insisting “OPEN YOUR FUCKING MOUTH” then squirted a huge blob in when he did because honestly, what did he think would happen, but it’s fine we’ve made up it’s fine I’m sure he doesn’t hold it against me it’s fine. Besides, they got their revenge by teaching us about Michael and the Slipper Tree. Michael and the Slipper Tree has been stuck in my head since GDC. Four god damn months. Michael! Michael and his slipper tree, slipper tree, slipper tree – BRAND NEW SHOES FOR YOU AND ME. I only ever met House House because we thought PMPY was a cool game, to be clear.]