Have You Played? is an endless stream of game retrospectives. One a day, every day of the year, perhaps for all time.
Slide [archived official site] is what made me realise mods could be almost brand new games, could be whatever they wanted – and could be games I’d never see ‘proper’ developers make. Slide turns Quake into a downhill hoverboard racing game, sending players zipping through dark tunnels, round obstacles, and over deadly traps in a competition to become the greatest hoverboarder this side of the Wizard’s Manse.
Hoverboards have very little friction, naturally, so you go rocketing downhill and whooshing over ramps, trying to hold tight corners, dodge obstacles, and avoid bumping into walls or odd angles. You know, like most sorts of racing, but in Quake. This also means that you can, if you so desire, hop off your board and start blasting. It probably won’t do much for your times but it might be a lark.
Like most Quake mods, I never got to play Slide in multiplayer. I’d race down courses over and over by myself, trying to improve on records that’d wiped the next time I closed Quake. I was okay with that.
I was in awe that this even existed. I hadn’t known I wanted a hoverboard racing game until I saw it, or that hoverboard racing games could even be a thing. That’s part of what I like so much about early mods: if one person liked the idea of a game, they could make it themselves. Mods had so much more imagination and style than ‘proper’ games. I see a lot of that same spirit in scrappy Unity games now. Perhaps Skeal is this generation’s Slide.
I fired Slide up again today and was struck by how much its downhill zooming and ramping now reminds me of Counter-Strike surfing – only CS players don’t need hoverboards for those stunts. I still wish I’d had more patience with surfing.
If you fancy playing Slide now, you can still get Slide and its mandatory level pack from Quake Terminus. The mod’s original Telefragged site and is long, long dead.