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Have You Played... #IDARB?

Diffusing the hashbomb

#IDARB began as a drawing of a red box posted to Twitter. Then people suggested what developer Other Ocean should do with that red box. Then they made a sports video game. #IDARB was very much a 2015 video game. And one that could be quite fun.

Even those with a bubbling hatred of sport were able to pick it up quickly. It was a standard team-based sports game where you had to get the ball into the opposing goal. But, because of the basketball-like point zones, squeaky bum time kicked in from the moment a match began. Nothing was certain; your opponent could nab a worldie for five points without much warning.

In a 2v2 situation, #IDARB could be really good. You were able to play give-and-goes with your two-dimensional, pixelated teammate, and you could make runs for crossfield passes. Implementing even a thin layer of strategy in this silly game was possible. And then Rick Astley would move along the bottom of the screen because someone used a hashbomb.

I could be a bit snotty about the whole thing when thinking back on this aspect of the game, but it wasn't actually that bad. At the time, at least, there was some enjoyment to discovering new hashbombs. Each match had its own unique hashtag – like a Jackbox room code – and people watching could influence a match by using this hashtag on Twitter, along with one of #IDARB's hashbombs. A lot of them were meme-y, and thus very of their time, but most were there to just make things more manic. If the person watching had the right hashbomb code, they could introduce decoy balls, flood the pitch, or turn the ball into a bomb. There was also one that had something to do with clowns. And a llama, maybe? You get the gist.

#IDARB began life on Twitter, and might've even been ahead of the curve when it comes to appealing to Twitch viewers, so of course it leans heavily on an Internettiness that doesn't appeal to me, personally, in 2021. What still hold up in my memory are tightly contested affairs with last ditch goals from the halfway line. That was the #IDARB ludicrousness I enjoyed.

I guess I'm old now.

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