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Have You Played... Sportsfriends?

Friends 4 life

Have You Played? is an endless stream of game retrospectives. One a day, every day, perhaps for all time.

The playful presentation of Sportsfriends [official site] - think alternate universe Nintendo - hides a four pack of viciously competitive multiplayer games. There’s BaraBariBall, which is basically Super Smash Bros meets water polo. There’s Hokra, which is like an abstract version of football. There’s Joust, but you need PS Move controllers for that so never mind.

It’s all about Super Pole Riders.

It’s one of those games which will get you giggling within a few moments of play. Two or four athletes, each armed with a pole, have to knock a ball that’s suspended from a wire over to their opponent’s goal. One option is to simply hold your stick straight up in the air and march forwards. Alternatively, you can FLY.

Ok, it's not exactly flying - but you can certainly propel yourself majestically through the air by digging your pole into the ground and flicking the analogue stick in just the right way. You can land flying kicks on the ball, or aim for your opponent’s head to briefly knock them out of the round. Other advanced tactics include running up other people’s poles, or flinging them up and away when they try to do the same to you.

If you happen to have another human nearby, you can actually play the original version of Pole Riders in your browser for free, right now, right here. Go on. It’s by the guy that did QWOP.

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