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Robot Basketball and Absurd Golf: 5 of the Weirdest Sports Video Games | Games

WThinking about sports video games you might think FIFA Or Madden, who relentlessly imitates the real equivalent, or Tracks & Fields, who bravely try in case of failure. However, not all developers play according to the rules. From impossible athletics to fantasy baseball players with 27 fingers, these are some of the sport’s weirdest virtual takes.

QWOP (Bennett Foddy, 2008)

Playable online

QWOP screenshot
Unintentionally cheerful … QWOP. Photo: Foddy.net

Bennett Foddy loves the Olympics, especially the 50 km walk “for the tragic reversal of fate.” He also always loves physics-based video games such as the arcade games Gravitar (1982) and Ski Stunt Simulator (2001). So it was only natural that he wanted to make an athletics game with proper dynamic physics. “What I didn’t realize at the time was that this was actually a very difficult robotics problem and I was a very incompetent self-taught coder,” he says.

Fody took a batter from his previous cricket game Little Master Cricket, Chucked the bat and connected the thighs and calves to the Q, W, O and P keys. As a result, a hilarious QWOP (2008) was unintentionally created. In this case, a poorly funded training program clumsyly controls the only track and field that represents a small country and runs down the track like a ragdoll. Even if you cross the starting line, it is the result here.

See Kickman
Photo: size 5 game

See Kickman (Size Five Game, 2017)

PC

Dan Marshall has a “real deep-rooted hatred” of football, thanks to his prominence in the news alongside wars and climate crises, his “exorbitant” salary, and his general inevitable ubiquity. I’m waiting.But one day, when his newborn son left him too sleep-deprived and couldn’t concentrate on bigger tasks (such as working on his latest game). Clockwork God’s hideout, Currently on Switch), I thought it would be interesting to play a football game anyway.He Tweet about it. “And it became like a wildfire,” says Marshall. “As a game developer, you can’t buy such promotions.”

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Joke became a gameThe design, with its comical story mode, was adopted by Marshall to politely tell “real lively football fans” that he was a referee rather than a referee who kissed a bit when scoring a goal. , Influenced by the nimble Twitter personality. The pitch is round and striped, starting in the Premier League. “This makes sense. Premier means the first.”

Regular Human Basketball (Powerhoof, 2018)

PC

Screenshots from regular human basketball
A futuristic machine that reinterprets ancient games … ordinary human basketball. Photo: Powerhoof

In regular human basketball, players work together to control a giant robot from the inside. Developer Dave Lloyd said: “What did you think was easier than picking up the ball and putting it on the net?” Co-creator Bernie Cumming and basketball fan himself Lewis Meyer agreed, Meyer reinterpreting this ancient game of the future. Infused his knowledge of sports into the commentary on the machine.

Using real sports meant that designers didn’t have to teach players what to do, as the more complex basketball rules were omitted, especially for simplicity. “”[It] It reinforces us how powerful real-world sports are as a tool to give players a clear purpose, “says Lloyd. “But the main lesson was that, like in real sports, the interactions that occur when people play create most of the fun.”

The developers also made a free game Close to real basketball“But there are more kickers,” based on NBA player Draymond Green’s “natural shooting motion.” “We got more attention than we negotiated,” says Lloyd. “And the Golden State Warriors official kindly asked me to remove the mention of the player.”

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WDo you hate golf? (Triband, 2019)

PC, iOS (Apple Arcade)

Screenshot of WHAT THE GOLF?
Only the flag and green are constants … What is golf? Photo: Tri-band

Tim Garbos, creative director of developer Triband, doesn’t like golf. “It’s often perfectly neat grass, perfectly round balls, perfectly dressed whites. Everything is terrible.” What is golf for those who feel the same? It is marketed as a “golf game for those who dislike golf”.

As Galvos says, when “I realized that golf wasn’t just fun,” Triband was trying to make a regular golf game. So they started overturning it: “OK, what if the flag moved?” Then they started designing levels backwards from the punch line. For example, it’s like drilling a hole in a crater shaped like number one across the green. When they realized that golf was just a transition from A to B, they started seeing it everywhere. “We saw Brexit and made a prototype of golfing in the UK away from Europe.” Only the flag and green are constants. Everything else is changeable.

Blaseball (The Game Band, 2020)

Playable online

Blaseball screenshot
“Something that can bring everyone together while we are isolated” … Blaseball. Photo: Blaseball.com

Next is Blaseball, a browser-based absurd fantasy baseball league. In this league, players bet fake currencies and vote on legislation such as “open forbidden books” and “peanuts.” No one knows what will happen next, thanks to the interaction of data simulations running in the background and the unpredictable whims of human fans. “The goal was to design a game for the platform at this moment,” said creative director Sam Rosenthal. […] And something that can bring everyone together while we are isolated. “

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He initially proposed a similar concept, but in horse racing “I clearly remember this, like a deafening silence.” But baseball fan developer Joel Clark has taken them on the right track. “This is a game where we roll a lot of dice and play with that randomness and let our fans tell a story with that randomness.”

The game world is progressive, anti-capitalist, and proficient in fan theory. Recently, a player who voluntarily burned in the previous season has revived and immediately started to take out a player with a pitch in his head. Developer Stephen Bell said: “Usually, sports are actively pushing the idea of ​​what is normal. If you do something strange to yourself, people are attracted to it and do it.”