May 7, 2014 6:15 PM | Anthony Swinnich
Does your local multiplayer group get bored with a single game quickly? Sportsfriends is like quadrathlon to cycle through, where each of the four main games will test the mettle of those playing in four wholly different ways. Whether you're leaping through the air to score goals or literally smacking the controller out of somebody's hands, the variety found here is second to none.
Johann Sebastian Joust
The most well-known but hardest to play is Johann Sebastian Joust. The game takes place in real life, instead of on the screen. Those playing this will hold the controller (Move or DualShock) in their hand, preferably in a large, open space. The other players, then, will have to cause the controller in the other players' hands to shake, by smacking it or shaking it somehow. Watching people play is endlessly hilarious, and actually playing is way more tense than you'd think. The PS3 version supports seven controllers, while the PS4 only supports four.
Super Pole Riders
Super Pole Riders is a game where players must slap a ball that's suspended on a wire from the middle of the stage to their opponent's goal. All of the players have a pole, however, which they can use to poke the ball, hit it, or vault up and kick it using their body. It's pretty tough to get the hang of but an extremely good time when players are of comparable skill.
Those looking for a sportier style game might like Hokra, a two-vs-two player game where the teams need to keep the "ball" in the "goal" until the color fills up. The deconstructed looking graphics imply a false simplicity, as those who work together will do the best. It's great fun if you're into performing sweet passes and making the other team look like a couple of chumps.
Last but definintely not least is BaraBariBall. If Super Smash Bros. became a competitive game where you needed to score goals by dumping a ball in your opponents' water, that's what you'd get here. Three classes to choose from give the gameplay some real depth, and the ability to jump six times before hitting the ground also allows for some interesting tactics. Add up a bunch of stages and you have a recipe for a real crowd-pleaser, both for those playing and watching.
There are also a couple of secret games, should you decide to search for those. The entire package is $15 on Playstation Network, though those who wish to have it on both the PS3 and PS4 should download it on the PS3 first, since doing it the opposite way locks out the Cross-Buy functionality. It will also be coming to Steam this Summer for Windows, Mac and Linux.