Keyboard Sports turned my Spacebar into a couch and that is so darn delightful. Thank you for that, Keyboard Sports.
I’ve never really seen my keyboard as anything other than a set of lettered keys before. I barely look at it as I jam my fingers into it every day, typing up my thoughts, but now it has regained my attention—it’s like my imagination from childhood has been reawakened. Now I see that my keyboard can have its own geography: each key could be a building as part of a city, or a single tree in a forest. With the right mindset, a keyboard could be the topography for almost anything, and Keyboard Sports is a game that wants you to see that.
“You will almost feel like a kid who has discovered the keyboard for the first time, and this is important to us because it looks like the keyboard is slowly disappearing and the next generation might grow up without one—and who wants that?” said Tim Garbos, one of the game’s designers.
It has you control a little yellow person as they complete a number of challenges by using your entire keyboard to guide them around the screen. All you do is press a key on your keyboard and the character will run to its corresponding location on the screen. Keyboard Sports gets plenty of mileage out of this set up, including its own version of Frogger (1981), a take on the twin-stick shooter, and a platformer that turns some keys into lava and others into safe ground.
It’s also memorable for the narrative details that inform each challenge. You follow the guidance of Master QWERTY on a quest to find your Inner Key. Mostly, this involves drinking special T (tea), learning to ENTER and ESC his home, gaining CTRL of the self, and entering the inner SPACE. Like I said, Keyboard Sports gets a lot out of using the keyboard as its central conceit, weaving a humorous, playful tale of transcendence full of appropriate puns to accompany the tasks it assigns you. I kinda love that it opens up by dismantling the demands of traditional sports, too—your character runs across a racetrack, crashing through the hurdles, as you mash your keys trying to work out what to do.
Keyboard Sports has been made as part of Humble Originals, which is a program to fun small games by Humble Bundle, and is therefore exclusive to them. As such, if you want to play Keyboard Sports, you should sign up to receive the November lineup of the Humble Bundle Monthly for $12—you only have until November 4th to do that. However, the creators of Keyboard Sports also plan to release an extended version to other platforms in 2017 (Humble Bundle Monthly subscribers will get that version at no extra cost). So if you miss out now I guess it’s not the end of the world.
Find out more about Keyboard Sports on its website.