Posted on 09 Sep 2017 by Kyle Johnson

PAX West: Keyboard Sports: Saving QWERTY

The Defence

Developer: Triband
Publisher: Humble Bundle
Genre: Action, Adventure, Indie
Platform: Mac, PC
Review copy: No
Release date: No data.

The Prosecution

Minimum
Recommended
OS: Linux, Windows
CPU: Intel Core 2 Quad 2.6 GHz
AMD equivalent
VGA: Nvidia 750
AMD equivalent
RAM: 4 GB
HDD: GB
DirectX: 11
Controller: None
Mod Support: Unknown
VR: No
FOV Slider: No
FPS Lock: Unknown
OS: Linux, Windows
CPU: Intel Core i5 2.6 GHz
AMD equivalent
VGA: Nvidia GeForce 980
AMD equivalent
RAM: 8 GB
HDD: GB
DirectX: 11
Controller: None
Mod Support: Unknown
VR: No
FOV Slider: No
FPS Lock: Unknown

Remember the mid-2000s era of flash games when creativity and general weirdness knew no bounds? Triband remembers, with their adventure game Keyboard Sports: Saving QWERTY, are hoping to take you on a trip down memory lane as well. I had a chance to chat with Lasse Astrup and Peter Bruun of Triband at the Humble Indie Showcase at PAX West, and here’s a bit of what I saw and we talked about.

Originally conceived as an idea for a game jam, then a Humble Original entry, and now finally a standalone release, Keyboard Sports has taken quite the path to get to where it is now. The fine folks at Triband say the idea came to them when participating in an “alternative control game jam.” Now, obviously the keyboard isn’t exactly an alternative control scheme, but using the keys exclusively is, and not something seen since the likes of Descent.

From there, Keyboard Sports popped up in the November 2016 Humble Monthly Bundle, where it was touted as “Triband’s final tribute to the keyboard before it becomes extinct.” With the positive feedback garnered from appearing in the Humble Monthly, Triband saw fit to expand the game even further, turning it into a full retail game.

What is Keyboard Sports, you ask? Quite simply, it’s a cute, hilarious romp where your entire keyboard is the controller. The demo opens with you running on a track, and a set of hurdles in front of you. My first instinct was to try to jump over them, but with no jump button in sight, you instead crash through the hurdles, kicking them everywhere, before finally knocking your head on a set of weights at the end. Master QWERTY comes out to greet you, and from there, the real game begins.

Just like riding a bike.

The variety of levels show the care that Triband has put into Keyboard Sports: there’s a Frogger-esque minigame where you can’t be bothered to wait for the stoplight; a minigame where you’re surfing through the air, dodging debris from a disintegrating airplane; and most creatively, one where you have to navigate a stone bridge above a lava pit, but by looking at the keyboard, the keys light up in the correct path to cross.

All this is done to drink some T, and find your own inner SPACE. There are puns aplenty in the demo of Keyboard Sports, and while Triband says that work is progressing smoothly, there are many more puns to be had and written.

Lasse and Peter also emphasized that the game will be coming to PC, Mac, and Linux only. It may seem obvious, but as a tribute to the greatest controller of all time. Putting it on a console would only cheapen the experience, and simply suck out the fun of crashing through a supermarket like a drunken idiot.

Triband closed the interview by saying that they were hoping for an early 2018 release, but that we’ll have to see how development goes. Even with the short amount of time I spent with Keyboard Sports, the humor and art were incredibly charming, and definitely endearing. All this makes for another game worth keeping an eye out for upon release.

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