QWOP Review: A Neat Little Find

QWOP is certainly a different sort of game, and perfect for those brief spats of boredom and procrastination one often finds in the office. The controls are Atari-basic. You’re a runner from nowheresville country in the Olympics. You control the thighs with “Q” and W”, while you control the calves with “O” and “P” (hence the title.) Your goal is 100 meters, but good luck getting there. Being a game with such entry-level controls and graphics, it can be easily played on any decent laptop or desktop.

Controlling your ill-trained runner is absurdly tricky, with nine attempts out of 10 ending in a literal flipping disaster. It’s as if the poor fellow’s ligaments are made out of unstretched rubber bands. Being about as graceful as The Great Khali in an ice rink, you have a very tenuous grasp on your legs. But it’s fun and addictive and will kill a few minutes.

A small qualm about this game is simply that it’s so easy to get frustrated with it. The controls are just so disjointed and ungainly that it should be considered a hell of an achievement if you make it 5 meters. The less stubborn folks will be easily discouraged from playing this game for more than a few minutes at a time. But don’t be fooled, because they’ll be back at it. Half of the fun is from seeing just how wacky and zany you can make the runner’s pratfalls. It still has that addictive quality.

This game will likely be much more quick to try your nerves and turn you away, but it’s worth a laugh watching your friends make valiant efforts to go more than 2 meters, let alone 100. It’s decent enough, and it’s free. Honestly, there are plenty of more enjoyable flash games out there, but there are also far worse ones. This one is passable enough.

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