The Games — Summer Edition

Epyx / Sentient Software £8.99 / £12.99

Screenshot

Round and round it goes, hammer throwing in The Games: Summer Edition

Drink up your ginseng tea and prepare yourself for eight gruelling events.

Summertime is here again, so get your swimming cossie on and dive off that there bendy plank. Do a few turns and twists in the air (by jiggling the joystick) and enter the water, straight as a nail. Cor, the judges go crazy: tens all round — eat your heart out, Greg Louganis!

No sooner than you’ve dried off and you’re on bike, ready to hurtle round a 3-D, banked track. There are four laps, but the time is only taken for the last one. You can go as slow as possible to get behind the other rider (either the computer or another player) so you can slipstream him to save energy.

Back in the gym, the uneven bars await while you change sex! Donning a leotard, you do loadsa tricks as you swing from either bar. But the judges are strict — any ‘uncharacteristic moves’ (like a double bottom bounce!) lose you marks. Changing back to a man, you can then test your strength on the rings. Much joystick waggling is needed to hold torturous positions.

Back outside, more joystick waggling is required to throw the hammer. Round and round you go, building up speed until you chuck the hammer up the field. But things can go wrong: apart from falling over, you can get wound up in the hammer wire! Hurdling is only slightly safer — you can easily fall flat on your face and be disqualified. And if you’re not completely knackered, you can now attempt the pole vault, it’s just as well there’s a relaxing event to finish: archery.

I just love these multi-event sports sims — they’re definitely what Epyx do best, and The Games — Summer Edition is no exception. All the events are well-presented with colourful backgrounds and excellent animation of the large sprites. Gameplay is equally good, especially when you gather a few friends around (up to eight people can play). And it’s not all mindless joystick waggling either — the events require skill as well as stamina. Great stuff.

PHIL — 90%

The Games — Summer Edition doesn’t have any event that hasn’t been seen before but the ways they’re implemented are original. The graphics vary from event to event with the most detailed and colourful in the hammer throwing and archery. Sound again is not up to much — the tunes sound as if they have been well and truly BEEPed! Nevertheless this has to be the best Epyx sports sim yet and is well worth checking out.

NICK — 86%

The Games — Summer Edition is a really enjoyable sports simulation. Unlike the old days of ‘wibble till that stick dies’, we’ve now got a more strategic approach, and the balance between careful timing and all out stick shakin’ is what makes it such good fun to play. The graphics are very good: the gymnastic sports have absolutely brilliant animation, and the graphical standard is generally high throughout. The possibilities for addictiveness are huge — two (plus) player games are excellent, and saving world records (on disk) gives an incentive to keep playing. Unfortunately, the various national anthems are a bit of an aural pain, but Epyx deserve considerable credit for getting them all in In a recognisable form! Overall, a really pleasurable game, well worth the asking price — though much better on disk, without the multiload hassle.

MIKE — 88%

RATING
Nice graphics, great gameplay — another excellent Epyx sports sim, best played with friends.
Presentation85%
Graphics86%
Sound69%
Playability89%
Addictive Qualities87%
Overall88%

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