California Games (Rerelease)
Copyright/Publisher: Kixx/Epyx, Game Design By: Fuzzy Furry, Chuck Sommerville, Jon Leupp,
Ken Nicholson & Kevin Norman, Graphics By: Jenny Martin, Suzie Greene,
Sheryl Knowles & Paul Vernon, Music By: Chris Grigg & Gil Freeman,
Release Year: 1987, Genre: Multi Events, Number Of Players: 1 to 8

Yo! Dig out your most fluorescent T-shirt, put on your flashiest Bermuda shorts (could be chilly this time of year but ne'er mind) and wrap a pair of shades around your peepers! It's time for the hippest, most radical of all the Epyx Games, where up to eight players can compete in six cool West Coast events.

First up it's Half Pipe for the kick turns, hand plants and aerials of freestyle skateboarding, then Footbag, where the strange little bean bag has to be kept in the air as long as possible, mostly with the feel but also the odd header or two.

Put some Beach Boys on the stereo to get in the mood for Surfing (USA) and, if you've performed enough spins without getting your feet wet, put on your Walkman for a Roller Skate Race and dodge along the sea front. Speed and somersaults are the key to BMX Racing, then to the local park for some Frisbee catching.

It's a surprise that this has only just been released on budget: it's pretty long in the tooth now and has appeared on several compilations. It was originally reviewed way back in Issue 29, the days when anything produced by Epyx and with 'Games' in the title was instantly given 97% and a three-page Gold Medal review.

Claran Brennan though it 'an amazing package... the only problem is trying to decide which event to take part in first.' and Jazza Rignall raved, 'California Games is quite simply the apex of computer sports gaming.'

As ever for the Epyx Games series, presentation is high, with more play options than you can shake several sticks at, although cassette loading is rather long winded. There's variation from event to event but most graphics are beautifully drawn and animated.

Playability is highest on surfing, after that it's a close contest between half pipe, frisbee and BMX. Individually, none of the events will keep you playing long but as a package, and especially when playing against friends, California Games is great value.