Daley Thompson's Olympic Challenge
Copyright/Publisher: Ocean Software Ltd, Programmed By:
Richard Palmer &
David Collier, Sound By: Jonathan Dunn,
Graphics By: John Palmer,
Release Year: 1988, Genre: Athletics,
Number Of Players: 1
Daley Thompson has a big bushy moustache and drinks Lucozade a lot. (Just thought
I'd make sure that everyone knows who the hell I'm going on about in this review).
He competes in ten events in one competition. This is known as a decathlon (still
following this are we? Good).
Being a fit and healthy kind of guy, Daley must work out in his gym every day.
To tone up your biceps, triceps and leggy muscles (well, I'm not doctor!) you
(as Mr Thompson) lift weights and perfrom sit-ups and leg extensions by waggling
the joystick (yes, it's one of those games).
As you exert yourself, a bottle suspiciously like Lucozade fills up. The total
amount of golden liquid (no, Paul Hogan isn't featured) collected affects your
performance in the events.
It's a little known fact that Daley's prowess is reliant on his... trainers!!
Woo! You need to select the most suitable pair before embarking on the events.
The leaps and bounds of the long jump are simulated by pressing the joystick as
near to the take-off board as possible, and keeping it depressed (by playing
The Smith's albums to it?) until the desired angle of launch is reached.
This control method control is used in the pole vault, high jump, hurdles,
javelin, shotput and discus, Straightforward distance running ranges from the
joystick-breaking 100m sprint, to the arm-destroying 1500 metres, with the 400
metres striking a happy medium.
All this physical exertion will hopefully be rewarded by the winning of a
gold medal. You'll probably sleep for a week after all that hard work!
Ocean's last game featuring a certain sportsman, Daley Thompson's Decathlon, merely
took an average Track And Field conversion and put in a dwarfed Daley-like sprite -
an uninspiring license.
This latest game, though, has some of Daley's jokey
character, clearly shown in impressively large detail in the training section
(accompanied by the sounds of deep breathing from you as well as the TV loudspeaker!)
Joystick waggling features heavily - so heavily, in fact, that that's tall there
appears to be to the game.
This is a clear disadvantage, and is a situation which is helped little by
the trainer-choosing element which eases joystick strain by some degree but
obviously does nothing to change the control method.
If you plan on doing some body-building but can't afford a set of weights, buy
a copy of this and an extremely sturdy joystick and you'll be kicking sand in
people's faces long before you get a gold medal.
I always thought that Summer Games II was the best sports sim on the 64 because
of its brilliant graphics and interesting control methods. It took thought to
get through all the events instead of thrashing the joystick to death.
Here we are, two and a half years later, and we have a sports sim that relies
on the good old 'waggle factor'. Some of the events look like a cross between
Summer Games II and the Konami arcade machines, the gameplay leaning more towards
It is quite a lot of fun just pumping hell out of the joystick, but even more
fun watching fellow reviewers doubled up with agony after completing ten biceps
curls! Ultimately, Daley Thompson's Olympic Challenge is a nicely presented
and entertaining game which is just a little bit too streniuous. Excuse me while
I get an icepack!
Just when you thought it was safe to go back to sports simulations...
Daley Thompson's Olympic Challenge appears. This is the most exhausting joystick
waggling game I've ever played!
At one point, four reviewers were playing a sort
of relay to get to the next stage. The events cause a critical condition amongst
computer gamers: 'Serious Arm Lock-up', a most painful experience. The presentation
is good, though, and the graphics very effective: some very realistic animation,
especially on the weight training events.
A little strategy is required in
selecting the right shoes for each event, but it's hard to think straight when
you're runnung around screaming 'Oh God! My Arm!". I've seen tough sport sims in
my time, but this is shattering!