Summer Games II
Copyright/Publisher: Epyx, Designed by: Chuck Summerville, Kevin Norman, John Leupp,
Michael Kosaka, Scott Nelson & Larry Clague, Music: Bob Vieira,
Release Year: 1985, Genre: Multi Events, Number Of Players: 1 to 8

This is the business as far as Olympic sims go. Up to eight players compete in eight varied, superbly presented events. On the disk version, there's even an option to merge the game with its predecessor Summer Games to play 16 events in one go!

Unlike other Olympic sims, Summer Games II replace tiresome (and tiring) waggling with skilful controls. Take the Triple Jump, for instance. No waggling is needed to make your man run - just accurately timed joystick movements for the hop, skipm jump and extra boost in mid air.

Rowing does require left/right movement, but not frenetically fast - a good rhythm produces the highest rowing speed. In multi-player mode, two players compete head to head.

Chucking the Javelin doesn't require waggling (or bottom wiggling) either. Press fire quickly to increase speed, then hold left to set the angle of throw.

There haven't been many computer horse-riding sims so the Equestrian event is a noce novelty. It's not nag either. As the course scrolls right to left, accurate timing is needed to successfully jump fences, walls and water hazards.

High Jump allows you set your height between 1.5 and 2.5 metres. Rapid right joystick movements make your man sprint. Timing is crucial when you press fire to jump and right to clear the bar.

Fencing gives you the option of a head-to-head contest. The first player to score five hits within the time limit wins. Available moves include thrust, parry and defensive sweeps. If the score is tied at the end of the time limit, there's a (tastefully named) 'sudden death' fence-off.

On your bike! Although the Cycling sprint race doesn't feature waggling either, you do have to rotate your joystick in time with an arrow to make your rider pedal. To attain top sped you must move slightly ahead of the arrow - but get too far ahead of it and you stop pedalling altogether. Again, in multi-player mode there's the option of head-to-head racing.

Probably the trickiest event is Kayaking, where you paddle furiously to get through gates, some of which must be entered backwards or upstream. What really makes this event is the effective control system: steering with left/right and paddling by repeatedly pushing up or down.