If you can't afford the air fare to Seoul, the TV has been repossessed and the batteries in the radio have given up the ghost then you might consider passing
the long evenings with Tynesoft's latest atletic andurance test, Summer Olympiad. (Supposing not everyone had a monitor
like you! Outraged. Ed).
Tynesoft have tried to inject a spark of life into the old Olympic theme introducing events like high diving, skeet
shooting and fencing, which, although not entirely new are at least a little off the beaten track. Other events are hurdles,
and triple jump.
Up to five can play, each player entering their name and nationality on the score board. Each event is loaded
separately from the disk (tediously slow) and you can select which combination of events you want to try at this stage.
Graphically speaking, all of this is very impressive. You click on a monitor screen to select an event and the film starts
If you select all five events, plus the opening ceremony you can have six screens all running at once showing
hurlders hurdling, divers diving, fencers fencing and so on. While this is all good fun to look at, it's not much use
of course, unless, that is, you're suffering from temporary amnesia and can't for the moment remember what the 100 meters
Assuming you opt for all five events the first up is skeet shooting. This is a bit like clay pigeon shooting. There
are two traps and occasionally the skeets come from either side of the screen at the same time. That's about the only time
you need to worry. It's simply a case of lining up the cross hairs directly in the path of the skeet, waiting for the
right moment then gently squeezing the trigger.
Next up is fencing in which you get a pretty good 3D view of the proceedings from a corner of the auditorium ceiling.
Your man prances up and down the track from the left, your opponent from the right. Behind each of you trails the wire
which will carry the tell-tale electronics signal should either of you take a direct hit int the nipple. The moves
are a bit on the simple side, ripost, parry and thrust, oh, and for when things get really bad - run away.
I was looking to follow a disappointing fencing result with some real strong stuff in the triple jump. Eberything was
going nicely as I worked up a stedy wiggle rhythm on the joystick. But disaster struck at the line when cramp caused me to
hold on to the fire button too long. A ninety degree take off angle not only doesn't get you very far, it looks pretty
stupid. By the third attempt I'd perfected my technique enough to get me a respectable twenty odd metres (very odd) and
the Gold medal. But I was the only competitor.
Worse things were to come in the high diving. I didn't score at all until about the sixth attempt. The problem, I reckon
is more to do with a bug and/or poor instructions than poor technique. You can take off forwards or backwards, do forward
or backward rolls and spin left or right. But half way between the board and the water isn't the best time to discover
that left spin or backward roll doesn't work.
What's more I would have thought a forward roll immediately followed by a
backward roll was a physical impossibility, not with this. Further experimention got me a mediocre average score of 2.5
out of 10. Nice to see sveral women and a black judge on the panel though.
And so to the last event. I did very well at the hurdles once I discovered the secret of hitting the fire button to jump.
I did even better when I managed to press it at the right time. The trouble is that pressing the fire button interrupts
your wiggle rhythm and hitting those hurdles really slows you down, not to mention hurting your shins. Still room for
improvement on a personal best of 14.85 though. Pass me steroids Reg.
Tynesoft will no doubt thing I'm slagging them off from force of habit, but the truth is that Summer Olympiad is just
too simple and adds nothing to the Summer Games / Daley's Decathlon genre. This one gets no medals from me.