Copyright/Publisher: Tynesoft, Programming: I.Davison & M.Hedley,
Graphics: M.Landreth, Music: Ian Crabtree & Wally Beben,
Release Year: 1988, Genre: Multi Events, Number of Players: 1 to 6
As you read this, all being well, the 1988 Summer Olympics will be well under way.
You, and up to five other people, can now take the place of an alla-round athlete
who has qualified to compete for his country in five events. Having entered your
name(s), the flag of the country you wish to represent (one of 14 available) is
chosen. The events you compete in are then selected and the Games begin.
Skeet shooting comes first. Clay pigeons are launched from the left and right, just
asking to be shot. You aim with a joystick-controlled cursor from seven standing
points. If all pigeons are hit, a bonus clay is awarded.
The coordinated sprint and leap of the hurdles is the most strenuous event you
have to fave; its rigours are simulated by waggling the joystick from left to right,
timing presses of the fire button to jump the obstacles.
The complicated movements of the triple jump are negotiated in a similar way, speed
being gathered on the run up by joystick waggling. As near to the take-off board as
possible, the fire button is held down to give the desired angle and the hop, step
and jump movements are then made automatically.
From a 20 metre tower, you have to perform as many aerial twists and spins as
possible to impress the diving judges. From launch, movements are selected by combinations
of 'stick direction and fire button. A clean entry into the water is needed to gain a
The noble art of fencing is the final event, played against a computer controlled
swordsman. Defensive and offensive moves are available, and your aim (quite simply)
is to hit your opponent more than he does you.
Gold, silver and bronze medals are awarded after each event and accumulated over
the selecated sections.
This has some pretty original viewpoints - for example, the fencing is shown from a
camera's viewpoint looking down on the action from a corner of the piste. ('I haven't
touched a drop all day, actually'. Ho ho - Jimmy Tarbick-esque joke). The definition
standard does vary from place to place but is generally representative of the real
Epyx have cornered the marklet in multi-event sporting simulations but as they
dropped their standards with The Games - Winter Edition, Tynesoft have a chance to
gain a toe-hold (I hope they've washed their feet. Ho ho - Maff Evans-esque joke.)
Some events are a bit old-fashioned, but some reminiscing coupled with new-style
gameplay makes Summer Olympiad worthy waggle.
This type of sporting game has a long history - and it was obvious someone would dig
it up to cash in on the '88 Olympics. To be fair to Tynesoft, they've made a great
attempt at producing a multi-event sport game with a different graphical viewpoint
from most others.
Definition is admirable all round, skeet shooting being the best presented and also
the most playable event - despite numerous wasted shots on first games, I went back
to it time and time again. Diving requires some nifty manoeuvres to get anything
like a decent score, but landing on your back, as I often did, spoils an otherwise
good performance - zero marks all-round!
The other events are rather predictable
interpretations, particularly the waggling and button pressing of the hurdles
and triple jump. Summer Olympiad is worthy of attention if you are short of such games.
Isnt' it refreshing to see what a new viewpoint can do to a game? Summer Olympiad
is a case in point, as each event takes a different perspective from any other
sports simulation and, surprisingly enpugh, this makes it seem more than just a
recycling of old ideas.
There are a few awkward delays that slow things down somewhat and a mis-timed
press of the fire button means that a particular event must be played from the
beginning again. Having said this, the events themselves are very well presented
and enjoyable, the hurdles being the only runt of the litter (I can't understand
how to win, and there aren't any instructions on the sheet for the event).
boils down to that well used phrase of 'try before you buy'. See if you can ignore
the quirks and get down to the game in hand, as it is quite a lot of fun.