Winter Olympiad 88
Copyright/Publisher: Tynesoft, Programmed by: Ian Davison, Chris Murray &
Brian Jobling, Graphics By:
Mike Owens, Music: Wally Beben,
Release Year: 1988, Genre: Multi Events, Number Of Players: 1 to 6
Tynesoft have digitally captured five winter sports: ski jump, downhill ski-ing,
the biathlon, slalom ski-ing, and bobsled.
From the preliminary options screen, up to six competitors enter their names
and select the nation they wish to represent. After choosing the events they wish
to take part in, the action begins.
Ski jumping begins with the player at the top of a 90m run. Pressing the fire
button starts the 'birdman' on his high-speed descent. At the end of the ramp,
the player launches his skier into the air, and keeps his skis horizontal
through flight. The skier is awarded points for distance covered and style.
Next is downhill ski-ing, where the player negotiates a 3km treelined route
in the fastest possible time. Hazards come in the form of logs and rocky
outcrops, which are jumped over.
The biathlon, a tortuous test of marksmanship and stamina follows. With a
rifle slung over his shoulder, the player makes a long trek across snowy landscapes
and stops at checkpoints to shoot at targets. There are three checkpoints in
all, which the competitor visits within the fastest possible time.
Ski-ing makes its final appearance in the slalom event. Weaving left and right
through the gates, the player must be sure to keep yellow flags on the right and
brown flags on the left otherwise penalties are incurred and added on to the
The final event places the player in a bullet-shaped bathtub inside a twisting
1.5km icy trench. This is the highly dangerous bob-sled, which involves guiding
a sled as it rockets down the run at speeds in excess of 90 mph. A steady hand is
required, otherwise it turns over and the race is lost.
As a bonus, Tynesoft are running a competition for Olympiad players,
the first prize being a trip to the 1988 Winter Olympics in Calgary, USA.
It's almost as if you're really there! David Vine, lots of cold white stuff, that
famous tune, those jerky graphics...erk! Comparisons are bound to be made with
Winter Games, but Winter Olympiad comes nowhere near the slick Epyx standard
of nearly three years ago.
Winter Olympiad just goes to show that event decent graphics can't rescue
a game if the animation and playability lack polish. Although there are plenty
of events, none are particularly exciting, and it only takes a few plays for
the action to beomce predictable.
The Solid Gold compilation, complete with Winter Games and four other classics,
is available at the same price...
When playing Winter Olympiad, it immediately strikes you how incredibly similar
the presentation of three of the events are to their Epyx counterparts.
However, they aren't as playable, and I tired of them surprisingly quickly.
The slalom is very difficult, and the 3D isn't at all effective. It's a shame
that the sprites and animation aren't up to the standards of the backdrops,
because it would have added polish to an otherwise average sports simulation.
I can't really recommend Winter Olympiad, especially if your software
collection already includes the aforementioned Epyx classic.