Athletic Land (Micro Peripherals) Review | Computer & Video Games - Everygamegoing

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Athletic Land
By Micro Peripherals
MSX

 
Published in Computer & Video Games #42

Athletic Land

This game would have been better titled Funpark. Fun it is - guiding a lad through a series of obstacles and challenges in park and countryside. The simplicity of this game does not detract from the playability, though.

Let's take scene one for example. You are at the edge of a pond, with two ropes - one swinging out and over from each end and, at odd occasions, meeting in the middle. Standing at the edge, jump to grab the rope. Move just that bit too far forward, and you are in it up to your neck. Catching a rope, you can swing back and forward forever or, by pressing the fire button on the joystick, or the spacebar, can land on a leaf floating from one end of the pond to the other.

Timing is of the essence - since the leaf starts running out of synchronisation with the rope at the other end. Since each stage is running against time shown on a decreasing colour bar at the top, you can't afford to hang around. Jumping over bouncing balls, small ponds, trampolines and springing over fountains sounds easy but, on scene two each of these combine with other hazards to make progression more difficult. The small poinds previously mentioned have erratic fish jumping out at high speed which all adds to the fun.

Super-smooth graphics, good use of sounds and (a nice little detail) the shadow of our lad showing on the ground all go to make this highly enjoyable. Incidentally, when you think you've got this licked playing the screens from left to right, try it from right to left - it becomes more interesting, with the hazards approaching from the rear.

Bonus points are awarded at the completion of each stage with additional lives. Scores shown are for one or two players and a hi-score. You can play with either joysticks or keyboard.

The simple and light theme of this game shows that things don't necessary need to be complex to make good entertainment.