Simulations of unusual sports seem to be Infogrames pet subject at the moment. First, there was Championship Water Skiing and now you can go mountain climbing in the Alps.
Three stages are involved in the game: choosing the route, packing your rucksack and the climb itself. The routes are of six difficulty levels ranging from easy to extremely difficult and each of the routes has the duration of the climb and difficulty level marked.
A default rucksack is available or you can pick one of your own, choosing by selecting the appropriate pieces of equipment. Rope, boots, clothing, food and many other items can be taken. You will need to choose equipment carefully if you are to succeed in the climb. You can then choose the hour and season of the climb.
The climb begins with you walking across the top of a glacier with ice axe in hand. You walk to the right and can jump over crevasses or test the ground for weaknesses. If you fall down a crevasse, then you must climb up a snow slope. This involves inserting ice-axes and your feet into the snow and pulling yourself upwards. Climbing snow slopes is tricky and you often end up falling back down again.
Tne other part of climbing is going up rockfaces and this is probably the trickiest part. You have to select which limb you want to use and do your best to find a suitable hand or foot hold to help you up the face. Falling rocks are also a hazard that must be avoided.
If you want to use an object from the rucksack or one you are carrying then you have to switch on the pointer by pressing enter and positioning it over your rucksack or head as appropriate. The game can also be saved for completion later.
Graphics are colourful and large. Movement of the climber is jerky and slow. A tune plays at the start of the game, but in the game there are few effects.
If you like mountaineering or want to know more then you should find something of interest in this game. If not, then you will probably be disappointed since it's difficult to play and confusing.
As with submarine simulations, I'm not at all sure that this is a wise subject to write a computer game about. After all, it involves long days of moving around extremely slowly doing as little as possible except moving upwards. Granted, it may appeal to mountaineers or anyone looking for a long technically complicated task, but that is not a description of the average gamesplayer. Of curiosity value, but with too many gameplay flaws.
Conquer a difficulty two mountain.
Green scenery is no problem.
P. Good use of colour.
N. Bad animation.
N. Very little sound and what there is isn't very good.
Grab Factor 64%
P. Intriguing simulation.
N. Frustrating when you keep slipping down the slopes.
Staying Power 73%
P. Six levels of difficulty to play with.
N. Boring gameplay.
Likely to appeal to mountaineering enthusiasts only.