Sinclair User16th July 1990
Published in Sinclair User #104
Daley Thompson's Olympic Challenge
As I recall, Daley Thompson came 11,000th out of 11,001 in the Olympics, so his real challenge was to get off the plane on the way home without anyone recognising him. But if the great Lucozade-guzzler's recent lack of athletic distinction doesn't put you off, Olympic Challenge is at least an unusual sports sim.
This budget re-release first appeared in 1988, when Daley wasn't such a crock - just to emphasise the fact, there's an advert for the September '88 Personal Computer Show on the title screen.
The sim itself is a bit unusual in that this time the gold medal isn't enough - you're out to beat the world pentathlon record, accumulating over 9000 points, which will make you the world's greatest athlete. Apart from the sporting events themselves, you get training session the results of which obviously effect your performance in the real thing.
There's a lot of multi-loading involved in the 48K version, though the 128K version loads in one go from side one of the tape. You have a choice of definable keyboard or joystick controls, and this is one case where keyboard may be preferable.
In all the events, the important factor is the amount of power you build up - for power, read key/joystick-pumping. In the training section, Daley's muscles expend with effort as you pump weights; in the track events, 100, 500 and 1500 metres, you pump to build up speed - in the 1500, once you're at cruising speed you don't have to pump so hard to maintain it.
In the remaining events - hurdles, long jump, shot putt, discus, javelin and pole vault - in addition to pumping you also have to hit the fire button at the right moment. The length of time it's pressed determines the angle of the jumps and throws, and to release the missiles you hit the fire button again.
All pretty standard jock stuff, then. The graphics and animation are decent, the scoring system straightforward and the sound passable. If you're a complete trainer-head you might as well add this to your sports collection, but even at £2.99 this isn't going to hold your attention much longer than it takes to say "The British lad done great, there he is coming in twelfth behind the cheating Germans..."
Decently designed but uninspiring sports sim.