Winter Games was first reviewed way back in AA3 and won a Rave. Now it has returned in a bumper sporting bundle complete with Summer Games and Summer Games II, neither of which has previously appeared on CPC.
All three come on separate disks/tapes and the events are loaded individually. There are 23 events, eight in each of Summer Games and Summer Games II, and seven in Winter Games.
With each of the three games you have a menu of options that consist of: Compete in all events, Compete in one event, Practice, See world records, Controls and Opening ceremonies. The opening ceremonies are pointless but a nice touch nonetheless and the controls option allows you to redefine the keys. It's best to use practice first to get you used to each of the events and then go for play one event When you think you're ready you can go for the whole thing and play all events. If you do well enough then you get into the world records.
Up to four people can play and before you start you have to enter your name and choose a country. Summer Games consists of the pole vault, diving, 4X400m relay, 100m dash, gymnastics, freestyle relay, 100m freestyle and skeet shooting: Summer Games II has the triple jump, rowing, kayaking, javelin, high jump, fencing, cycling and equestrian; and Winter Games has figure skating, free skating, speed skating, hot dog aerials (ski stunts), ski jump, biathlon and bob sled. All that lot should be enough to exercise the most chair-happy of athletes!
Few of the events are waggle games and different approaches are needed to complete each. Many rely on you getting into the rhythm and moving the joystick in a particular pattern, whether left/right, up/down or even in a circular motion. Other events require fast reactions - such as the skeet shoot, for example, in which you have to hit clay pigeons (I didn't know pigeons were round and flat!).
Winter Games has the best graphics by far, but the graphics in the other two games are still pretty good. Some of the animation is a bit flickery and the graphics are a little small in the two Summer Games, but there are no such problems with Winter Games. The national anthems of the country you represent are played well and there's also a good tune on the opening ceremony. Sound effects are terrific too.
Because of the vast price difference there should really be two ratings for this game, one on tape and the other on disk. £25 for a CPC disk game is a lot of money - it's more expensive than most 16-bit software. There are three disks, but that's not enough of an excuse. The problem with multi-load games of this type, though, is that a disk version is almost essential unless you don't mind spending more time loading than playing the game.
Lots of events, plenty of variation and loads of money.
Winter Games was one of my favourite waggling compendiums, and I'm pleased to see it again. Summer Games also comes up to the same high standard in its graphics and gameplay, though the sound isn't quite in the same class. Summer Games II is the runt of the litter, and appears rushed, with some very poor graphics and dull content.
I suppose at the price it's reasonable value, but I doubt many will be attracted to the idea of committing themselves so heavily to one theme. If you get this little heap home and find you don't like what you see you're in trouble!
The fact is, however, that most people who do buy Gold Silver Bronze will feel happy with then-purchase.
Get into the world records list for all events in one game.
P. Winter Games still has excellent graphics, even after two years.
N. Other graphics are not up to the same standard.
P. Some excellent tunes in all three games.
Grab Factor 64%
P. Competing against other players adds to the enjoyment.
N. Boring with only one player.
Staying Power 71%
P. Loads of different events to play.
N. Irritating pauses when waiting to load from tape.
N. Multi-load on cassette and high price on disk are severe disadvantages.