Hunchback At The Olympics
Copyright/Publisher: Software Projects, Release Year: 1985,
Genre: Athletics, Number Of Players: 1 or 2

Dismal attempt at joystick-waggling sports action.

This is a conversion of an arcade game of the same name. You may not have seen the arcade original and after viewing this reasonably accurate copy you'll kmow why. It bombed.

The original game was released to cash in on the sports simulation boom caused by Konami's Track and Field. Now released for the 64 after Decathlon, Summer Games and Hesgames it seems rather pointless exercise. Especially since it's a terribly inferior example of the genre.

The idea of is to go through eight events of a decathlon, qualifying for each event by reaching a set standard. You do this by either hammering at a key or moving the joystick backwards and forwards as fast as you can. The faster you do so the faster the hunchback will run, throw or jump. In the field events you also have to time a jump or throw at the right moment.

The eight events are: 100m sprint, long jump, shot put, discus, javelin, 110m hurdles and high jump. Each one requires a reasonable speed to qualify, although in the field events the speed of runup is rather erratically judged: sometimes you have the maximum speed and perfect angle to takeoff and you won't qualify.

Graphics and animation are pretty appalling - for example, none of the things thrown follow a realistic trajectory. Another laugh is at the long jump. Hunchy runs up to the board, makes a little jump and sails along about a foot off the ground on a perfectly horizontal plane until he lands.

In between screens, if you qualify, Esmeralda will come and give you a great big smackerooni. If you don't qualify there's an amusing screen where Hunchback is attacked by something or other. The first time you see this is quite funny, the second time yawn, the third aaagh and after that the temptation to reach for the off switch is huge.

Julian Rignall
Certainly should have a XXX rating just for the mental effect of sitting through the 'funny' screens a few times (new definition of the word funny). Rubbishly gameplay, pathetic graphics and boooring sound gives this something special amongst the elite ranks of Zzap tackles. Tres, tres horribles.
B.W.
Aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaargh! Just when I thought tacky Decathlon games were finished they come up with this. I found nothing new to it and the humourous interrupt screens became unfunny very quickly. We all like Decathlons but I'd prefer even DT's to this.
Gary Penn
I didn't think that it was possible to get any worse then Daley Thompson's Decathlon... until I'd seen this. Small, tacky graphics combined with atrocious sound and bad gameplay makes me wonder why Software Projects ever thought, to use the Hunchback name in the first place.

INTRO SCREEN

PRESENTATION 55%
Humorous interludes annoy after a while
GRAPHICS 38%
Ridiculous main character animation even for a hunchback.
SOUND 31%
Bad event noises and tacky tune on high score and title screen.
ORIGINALITY 10%
Another decathlon gameyawn bore..
HOOKABILITY 37%
Waggling fans may get some pleasure from sussing events.
LASTABILITY 22%
The humour and events will rapidly bore you.
VALUE FOR MONEY 24%
Even at this price it's old and bad.


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