The Olympiads
Copyright/Publisher: Microvalue, Programmed by: Ian Davison, M.Hedley, Chris Murray &
Brian Jobling, Graphics By: Mike Owens & M.Landreth, Music: Ian Crabtree & Wally Beben,
Release Year: 1992, Genre: Multi Events, Number Of Players: 1 to 6

It's a decathlon, Daley, but not as we know it. Five summer sports, a six month gap, then five winter sports. You need to be an all-round athlete, and we're not talking Geoff Capes. James Leach fails to be excused from PE.

Global warming has thrown the season into total disarray. Nobody knows whether it is day or night, summer or winter, raining or slightly overcast put possibly clearing up later. Out of this maelstrom comes a game that can cope.

It's called The Olympiads and is a double-pack game for all seasons. The idean is that because both the Summer Olympiad and the Winter Olympiad are getting slightly long in the tooth (getting near to Janet Street Porter proportions, in fact), bunging them together and flogging them during an Olympic year would give them a whole new lease of life.

You've got to admit, this is a pretty sound idea, especially when everyone's got Barcelona fever. Right. Let's start with the Summer Olympiad. You get five challenging event to master here. So shall we wander along and have a look at the first, diving?

Here you man stands, petrified, at the top of what looks like a 200-foot drop into a rather small pool. When you're ready, he leaps off into the stratosphere. As he plummets, you've got to twiddle the joystick around at an enormous rate in order to do the turns, flips, wobbles, somersaults and other nonsense which impresses the judges.

After you splash in, the jury holds up cards with the ratings on them, and you retire to see your score (and attned to your nosebleed).

Next up, skeet shooting. I used to think skeet were wild birds, or little foxex or something, but apparently they're clay frisbees. You get two barrels of shot to blast into the sky at them, and direct hits rake in the points. It's rather nice 3D section, this. There's a crosshair which slides around the screen, and you've got to get it in the right area, but just a skight bit ahead of the disks.

After the fun firearms, try the frantic fencing. You step out on to a sort of squash court thing, dressed stupidly in a weird suit connected to a buzzer. If your opponent hits you with his sword (they're called epées - Ed) then the buzzer goes off and you lose the point.

You end up swinging your blade around like a lunatic, trying to stop your foe from prodding you in the chest. It's hardly the skillful approach as the judges want to see, but it's effective. With luck you mught even slash through your opponent's mask and hack his nose off as well. Max points!

Now it's time for hurdling. By now you won't be feeling like jumping over a load of hurdles, but it'd be rude not to, so off you go. It's a timing-related sort of waggler, this event, and you've got to keep concentration because it only takes one slip and you're tangled in a hurdle, then lying on the floor waiting until an ambulance arrives.

Finally in the summer event programme is the triple jump. This always looks dead ridiculous when you see it on the telly. I mean, who in their right mind needs it? It's not as if you often jump over three sets of electrified railway tracks, or three closely-spaced canals. Anyway, in this event you've got to waggle until your little fellow is running at full tilt, then time the jumping, bouncingbit so that he flies as far as possible, pedalling his little feet as he goes.

And that's it for the summer games. Each event works well, and there is mucho fun to be had from all of them, especially the shotgun and swordfighting events.

The Winter Olympiad offers another five bone-breaking sports, bobsleigh, slalom, downhill, biathlon and ski-jumping. Playable as either single vents or a tournament, they allow up to six sports fans to waggle their arms off in the fight for the gold gongs.

Ski-jumping is the human race's second most stupid sport (after the triple jump). You stand at one end of a long ramp, slide down it, hurl yourself into space, and then you aren't judged on the distance but style! Isn't living through such an ordeal reward enough? Antway, The Olympiads lets you have a basj at this terror trip. It's more Dick Tracy then Rainbow Islands, but it ain't that bad.

The first view's impressive, as the ramp trails off into nothingness ahead, but that's more for show than anything else. Then it switches to a side view, where you guide your brave young skier (or was that sucker?) gently towards the ground - or not, as the case may be.

Downhill takes the Outrun approach, but you have traded in your shiny red motor for two planks of wood that have been nailed to your feet. The aim is to survive a high-speed run through the trees and over the fallen logs. Steering by a goggle-o-meter at the bottom of the screen, you must guide your boy over, under and between obstacles to the base of the mountain in least possible time. Hit a conifer and you don't get another chance, so caution should win the day - but never does!

Slalom is a weird beast of a game, setting you the task of negotiating a series of coloured poles in the shortest possible time. Fine, you may think, but because your man is at such a strange angle on-screen all the controls seem to be in the wrong place - yanking the joystick to the left doesn't make him go left, but rather off on a strange diagonal bearing! It's a tough test, and despite being rather small, requires some deft and skillful touches to win.

Biathlon is one of those sports that mad people do. You know the ones, the type of geek who dresses in a yellow lycra and runs up small mountains carrying pianos. Biathlon isn't quite that daft, but is working on it! The aim is to waggle slowly but surely around a track and then stop every now and again to shoot at some targets. You can't exactly describe Biathlon as the most exciting sport, but as simulations of someone skiing 30 miles and then shooting at 15 targets go...

The bobsleigh is the only method of transport for the seriously suicidal. Leap into a metal buggy and blast down a flume of ice, steering and braking until you either reach the end, fall out or mess up big style. It's fast, it's fun and it's potentially fatal; bobsleigh is the best of the Winter Olympiads bunch.

None of the events stand out for the right reasons, but a few stand out for the wrong ones either. Many don't even register on the interest scale at all, which is a shame, as a lot of effort has obviously been put into the programming.


INTRO SCREEN

POWER RATING 62%
THE DOWNERS
Very few of the events have any real personality or excitement!

Loads of disk swapping and a massive multi-load to endure!

It's all just a case of waggle, waggle and waggle again.

And let's be honest, it's about four years too late!

THE UPPERS
A total of 10 pretty varied sports to try out and fall at!

Lots of 'minority' sports...

Good graphics give great atmosphere.

Gaining a gold for your athletic prowess is teasible even first time out.

Refreshing variety of perspectives and views.

Solid sporty compilation.

Step right up pardners, and choose your events. Shooting, running around, jumping in water and whacking people on the head with sharp prongs. It's all here.
And I thought fencing was putting up catproff barriers between people's homes, down the estate. Or am I thinking of freelance ice-skating?
The triple jump. Perfect for those who want to cross a park without stepping in dogmess.
I'm out of breath, I've skied three miles and you want me to shot accurately! Can't I use this grenade I brought along? Please?
This mountie seems to have lost this man.
Hmm. Something tells me they weren't too impressed with that last drive. Zeros right across the board, eh? Next time I'll land on the judges.
"We're in the pipe five by five". I haven't got a clue what that means but they said in Aliens and it sounded dead hard!.
He dives gracefully from 200 feet, only to realise halfway down that the water has been drained out of the pool, and has been replaced by rusty tin cans and old razor blades (gulp).

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