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Ocean Software Ltd
Sport: Action
ZX Spectrum 48K/128K
Multiple schemes (see individual downloads)

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David McCandless
Chris Bourne

Naturally this game is a waggler. And what a waggler! An hour of this game left me drenched with sweat and with blurred vision, friction burns, wrist-cramp, and throbbing arm muscles. People were looking at me very suspiciously.

The action begins in the gym, where you're out to beat the clock and guzzle the lucozade in preparation for the big event, Decathlon Day. There are three exercises (in order of painful-ness): weight lifting, sit ups and squats. You are given a measley minute for each exercise and when all the tortures have been completed, you are presented with a fitness percentage (about 3% in my case) which is carried over to affect your performance (fnurk) in the next part.

The next part is day one, and contains six events: the hundred metre waggle, the four hundred metre waggle, the waggle-putt, the high waggle the long waggle and the hundred and ten metres hurdle-waggle. All of which involve, surprisingly, a substantial amount of waggling.

The running events are set against a smoothly scrolling stadium backdrop, conveniently plastered with Adidas adverts. A now small but brilliantly animated Daley bounds along the track to the tune of your frenetic waggling. Unfortunately, there's no distance indicator (so you don't know how far you've come) and the speed of Daley's step doesn't change as you pump more and more power into your joystick. So you have to maintain a more or less constant waggling velocity to ensure you qualify and don't loose one of your three lives.

The high jump has Daley poised at the corner of the screen, waiting until you have built up enough power. When you have he's let loose and duly flips over the bar - all you have to do is sit, watch and massage your wrist. But in the long jump you have to waggle perspire and punch the fire button when he reaches the pit. Very difficult but very challenging; and Daley's palsic leap into the sand is very realistic.

When you've finally qualified for all the events and bandaged you hand, it's off to load Day 2 and the last four events. They are the discus, the pole vault the javelin and the dreaded 1500 metres.

Gameplay is as before, but a special mention must go to the Pole Vault, which is incredibly difficult, but great fun.

The graphics are impeccable. Right from the start Daley really looks like Daley, and really moves like Daley. The animation and other characters are faultless.

But the gameplay is so monotonous. All you do is waggle. And if you can't waggle very well (oough!) then you soon become dispirited and annoyed with the game when you can't get any further. In the original, timing and finding the correct angle was involved but in this version all you do is waggle, waggle and then waggle some more.

And it hurts.

A challenging, difficult sports sim with outstanding graphics but one track waggling game-play.