Before I sink into the perilous task of reviewing this, there is just one question we need to ask ourselves. Do we need another in the games series? Let's face it, no. Evidently this hasn't occurred to Epyx, who assail the market yet again with the seventh in the Games series, The Games - Summer Edition.
To be fair, though not all the events are spanking brand new and original, they are all covered in a new way, or are just, in theory, executed a whole lot better.
In this little seven event bundle you get, and in no particular order or significance of rank: Diving; viewed as a side on (when isn't it?) you are given a lot more moves to choose from this time around. You can dive forward, you can drive backwards, you can change the springiness of the diving board. Hammer throwing; I thought Epyx had opted out of the joystickbusting events. Wrong. Waggle the joystick very fast, press fire, and then waggle the joystick very fast again. Nice graphics though.
Velodrome Cycling; boring. Watch two guys nailed to bicycles made from plates racing round and round on the inside of a bowl. Even more joystick waggling. Uneven parallel bars, swing gracefully. Glide smoothly. Slam your pelvis painfully into the opposite bar. Fall clumsily to the floor. Get laughed at. The rings; ouch. Try to perform flips and things while suspending yourself six foot above the floor by the use of two parallel rings You won't do it.
Hurdles; this is more or less as everybody else portrays it, only this time, fall once and you're out of the running.
Pole vault; this is unusual. The camera is strategically placed on the end of your pole during the run up, but then changes to a side during the vault itself.
The game uses the usual Epyx system of playing all or some of the games, and comes complete with an eight player facility, full opening and closing sequence and (disk only) the option to save world records to disk.
The other feature, which all Epyx products sadly have, is multiload. Oh no! This could have been a disastrous fault, if only there was a brilliant game for it to ruin. Sadly there isn't.
The Games - Summer Edition has suffered two great blows in its transition from other eight-bit formats. It looks poor and it plays badly. A lot of the sprites are very badly designed, and the background can cause a lot of problems, attribute-wise.
As for the playability, there just isn't any fun involved at all. Either the programming team at Epyx haven't fully realised the Spectrum's capabilities, or the humble Speccy just isn't built for Epyx Games.
Oh Well, maybe The Games - Sunday Afternoon Edition will be good.
Reviewer: Tony Dillon
Good in theory, but for some reason the game doesn't provide the goods.