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

Other Links

Ciaran Brennan
Chris Bourne

Isn't summer a joyous season? The flies buzzing idly around your lunchbox; the kiss of the breeze against your sweaty forehead; sunburn and foreign tourists. Kinda puts you in the summer mood. So what have I got to review? Ah, The Games - Winter Edition. Great eh?

The LUGE is first. You have a choice of four tracks, each varying in meander-ratio (tight bends to you) and wibbliness (honk). The graphics are quite good, lots of shaded icy overhangs and the like, but it falls down in playability.

Next is the CROSS COUNTRY, playing over either one, two or five kilometre tracks. The idea, believe it or not, is to beat the pacer to the finish by skiing across the scrolling landscape. The inertia effects are pretty good, however - it's actually harder to go up a hill than go down, and so the playability rates quite high. Addictiveness is good as well, because the pacers add a competition element unavailable in the other events.

Third is the FIGURE SKATING, this is the most complex. You skate around in your skirt (yes skirt) performing all manner of flamboyant and poetical moves to impress the judges. Brilliant animation and realistic spins and female movements (honk!).

The SKI JUMP is next. This section is probably the most difficult. Jumping is no hassle but it's the landing that's the chore. Quite addictive, fairly playable. Graphics are similar to Cross Country (not very good).

Next is SLALOM, a combination of lightning reflexes and anticipation. This part has you weaving between scrolling flags in another effort to beat that pacer. The angle is a rough 30 degrees isometric view and the scrolling is fast, the gameplay good. You fault if you touch the edge of the course. crash into a flag, or run out of time - whichever way, you end up as a meaty snowball. Graphically this part is okay, but on addictiveness it scores very highly.

Then there's SPEED SKATING which is the most taxing. The animation of the central characters is good and realistic but the gameplay is a little frustrating when you bite the ice for the fourteenth time in two seconds.

Lastly is DOWNHILL. Gameplay is fast and fierce but the graphics we a terminal let down: blocky posts and mountains suspended unrealistically in a chronically blue sky.

So in summary, the games don't stand up well on their own, but together fit quite nicely with only the dreaded multi load spoiling their consistency. Addictiveness and playability seems to be smeared thinly over the seven, but they're certainly atmospheric and sharpened with nice user-friendly effects.

A varied compilation: good effects, varying gameplay - for sports addicts only.