US Gold Ltd
1988
Sport: Action
£8.99
English
ZX Spectrum 48K/128K
Multiple schemes (see individual downloads)

36
Chris Jenkins
Chris Bourne

As usual, what you can expect from Games - The Winter Edition is a selection of joystick-waggling events, only this time in the snow and ice, rather than on the running-track. This means that the graphics have a lot of white in them.

So. having covered practically every other sporting event know to Man in earlier games, what's left to try out in The Winter Edition? We sent fearless sportsmen Ploppy and Plippy to see.

The Luge. Always good for a laugh ("You want the luge? You should have thought of that before you came out!"), this bobsleigh-like event has the best graphics of the lot. Speed along the track through a series of flip-screens, adjusting your position and rate of drift in order to steer the best course.

Cross Country. A bit too similar to the Biathlon in Winter Olympics, this involves you skiing up slopes and along the levels to the finishing flag. This is 8 test of co-ordination, with two contestants shown simultaneously in a split-screen effect. Backgrounds and characters here are pretty poor.

Figure Skating. With a choice of three pieces of background music, you select the spins and jumps you want to perform.

Once you move to the ice rink itself, you are marked on your artistic interpretation (how well the moves fit in with the music) and your technical excellence (how few times you fall on your bot).

Ski Jump. just what you'd expect. First a view of the slope, then a goggle-eye view as you try to keep your skis lined up, then the final plunge off the end of the slope and flight through the air (or landing spreadeagled in the slush if you don't hit the fire button at the right time).

Downhill. Pretty unexceptional; you push off from the top of the slope, then switch to an eyeball view of the gates coming between you.

Steer left and right to get between them. Ho-hum.

Speed Skating. This is a bit more original; a top-down view of the race rink, with insets of the competing skaters. Get into the right rhythm and you'll speed along the track; get out of step, and bob's your monkhouse. you're on the floor in a hail of clippings.

Slalom. Quite good fun; ski diagonally down the course, avoiding the flags. Unless, of course, you want to turn into a giant snowball.

You can choose up to eight players, each with a name and country, and select which events to practise or play.

Before the games there's an opening ceremony, after each round there's a medal ceremony, and at the end there's a closing ceremony.

While these are quite well done, you won't really want to see them more than once.

There's plenty in Games - The Winter Edition, but none of it is done staggeringly well, and we've seen most of it in other titles. It's nice to see a new compilation for fans of sports simulations, but this isn't one of the best.

Label: US Gold
Author: Sentient Software
Price: £9.99
Memory: 48K/128K
Joystick: various
Reviewer: Chris Jenkins

Competent, but unremarkable, selection of snow sports sims.

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