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Automata UK Ltd
Andrew Stagg
Arcade: Action
ZX Spectrum 48K

Other Links

Chris Bourne

Automata, never laggards for a bit of topicality, have taken the noble sporting event known to the sane world as the Olympics, and turned it into a travesty of running, jumping and swimming. The Piman, having recovered from his drunken binge in Pi-Eyed and the bouncing balls of Pi-Balled, has taken himself in hand and is going for gold.

Olympimania offers the average armchair pimaniac not three, not four, but an astonishing FIVE events in which to compete. The Pijump, Alpiskiing, Steepichase, the Pitathalon and, for a soggy finish in the Olympi pool, the Butterpi. The game takes the form of a platform game (of sorts). In all but the last event, each screen contains four layers.

Along each the Piman, suitably attired for the particular event, must travel, jumping over obstacles, avoiding the faster competitiors by jumping and letting them pass underneath, and thus finish the screen. A following screen offers more hazards. Should the Piman achieve a high score (per frame) and get a bronze, silver or gold medal, he may mount the winners' rostrum.

Between each event, there is a screen set in a crowded auditorium with the rostrums in the centre. Medal winners get to take their places, failed Pimen dash over the rostrum to collapse in a fit of tears and ground thumping on the other side, while the crowd behind applaud.

The game is compatible with the Currah Microspeech unit which offers amplified sound and an intoning voice saying, 'On your marks, get set, GO!' It also announces the name of each event in which the Piman is about to take part. The Pijump involves jumping over hurdles while avoiding another jumper and an overflying bird. In ski-ing there are fir trees and the same other mad competitor.

Steepichasing sees him mounted on a prancing horse with fences to jump and another rider. In Pitathlon he has to leap weight lifters and then compete against other swimmers in the Butterpi.

Unfortunately the Piman's swimming lane is monster infested, but he may dive under them once per length. It's all quite silly and charming.


'First and foremost, Olympimania is quite hard, but, most of all, it is fun. A thoroughly enjoyable piece of silliness that actually works as a good game. Timing is tricky, especially when you complete a level and drop down to the next to find the maniac other competitor knocking you off your feet. Needless to say there is also a free hit single to enjoy while playing, as it says. a choral extravaganza The Piland International Anthem. which starts off with Martin Luther King's 'I have a dream' speech. Dreadful!'

'Mother crazy game from Automata that has no real purpose in life! The game is quite enjoyable at first but then sheer frustration takes over in the struggle to get gold in each. The graphics are very detailed, smooth and fast -but there are some odd-looking birds! Skill takes a back seat to luck in this game - but then that's what the Olympics are like really! It's great fun to play, but I don't really know whether it's to be recommended as a serious game. Still, if you know Automata you 'll probably be prepared to take the risk.'

'Each event is nicely done, and I particularly like the between event screen with is animated crowd, and touches like the advertising hoardings around the side proclaiming Kempston and Currah. The Piland International Anthem is awful and, as usual, in simply excruciating taste - it'll probably make number one. Good value on the fun level, not really an arcade addict's long-term game.'

Controls keys: 0 speed up. 6 slow down, 8 jump or dive
Joystick: Kempston
Keyboard play: simple and responsive
Use of colour: good
Graphics: very good, smooth and fast
Sound: fair
Skill levels: three difficulties by screen on each vent
Lives: calculated as the three difficulty levels, ie Bronze, Silver and Gold
Features: Currah Microspeech compatible
General Rating: Zany, silly, almost certainly worth it if you're a Pimania, generally quite hard, not madly addictive.


Screenshot Text

On your marks, get set, Go - and the Olympimaniacs are off.