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US Gold Ltd
1986
Sport: Action
£7.95
£2.99
English
ZX Spectrum 48K/128K
Multiple schemes (see individual downloads)

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30
Gwyn Hughes
Chris Bourne

The most interesting battle in the Winter Olympics has been the race between Electric Dreams and US Gold to win the Spectrum owners' gold. Electric Dreams was the first to the finish but this is not a mere race - there's scoring for style too!

Winter Games has only seven events while Winter Sports had eight. But of those three were almost identical and two of the new ones give me a feeling of deja vu as well. Both need to be loaded in parts, but Winter Games keeps this down to two and on the whole it's to say they manage better graphics.

The first side contains some great music but the four program second section is silent - a pity because the instructions refer to Free Skating to music. There are options to practice and compete in single events as well as all together and multi-player options.

Both programs compete in the Ski Jump and Biathlon events. While Electric Dreams versions are more sophisticated I preferred the latest two screen jump. The Biathlon is rather simplistic but at least it doesn't take an age.

There's also the obligatory joystick-wrecking Speed Skating about which what can say except 'Ouch, I've sprained my wrist!' Bobsled appears in both Games and Sports and the American team provide much less of a challenge than the English, who make you steer a proper course instead of just compensating for centrifugal force.

The other three events are unique to Winter Games. Hot Dog Aerials isn't flying frankfurters but a ski jump with stunts - looks like a good way to break your neck in reality! It's closest to the diving events in more summery athletics.

Figure and Free Skating are very similar, with one and two minute time limits to perform certain specified moves without going over on the ice.

Attempting a Double Lutz when skating forward will only prove that you're a total klutz! Though in the John Curry stakes these are more Mild Korma than Madras. I rather liked them.

In the end those all important style points go to Winter Games, mainly for the graphics and music, and if you must have yet another excuse for not going out and getting some real exercise, then this is probably the one.

7/10
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Screenshot Text

Further down the slippery slope of sports simulation software but make sure you jump at the right moment if you want to reach the second screen where aerial balancing is all-important.

Want to know why the skier looks so happy? He's just done a Back Flip, Forward Flip, a Daffy Swan (shouldn't that be Daffy Duck?) and a Mule Kick - and he landed standing. Hot Dog!

Ready, steady - Go! Are the joystick manufacturers of Britain really sponsoring events like this. The pace skater at the top goes so fast you'll destroy a stick every time you want to beat him.