Get your skates on for Electric Dreams' gaggle of games that came in from the cold. Our own Highland games expert Dougie Bern flexes his frost bitten fingers to report on Winter Sports.
A compendium of eight games for Damart wearers, Winter Sports comprises of Slalom, Giant Slalom and Downhill Skiing, Ice Hockey, Bobsled, Biathlon, Ski Jump and Speed Skating. All will test you at the various skills, either against a mate or the computer through individual to team skills. So if you thought ski gear was just for breakdancing, think again. Settle down with a hot toddy and let's get on the piste.
This part of the game gives you a trio of trips down the snowy sward. All the events, Slalom, Giant Slalom and the Downhill are basically the same. Different degrees of difficulty and slight variations in objective sort out one slope from another. Essentially, though, they're all downhill obstacle courses with poles and gates to be threaded with skill, speed and style. You're going against the clock to get into the Highscore Hall Of Fame - so keep your turns as tight as those ski-pants! Alternative views are provided of your progress. There's also a control indicator - used with the speed indicator you can plan your shortest route.
This is all about cross country cruisin' on slippery snow with the added delight of shooting targets. Basically you have to cover the kilometres against the clock - but to be a winner, speed and accuracy of shot are necessary. And you can't fire your rifle unless it's loaded - but a quick flick of the fingers will immediately re-arm you. The other variation to this game is that stamina, rather than adrenaline and bravery, is the key resource. One for slow-blooded Swedes!
If all these Jean-Paul Killys give you the willys and the power surge of pumping things is more your scene then this section could be the one for you. It's against the clock, and you've got to skate - either against the computer or a slippery pal. Simultaneous views give you front and back elevations - but as the track is virtually circular with no obstacles or slopes then you could play this with one hand behind your back! The racers on the screen manage to skate like that. You can choose between five race distances ranging from 500 to 10,000 metres - each thigh sapping click is ticked off on the screen alongside the clock.
You can ping the puck against the computer or a friend. Try and find a friend - the computer plays a tough game! Each game is split over three five minute periods. The player graphics aren't hot - about ice temperature in fact. The teams come out more like a chorus from Holiday on Ice than a bunch of Paul Newmans in Slapshot. The pace is fairly genteel, but a basic simulation is provided - passing, rebounds and interceptions - but no bust-ups! Funny, that's what I remember ice hockey for!
Try this wall of death and you'll soon be out of breath! Like other elements in this package simultaneous screens give you different perspectives on your best game tactics. A combination of speed and control is your best bet. Now load up and bob's your uncle!
Hardly a giant leap for mankind or computer games. But this one's not as easy as it looks. Speed and control are what you need to score those winning points for distance and style. To fly through the air with the greatest of ease ain't the simplest thing on a pair of skis. Get it wrong and the graphics tell a gruesome tale.