Sega Master System / Mark III / Game Gear
It's time once more to put on those Linford Christie skin tight running shorts and your Nike trainers, and show the world your athletic prowess in this Sega conversion of the ancient Epyx multi-event joypad-bashing sports simulation.
Summer Games features five events: the 100m dash, the pole vault, gymnastics, 100m freestyle swimming and the high dive. Each can be completed in turn, or can be played separately. Points are awarded for performance, with the medals being dished out for first, second or third place.
The competition is tough, and with one to eight players being able to participate, you've got your work cut out to grab a medal. But with hard work and lots of training, you too could become one of the great pentathaletes of the gaming world.
Summer Games was originally released for the Commodore 64 and Atari 8 bit computers way back in 1984. The game was very successful, and Winter Games, World Games, Summer Games II, World Games, California Games, and The Games: Summer and Winter Editions were released on home computer. So far only Summer Games, California and World Games have been released on the Sega - but maybe the rest will follow. We'll keep you posted.
This pits you directly against a computer or human opponent, and requires plenty of fast, rhythmic fire button bashing to ensure maximum speed.
Tricky one, this. Once you have started running, you have to gauge correctly where you have to drop the end of the pole in order to flip yourself over the bar.
Just a case of pressing the pad to throw yourself into the pool, then bashing the fire buttons for all you're worth. At the 50m mark, your swimmer flips over, ready for the return to the start.
This is split into four separate parts; the forward dive, the back dive, the inverse dive, and the back inverse dive. You've simply got to do as many somersaults as possible and enter the water straight to ensure maximum points.
Simply press the button to start you running, then press the button to vault from the springboard onto the horse. Then flip yourself over to land upright on the mat.
Unfortunately, as far as the Sega is concerned, the Games series has gone on the decline. Starting with the excellent California Games (which still ranks as one of the best Sega games ever), and the rather ordinary World Games, and now continuing with this, which, I'm sad to say, is the worst of the three. Small, blocky and somewhat deformed sprites jerk around plain and boring backdrops to the sound of flat, totally inappropriate tunes, altogether crushing any thoughts of taking part in the next Olympics. With only five events, the interest is held for the first few minutes, and not even enhanced with more than one player. Even if you're desperate for a Track and Field game for the Sega, steer well clear of this.
I'm a huge fan of California Games, and had high hopes for the rest of the Games series. However, World Games was just average, and things have taken a turn for the worse with Summer Games - it's terrible. The graphics are small and have little detail, and the backdrops are bland beyond belief - surely there was scope for some amazing animation here. The gameplay is very dull, most events requiring simple button-bashing to succeed, and those that don't are easily mastered. Even if you're a big fan of sports simulations, you'll more than likely find this very disappointing.