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Winter Games (1985)            

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Details (Commodore 64) Supported platforms Artwork and Media
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Country of Release:
U.S. Gold Ltd
Sport / Athletics
Eric Knopp, Chris Oberth
Yes, required
Audio cassette or 5.25" floppy disk
UK (£9.95 cassette, £14.95 disk)

This title also appeared on the 'Epyx 21' compilation and U.S. Gold's 'Gold Silver Bronze'.

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Amstrad CPC
Commodore 64
Sinclair ZX Spectrum

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Atari 2600 (VCS)
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A Zzap! Sizzler

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Your Reviews

jup (Unknown)   24th Mar 2013 08:04
"Sleet and snow will not stop EPYX in their appointed duties to produce a great Winter Olympics Game."

The game starts out with the Olympic Torch being run up a small set of stairs and touching the hugh torch while the stadium of fans sit in the background under a slightly cloudy and blue sky, thus starting the Olympic Games. Then, some white doves are released into the air. (Sounds exactly like my intro for the Summer Games review.) But, this time, there is snow on the ground and the runner is wearing warm clothing. Plus, there are plenty of flags waving around in the background. And, the background even has snowy mountain ranges in it. What an improvement over the original.

Then, you get the basic joystick driven menu screen. Your options are:

+ Compete in all events (Play through the game, as you are suppose to.)

+ Compete in some events (Play only the ones you want to and avoid everything else.)

+ Compete in one event (Play only one game.)

+ Practice (Great for learning how to do things.)

+ Number of Joysticks (1 or 2.)

+ See world records (About the only true goal of the whole game.)

+ See opening ceremonies (The guy lighting the large torch with the small torch screen.)

Next, you get your choice of which country you wish to play for. There are seventeen different countries and the in-house one, EPYX, who made the game. (Press S when picking a country allows you to hear each country's song.) And, each one is identified by both the nations flag and their name. The game
supports one to many players, each taking turns. (Unless the specific event supports competition.)

For games, there are:

+ Hot Dog (Colorful backdrop with the audience, TV camera, mountains and the snow with the lip that the player must trick ski off of. There is a light hearted piece of music used for background.)

+ Biathlon (Multiple graphic rich backdrops are used for the many screens that this event requires. The objectives are for the skier/player to ski across a rural path that uses rugged terrain to reach areas where the skier/player has to shoot a rifle at several distant targets, then ski to another target area. A very nice effort was done on this one, even if the same three backdrops are used over and over. There is also the soothing sounds of nature, your heart beat...and a rifle going off.)

+ Speed Skating (By far, the worst graphics this game will get. It is basically you against an opponent, skating on blue ice. But, by using a split screen, the weakness found in the original Summer Games where you could fall off the side of the screen for being two slow has been solved. And, it is worth the price of losing the eye candy. Simply try to get the best time you can.)

+ Figure Skating (Nice backdrop with the audience and the many national flags. We have a woman with her skates, standing on a very hugh rink of ice. And, she must pull off move after move to the rhythms of a classical song. The screen will constantly scroll to the left so that she will not run out of screen room.)

+ Ski Jump (Nice pair of backdrop that also include a zoom box of the skier, to avoid fast movement on the screen and that queasy feeling.)

+ Free Skating (A complete rehashing of Figure Skating. Only real difference is that she is now dancing to a much more aggressive piece of music.)

+ Bobsled (Rich graphics all over the place. Plus, the game uses a three window approach. The left window is a large map of the course. The upper right is the snowy pipe that the bobsledders/player travel down. And the lower right is a sort of gage package that measures both time and sled speed. For added graphics, your bobsled will pass under a couple bridges.)

Which makes a total of seven Winter Olympic type games that can be played in Winter Games for the Commodore 64. (Even if Figure Skating and Free Skating are literally the same, exact game.) But, in comparison with the original, these seven games are, without a doubt, a major improvement in variety. (It should also be noted that each game requires 30 seconds or less to load. And, that Winter Games uses both sides of the disk. Whereas, the original Summer Games used only one side.) However, we still have to wait for Summer Games II before we get the Ending Ceremonies screen to make an appearance.

Graphics: 9 out of 10.

All the graphics look really fantastic. Unlike the original, there are very few recycled backgrounds. (Only in the Figure Skating/Free Skating and Biathlon games can that be seen happening.) Plus, there is plenty of action to go around. All the animations looks nice and smooth. The menu screens look OK, but were obviously cloned straight from the original.

Sound: 8 out of 10.

Each event has a few sound effects for certain things. There is the little background song that each event has placed somewhere in it. (A major advancement over the original, more silent game.) And, there are the short bits of music for each nation that is played during the player/country selection screen and the Gold/Silver/Bronze awarding screens. (Which hasn't changed one bit since the original.) Plus, there are the recycled couple of songs that play in various spots throughout the game.

Controls: 5 out of 10. (A mixed bag.)

Each event has its own set of joystick controls. Some are easy and understandable. But, others still suffer from the guessing or steep learning curve factors. And still, the game gives you no in-game instructions about what does what. Basically, you'll want the manual...or a whole lot of practice.

Overall: 9 out of 10.

Just like in the original, this game is best played with friends to compete against. But, the world records are still there (Saved between gaming sessions, as in the original.) for use as a goal if you can't find any friends willing to play this old game. The computer still does not provide an AI player to compete against. (Except in the places where it absolutely has to.) If you are the only human player, you will always win the matter how badly you did. The odd controls that some of the games use bring down the overall score and fun factor. But not as badly, this time around. Visually, this game is top notch. And, what an improvement it has been over the original game that EPYX has produced for the Commodore 64. But, just like this review, enough of the original game was obviously copied and used in the game.

Reviewer's Score: 9/10 | Originally Posted: 02/15/02, Updated 02/15/02

Issue 7, October 1985 (Zzap! 64)   18th Mar 2013 12:42

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This title was first added on 30th September 2011
This title was most recently updated on 24th March 2013

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