WINTER OLYMPIAD '88by Frank Lemmen
In this time of the year, the Olympic fever strikes again. After
four years, the games are now held in Calgary, Canada. This is
also the place where the game called "Winter Olympiad '88" takes
place. Now that all sports hippies are getting high from the real
Olympics and they hope that the chanook stays out - if it comes
the snow will melt (gna,gna). On our computer game, the snow
never melts so we can play the Winter Olympics whenever we want.
Like I mentioned earlier, the real Winter Olympics and our own
computer Winter Olympics are held at Calgary.
Calgary is a town in the Canadian province Alberta. The regular
population of Calgary is 505.600 people, but now the Olympics are
there, the population is 1.000.000 people and still increasing.
Calgary is famous for the Calgary Stampede which is held every
jear. Calgary got its city rights in 1893.
After this historical information, I shall start my review of the
Winter Olympics '88
The game is a sport simulation of the Winter Olympics in Calgary.
It is published by the British software house Tynesoft. Its code
was written by Chris Robson, the graphics were drawn by Paul
Drummond and the music was composed by Wal Beban.
The games comes in a package with two disks, a very small manual
and a card with all Olympic records of the games in '84, which
were held in Sarajevo.
If you start the program, you will hear the nice music and you
will witness the opening screen with the credits of the
programmers. After that, you'll be asked if you want to load the
old world records. Next, you will be asked how many competitors
are (up to six can play) present to play.
After that, the competitors must type in their names and they may
make a choice out of 18 countries which banana republic they want
to stand for.
Next, the player(s) will be asked in which of the sports they
want to compete. They can choose from:
The opening ceremonies are quite sober; you'll see a crowd of
people hold the boards on which the name of the game stands.
Downhill is very difficult to do; you actually have two sight
screens and it is difficult to choose on which screen you'd
better look. The main screen lets you see the athlete on the
back. The second - much smaller - screen lets you look through
the skiglasses of the athlete. Personally, I like to look at both
screens at the same time, but this is very difficult - may be
that is the reason I never reached the finish. On your way down,
you'll find lots of obstacles created by mother nature herself. I
hope that these obstacles are removed on the real Calgary track,
our computer sportsman can survive such crashes, but it remains
to be seen whether real athletes will leave such a track
unscathed (they will more probably end up with broken bones in
the weirdest parts of their bodies - even in places where they
had not expected any bones to be!).
While you're actually racing downhill, you must avoid trees
(fallen or still erect) as well as rocks. The 3D effect is really
The next event is ski jump; on this event, you must try to fly as
far as you can with those skies. On top of the tower, it's an
awful and sometimes painful way down. If you press the button,
our daredevil comes out of the hut and is ready to die for you.
If you press fire again, our foolhardy suicidal hero starts his
run down the tower. When you press the button again, he jumps
into the unknown. After that, you must correct the skies of our
hero so that he can safely land (I did it one time after 20
jumps). In most cases, he breaks his back and after you press the
button again he is healed for the next jump.
The most striking part (technically spoken) is the excellent
dual-speed horizontal scrolling. Flawless!!
The fourth event is biathlon; this is a sport which consists of
two sports - these are 'langlaufen' and target shooting. In the
last sport I'm a crack because I'm a military sharpshooter (did
you notice my modesty there?). With the best hopes, I started the
game. After a while of bouncing my joystick to the left and to
the right I reached a shooting point where five targets were
ready to be blown away. My trigger finger felt itchy but the
sight was drifting around; I started correcting it but this was
rather difficult to do. If my UZI or my FAL reacted that way, I
would not be able to shoot cow from 1 metre distance. So, after
this first disappointing round, I started skieing (I hope it's
properly spelled - if not, write angry letters to our
correspondence address and blame Richard. After all, he was
supposed to check my English) again. After a few more shooting
rounds, I started to get the groove and shot everything. But the
next screen I saw was the finish so I had to go on to the next
The next event is Slalom skieing. This event is exactly as
difficult as the downhill race. The diagonal scroll that the
program uses is very good. You must slalom your way down between
the ports. This is a very difficult job to do, because the
steering of the joystick is hypersensitive if you steer a little
to the left you are a dead man and if you steer a little to the
right you are starting to kiss the trees and that is a deadly
The final event is the most entertaining event this is the
bobsled. I find this sport so exciting because it's a combination
of speed and precision if you make one mistake it can be your
death and the hatched man and his angel of death come to get your
soul. At the start you must move your joystick very fast
to both sides to make speed. If the speed of 24 is reached, the
two men climb inside the bob and start the race. If you reach a
curve, you must steer to the opposite side of that curve. If you
don't do this, your bob goes off the track and that's the end of
the race. If you're going too fast you can use the brake by
pressing the button on your control stick. On the main screen you
can see the the 3D view of the track. In the upper right corner
you see a map of the track.
If you have played all the events, the computer will tell you who
is the best overall player.
The game is well programmed. The music is good, but if you go
from one event to the other, the intro music comes back every
time - this is very aggravating. The graphics are well drawn,
too. The program is a good rival of the programs like Epyx'
"World Games" and "Winter Games".
P.S. The game comes with a contest with which you can win a
Winter Olympics holiday in the aforementioned city. You have to
be kinda quick, though, since Calgary started several days ago...
Name: Winter Olympiad '88
Value for Money: 7.5
Price: 69.50 Dutch Guilders
Overall Rating: 7.5
Thanks to Mr. Harry van Horen (Homesoft) for the review copy.
The text of the articles is identical to the originals like they appeared in old ST NEWS issues. Please take into consideration that the author(s) was (were) a lot younger and less responsible back then. So bad jokes, bad English, youthful arrogance, insults, bravura, over-crediting and tastelessness should be taken with at least a grain of salt. Any contact and/or payment information, as well as deadlines/release dates of any kind should be regarded as outdated. Due to the fact that these pages are not actually contained in an Atari executable here, references to scroll texts, featured demo screens and hidden articles may also be irrelevant.