Winter Olympiad '88

Reviewed by Ron Stewart


Issue 32

Mar/Apr 88

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Winter is upon us and we are in the middle of the skiing season. This year also happens to be Olympic year and the winter games are being held in Calgary, Canada. With this in mind, Tynesoft have released Winter Olympiad '88.

Included on the two game disks are five events. These are the downhill, ski jumping, slalom, biathlon and the two man bob. I mention five because other computers would appear to be getting six events. ST owners miss out on the speed skating. The two disks are chock a block so it would be difficult to see how they could have got another event on. You will even have to use another disk if you want to keep high scores.

On loading you can select up to six people to participate. They can each compete for a different country and the computer keeps track of the events with a medals table. You can also select to compete in all the events or any combination of the five.


The downhill is probably my favourite event of the five. The screen displays a large well animated skier from behind. On the way down the slope you will have to avoid the numerous pine trees as well as jumping logs and rocks. Getting to the bottom is no easy task and a lot of practice is required. Because the skier is directly in front of you and can obstruct your vision the view through his goggles is also shown at the bottom of the screen. A nice effect if you can handle both views at the same time, otherwise you will have to bob and weave a bit. The skier can be speeded up and slowed down by using the joystick. This means that once you have got the hang of the event then you can attempt to get faster and faster times.

The ski jump starts with your skier walking out to the top of the jump and strapping his skis on. He then proceeds down the jump and takes to the air. Your task is to ensure he jumps at the correct time and then control him while he is airborne. A good display will get you style points.

Slalom sees you winding in and out of the gates. The skier is very responsive and once again practice is required just to make it to the bottom. Control is unusual in that you can straighten the skier by pressing the joystick fire button.

The biathlon takes you through some beautiful country on you way to the firing ranges. The joystick has to be waggled left and right, but not in the wrecking fashion of other games of this type. Shooting takes a fair degree of joystick control and timing. You will have to judge the fine line as to waiting to get in a good shot or to take the time penalty if you miss.

The most disappointing event in the series is the bob sled. The start is good when the driver and brake man, with your joystick waggling assistance, run to get the bob going, but from there on things go downhill (sorry, but it had to come eventually!). The graphics are the poorest of all the events and the gameplay is not very exciting.

Winter Olympiad begs comparison with Winter Games. Of the two I would prefer the Tynesoft product. Although it has less events it is easier to play and has none of the joystick bending contortions of the older game. Graphically the Tynesoft game comes out in front as well, if only because the larger characters are a little easier to see.

If you don't possess a winter sports game and feel the need then I would suggest you go for Winter Olympiad.