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