California Games – Synopsis (1987 Game)

California Games is another addition in the “games” series from software publisher Epyx. Like their summer and winter offerings California Games lets players participate in sporting events. This time out, they are more non-traditional, such as half-pipe skateboarding, surfing and foot bag.

The game allows for up to eight players to compete in rotation through either single events, a selection of your favorites, or all six events. A single event can also be selected to practice and gain proficiency The users can name their players and points are awarded for each event depending on how each player finishes. Once all events have been completed the total scores for all players are tabulated and a winner is declared.

The six events you can participate in are half-pipe skateboarding, footbag (also known as hackey-sack), surfing, boardwalk roller-skating, BMX bicycling and disk toss (Frisbee). All events have their own style and method to victory.

In the half pipe the player controls a figure on a skateboard and attempts to do skateboarding tricks on the half pipe rim and in the air, without wiping out. The player has a minute and 15 seconds to gain as many points as possible.

In footbag the player controls an on screen figure who can be maneuvered horizontally across the screen and made to turn 360 degrees. By kicking the footbag into the air and basically juggling with your feet you can gain points. More points are awarded for tricks and complex maneuvers. There is a time limit again of one minute and 15 seconds.

Surfing consists of riding your surfboard smoothly along the lip of the onscreen wave. One can perform tricks by launching off the top of the wave and landing the jump properly. The main goal is to go as far and as fast as you can in the allotted time in a risky position.

On the boardwalk the player controls a roller skater skating into opposing traffic. The boardwalk is littered with obstacles and is uneven and unfinished in many places. The goal of the event is to make it to the end of the boardwalk in the shortest amount of time while dodging objects in your way and doing as many tricks as possible. When controlling the player one can jump, duck and spin 360 degrees. The player is only allowed three falls before they are disqualified.

BMX biking is another event where the player races to the end of the course in the shortest time possible. Controlling an onscreen BMX biker one can do different tricks such as backwards and forwards flips off of large jumps and ramps. There are numerous obstacles that will throw you from your bike. The player is allowed one serious (i.e. falling on our head) or three easy (i.e. falling over) wipeouts before they are disqualified.

The flying disk event is the final challenge. The goal is to accurate through a plastic flying disk the length of a field to a catcher. The factors that affect the disks behavior are the amount of force one uses to toss the disk. Once it has been thrown control transfers to the catcher who must be positioned ready to catch the disk. Points are awarded on the distance the catcher must run. The closer you throw to the catcher, the more points that are awarded.

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