Track & Field (1984) Game Controls

CONTROLS
OPTION SCREEN
Game Select choose a one- or two-player game, choose difficulty level
Joystick Button or Game Reset begin playing
Joystick Left/Right + Joystick Button enter your initials
GAME SCREEN
JOYSTICK
Joystick Left/Right run
Joystick Button set angle, jump
TRACK & FIELD CONTROLLER
Run Buttons press alternately to run
Action Button set angle, jump

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.

BurgerTime Video Game Review (1982)

From the company that brought you Pac-Man, this is another cute and addictive game that is simple to learn yet challenging to play. An unusual concept to say the least, Burgertime is a truly innovative game. While it didn’t create a plethora of imitators like Pac-Man did (I doubt anyone ever considered making “Hot Dogtime”), it did catch the eye of thousands of quarter-happy video game fans looking for something different.

Men, women, and children all have reasons to like this game: Men will like the task-oriented aspect of putting burgers together; women will appreciate the nonviolent part of the gameplay; and children will love the cute characters.

Whether you’re a casual gamer or a seasoned (no pun intended) pro, you’ll probably get a kick out of Burgertime. You can simply stack burgers while avoiding or smashing bad guys, or you can use strategy by luring the frankfurters, eggs, and pickle slices on top of the burger pieces and dropping them for higher scores. You can also score big by setting up chain reactions.

Graphically, this game has a lot of nice features, like when the chef gets mad after getting tagged by a bad guy. Also, check out the hot dogs’ cocky strut. It’s a hoot.

Burgertime is well worth the price of admission. The only real problem is with the controls. Sometimes, if you are in a hurry, the pepper sprays the opposite direction in which you are trying to aim. But this doesn’t take a whole lot away from the overall gaming experience. Burgertime could just as easily have been called “Funtime”.

Graphics

The characters are extremely cute and well-animated.

Sound

After a marathon session of Burgertime, the music and sound effects will stay with you a long time. This is a good thing.

Enjoyment

This is a fun game for the whole family. It’s a charming and refreshing change of pace from all the shooters and maze games out there.

Replay Value

It’ll be a long time before you get tired of trying to best your high score.

Documentation

It’s fairly easy to find information on this game.

Kings of the Beach Review (1989 Game)

Kings of the Beach is a very entertaining volleyball game. With only two players per team and a side view of the court the action is easy to control. Graphics, sound, and controls all add to the overall experience.

Controls are simple and responsive. Characters move fast and will automatically dive if the ball is far away. When playing alone your partner is controlled by the computer. Your partner responds to your location and sometimes does not go for the ball when you think they should. Playing with a friend is better but after learning the game you will be able to anticipate a computer-controlled partner’s actions.

Practice and match modes are available but the tournament is the best mode of play. Computer opponents put up a good fight and will not be easily defeated. As you progress through each beach the difficulty level will increase. However, there is a trick to making the game easier. By locating both of your players near the net the computer will dig rather than spike the ball.

Graphics are very good. The beaches themselves look the same throughout the game but backgrounds for each beach change in order to represent each beach location. Players are not too detailed, though they are easily identified by the color of their shirts. Sounds are all good too. During play the ball makes a thumping noise when hit, the shaking of sand is heard as players brush off sand after diving, and crowds cheer after a point is scored.

If you like beach volleyball, or regular volleyball, then you will enjoy Kings of the Beach. This is a great game, possibly the best volleyball game for the Commodore 64.

Graphics

Backgrounds look great.

Sound

Fit the game well.

Enjoyment

The tournament mode is a lot of fun and the two-player option is always welcome.

Replay Value

Password feature during tournament is helpful.

Documentation

Florescent green pages put a strain on your eyes. The organization is not great either but a useful reference card is provided.

Romantic Encounters at the Dome Overview

The 1980s are the only decade that could have spawned Romantic Encounters at the Dome, a text game of sexual role-playing created by Southern California psychologists. Playing as a man or woman, explore your fantasies at The Dome, an exclusive club that’s like something you dimly remember from a Huey Lewis video.

It’s a pre-AIDS world of casual sex and New Wave girls doing coke where you look for love. Find the mate of your dreams – or someone who’s wild, co-dependent, or trying to make her gun-toting boyfriend jealous. Make important choices: are you in over your head? Should you wake Kitty after the drugs make her pass out in bed?

The writing’s top-notch, if you can get past the psychobabble (“you sense you’re making meaningful connections”). Unfortunately, the parser is awful, worse than Colossal Cave in making you guess words. You soon realize you’re basically stuck in a Choose-Your-Own-Adventure version of a Bret Easton Ellis novel. For another approach to life simulation, see Alter Ego.

Similar Games
Leisure Suit Larry in the Land of the Lounge Lizards
Alter Ego: Female Version

Mike Tyson’s Punch Out!! [PlayChoice] 1987

Mike Tyson’s Punch-Out!! is the story of Little Mac, a 107 pound underdog from the Bronx who wants nothing more than to be the World Video Boxing Association’s champion. The 17-year-old must fight his way through the ranks of three circuits before facing the man himself, Mike Tyson.

Along the way, he’ll face ten different opponents in 13 matches. The opposition is a varied group of comical fighters from all over the world, ranging from Glass Joe, a 110 pound weakling from France, to Super Macho Man, the 242 pound W.V.B.A. champion. Little Mac is greatly outmatched, so he’ll have to figure out the best strategies to counter the brute strength and tricky techniques of his opponents.

Each boxer has a energy meter that is decreased with every punch received. When a boxer’s energy meter is emptied, they hit the canvas. Matches can be won by either a traditional or technical knockout. A TKO is achieved when a fighter is knocked down three times in one round. Each round lasts three minutes.

Little Mac can block, duck, and dodge left and right. He can punch to the face and execute body blows. Powerful uppercuts can also be performed if Little Mac has a star. Stars are earned by catching your opponent off-guard.

Hearts keep track of how many punches Little Mac can throw, and his number of hearts decreases when he is hit or has one of his punches blocked. When he runs out of hearts, he becomes weak and cannot throw a punch. Only by dodging can he survive. If he is knocked down, pressing ‘A’ rapidly will make him get up.

When Little Mac becomes the champion of each circuit, he works out on the streets of New York with his trainer Doc Louis and receives a password that allows the game to be resumed at a later date.

Destiny of an Emperor Review

Destiny of an Emperor centers on the wars for unification in second century China, as fictionalized in the novel Romance of the Three Kingdoms. You guide Liu Bei and his allies as they attempt to bring peace back to China. The game differs from other RPGs in that instead of each character having hit points, they command a variable number of troops. In battle, you can choose from numerous options and tactics, as well as an “all-out” mode where the computer fights for you. Overall, this game is a good example of the innovation possible in a console RPG, with a level of depth and realism rarely found on the NES.

Altered Destiny PC Review

Altered Destiny offers solid puzzle gaming for adventure fans and a number of problems that keep it from being on par with the classics of the genre. As evidenced by the introduction sequence, Altered Destiny strives for a wacky humorous effect that, after the opening, seems to be only sporadically humorous, as if the developers forgot their original premise. Likewise, the storyline isn’t particularly interesting as, starting from the cliché setup, the story never really manages to captivate you. As a result, you play to get to the next puzzle instead of trying to see what happens next.

Nevertheless, Altered Destiny’s puzzles are quite good and go a long way towards making up for the so-so storytelling. The puzzles are difficult and don’t all rely on the “take object A to location B and use it” mold. They are logical. Enough so, that when you do finally figure out the solutions, you don’t feel like the game is cheating you by requiring unwarranted leaps of logic.

And the game’s text parser is remarkably versatile, with few instances where the parser is unable to interpret what you typed. In most cases, when you enter input incorrectly or when the parser doesn’t understand your command, it will come up with some sort of suggestion to help clear up the meaning.

This does come with a price, however, as the parser sometimes tries to guess your intentions. Typing in “look at thing” will result in the response “I don’t see the strange sign.” Trying to look at a device or contraption will result in similar results for the silencer and the machinery. This tendency to give away the identities of important objects is a bit disappointing, but not terribly damaging to the game’s fun factor.

The reason you have to use the word “device” or “contraption” to interact with items in the background is because the artwork isn’t particularly good, and the game suffers from washed out coloring. More than once, you’ll find yourself looking at something in the background and wondering about its identity. If the description of the room doesn’t give you any clues, you have to guess until you come up with a noun close enough for the game to respond.

Additionally, the game’s sound and music, while not hampering gameplay like the graphics, doesn’t really help it along either. The songs are filler music — short note sequences played repeatedly so the game can have sound playing in the background. After you quit, you’ll be hard pressed to remember any of the tunes.

In conclusion, Altered Destiny has the same gameplay as Sierra’s King’s Quest and Space Quest without the charm. If you’re a fan of the genre, play it after the classics. If you’re not a fan, playing Altered Destiny probably won’t change your mind.

Graphics

Poorly drawn and colored graphics sometimes make it difficult to tell what you’re looking at.

Sound

Forgettable music and sound effects.

Enjoyment

Lots of interesting puzzles are difficult but quite logical.

Replay Value

After you beat the game, the only reason to replay would be to explore every nook and cranny for the points.

Documentation

Basic documentation explains gameplay.