Eidos Summer Athletics

Go for gold

  • Review
  • Specs
  • Images
  • User Reviews
  • Buy Now 5
Eidos Summer Athletics
  • Eidos Summer Athletics
  • Eidos Summer Athletics
  • Eidos Summer Athletics

Pros

  • Career and character-creation modes, excellent graphics

Cons

  • Sports nerds may complain about definition of 'athletics', unevenness, disappointing multiplayer mode

Bottom Line

Fans of licensed products will be better served by Sega's official Olympics game, but Summer Athletics is a simple, low-cost alternative that will provide hours of old-fashioned fun, with the bonus of excellent graphics and career modes.

Would you buy this?

  • Buy now (Selling at 5 stores)

See all prices

If the success of our Australian team at the Beijing Olympics gave you a taste for sporting glory, 49Games's well-timed Summer Athletics could be right up your street.

Conspicuously lacking in official Olympics branding, Summer Athletics is nevertheless a fun, varied game that evokes the spirit of the event in a cheap and cheerful way.

A sports nerd in the PCA offices (who shall remain nameless) insists that diving and archery don't count as 'athletics'. Thank goodness, then, that the developers took a wider view — these fringe disciplines are the most enjoyable parts of the game.

The fiendishly tricky diving in particular pushes things into the currently more fashionable realms of rhythm gaming (you have to hit sequences of buttons at key moments to pull off the moves, as in Guitar Hero), as opposed to the straightforward button bashing that drives most of the running and swimming.

Not that button bashing is entirely a bad thing. There's nostalgia value here, for a start. Fans of old-school track-and-field simulations will be pleasantly familiar with Summer Athletics' general principles: hit the left and right keys as quickly as you can to go as fast as possible. They'll also know how surprisingly addictive these techniques can be. Chuck in some superb graphics, an impressive range of sports and the variety offered by the more complicated events mentioned above and you have a winning formula.

There's some unevenness in Summer Athletics, however, as tends to be the case with portmanteau sports sims. The swim races, for instance, are very easy indeed — we sliced 17 seconds off the world record in our first, wrist-destroying attempt at the medley relay.

The team cycling, on the other hand, is bafflingly hard — as with several other events, the instructions make little sense. But you can adjust the difficulty levels in Summer Athletics, and it's actually nice to have a couple of events that are immediately accessible and others that reward prolonged practice.

A more frustrating issue is the disappointing multiplayer mode, which could have been the game's trump card and the saviour of the track events. What you want here is for all parties concerned to be allocated two buttons on the same keyboard and then tap away at once — hey presto, you've got a nicely raucous party game. Instead, with Summer Athletics you have to take it in turns.

Finally, the long-term appeal of Summer Athletics is improved by the inclusion of career and character-creation modes, allowing you to edit your athlete's name and appearance, gradually improve his or her athletic skills and unlock achievements.

Join the PC World newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.

Most Popular Reviews

Follow Us

Best Deals on GoodGearGuide

Shopping.com

Latest News Articles

Resources

GGG Evaluation Team

Kathy Cassidy

STYLISTIC Q702

First impression on unpacking the Q702 test unit was the solid feel and clean, minimalist styling.

Anthony Grifoni

STYLISTIC Q572

For work use, Microsoft Word and Excel programs pre-installed on the device are adequate for preparing short documents.

Steph Mundell

LIFEBOOK UH574

The Fujitsu LifeBook UH574 allowed for great mobility without being obnoxiously heavy or clunky. Its twelve hours of battery life did not disappoint.

Andrew Mitsi

STYLISTIC Q702

The screen was particularly good. It is bright and visible from most angles, however heat is an issue, particularly around the Windows button on the front, and on the back where the battery housing is located.

Simon Harriott

STYLISTIC Q702

My first impression after unboxing the Q702 is that it is a nice looking unit. Styling is somewhat minimalist but very effective. The tablet part, once detached, has a nice weight, and no buttons or switches are located in awkward or intrusive positions.

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?