Olympic Decathlon
By Alligata
BBC Model B

Published in Computer & Video Games #52

Olympic Decathlon

Now you too can follow in the steps of Daley Thompson without ever leaving the comfort of your own home.

Olympic Decathlon, which comes on disk, allows you to try your hand at all ten Decathlon events: 100m, 400m, 1500m, long jump, shot put, javelin, hurdles, discus, pole vault and high jump. There is a choice of joystick or keyboard control.

If you opt for the keyboard, you must select keys to control your left foot, right foot, and a throw/jump key. You compete in all the events using a combination of these three movements. Hurdling, long jump and high jump involves running and jumping, for example, the javelin means running and throwing, and so on.

Olympic Decathlon

You can also choose whether to practise each event individually, or take part in a full marathon. I strongly advise that you practise, because the technique in some of the events is hard to master, if not downright obscure. In each event you are told the qualifying time or distance, your own score, and whether or not you have qualified.

If you are very lucky, you may set a new world record. I set a world record in the javelin, and failed everything else.

It's an ingenious idea, but disappointing and sometimes tedious to play. Running in particular is wearying, the aim being to move your athlete's two feet as quickly as possible. There doesn't always seem to be much skill involved in achieving a high score, although in most of the events you can improve through practice.

But the graphics are good, and if you don't like to be beaten by a game, there's a lot of challenge.