Summer Events (Anco/Kingsoft) Review | Commodore User - Everygamegoing

Commodore User

Summer Events
By Anco
Commodore 16

Published in Commodore User #46

Summer Events

Stand up Udo Gertz. Face the camera, and take a bow. Enormous slaps on the back are to be given to the undisputed king of C16 games for creating what surely must be the best 'little' Commodore game yet.

They told Udo to stop when he'd programmed six events: "Leave it - let's launch it now... get it on sale now... let's many money." But Udo would have none of this. The German-based programmer who brought you Paperboy, Winter Events and many other top selling 16 games had a compelling ambition. It was to produce a sports sim so good on the C16 that it would make the Epyx fan club stand up and take notice. In all honesty, I have to say that Udo has achieved his ambition.

If more programmers would stick to their guns and insist on working on their games until they wanted them to be launched - we gamers would get much better quality products for our hard-earned cash!

In Udo's case it was an extra two events that were the sticking point. Anco would have been happy to launch the game with six events - Udo wanted you to have eight for your money, and eight is what you are going to get.

I don't want to be too hard on Anco and Kingsoft though. They are just as proud of the finished game as Udo must be.

At the recent Commodore Show Kingsoft's boss stabbed a finger at the Skeet Shoot event "See that... the game fills the whole screen... he's tricked the machine into forgetting about its legal border". This is the voice of a man who is proud of his company's game - not one who is thinking how much more he could have made out of it had it been launched at the height of the C16 boom.

It's a multi-load. It had to be really - but no matter, each and every event is well worth the wait.

The Skeet Shoot is a marvellous achievement. The play area fills the whole screen - like watching TV. Your crosshairs have a floating momentum of their own - so you have to compensate for the movement of the sights by pitching it slightly above or below the targets. Take out as many of the 'skeets' as possible - so speed as well as accuracy is what is being tested here. One of the best events.

Pole Vault: is also impressive. The animation of your athlete as he approaches the bar is nice and smooth. You are looking for rhythm here - rather than sheer madness yanking the joystick.

Weight Lifting challenges you to grab and then snatch the weight up - just like the real thing. The trick here is to pull the joystick back at just the right moment. It's timing that makes for success in this event.

Swimming is certainly the best animated event in Summer Events. Its quality definitely surpasses some of the lesser sports sims that have been produced for the C64. When your swimmer reaches the end of the pool he touches the side, turns, and then swivels back into the butterfly - just like Duncan Goodhew would. The graphics impress on this event as well - the swimmer's skin is darker under water than it is above. Playwise this event is also one of the better ones - you have to get the rhythm of the swim, making sure the swimmer rises above the surface to take in air before plunging back down and making his stroke. Excellent.

Kayaking challenges you to manoeuvre your canoe in and out of the obstacles against the clock. Again, getting the rhythm right is more important than shaking the guts out of your joystick. I like this - it makes the game a lot more challenging. After all, any idiot can yank his joystick back and forth.

Javelin is an event where you have to build up strength before you throw. I found this to be one of the more difficult events. The thrower has a tendency to release the javelin before you really want. It flies through the air nicely though, smooth scrolling, accurate trajectory. Again, every bit as good as javelin throwing on the C64 sports simulations.

Cycling offers equally impressive graphics and animation. Turn your joystick through 360 degrees to turn the wheels of the bike - as quickly as you can.

High Diving is your chance to fall like a swallow into the water - controlling your character with your joystick to make a perfect entry. C16'ers looked on enviously as C64 owners played a similar event in Epyx World games. Well, now they need be envious no longer.

Eugene Lacey

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