Winter Supersports '92
This is a collection of simulated sporting events set in a chilly cline and very much in the mould of Epyx 'Games' series, if any of you still remember that. There's Downhill Skiing, Bale Jumping, Bobsled, Giant Slalom, Speed Skating, Pro Ski Challenge and Skidoo Racing to try your hand at, but if you think that makes eight different events in total (and I can see how you would) you'd be wrong. In fact, there are only four.
How so? Well, the Bale Jumping and Speed Skating differ only because the former has a single row of hay bales to jump on its circular course, while the Bobsled and Luge are pretty much one and the same too, save for the modes of transport used to hurtle down the runs. There's more that these four events share too - they're all built as polygon block constructions. And it's to good effect too, though it must be said that, in each case, the racing actioon isn't racy enough.
As for the remaining events, these are presented in a more 'traditional' manner - that's to say, sprites and bitmap backdrops are used. That doesn't make the games any more individual, however. The three skiing events - reminiscent of the one seen in Epyx's Winter Games in many ways - are basically variations on the same thing, a selection of different courses where the player must dodge flags, leaving the Skidoo as the lone individual of the bunch, a real drop out from the Super Sprint/Supercars school of racing, with its every-which-way scrolling track, if ever I saw one.
As is often the case with these things, playing wintry events on your tod is not much fun, so it's nice to see that a maximum of six players can take part in a competition, with up to two of them on-screen simultaneously. (In the absence of a chum, the computer controls the second player and seems to take great delight in thrashing your pants off - a bore, if ever there was one.)
That's all there is to say really. The music's quite jolly and actually manages to come across as 'tele-aural', while the use of sound is adequate, if a lilttle inappropriate at times. The presentation's no big deal either, but it's better than nothing - preceding each event there's some big scrolly transparent lettering that moves across a snowscape (that's not bad) and a digitised animated sequence, usually involving a camera - though I can't help feeling the designers and programmers should have spent the effort providing more interactive playability instead. As I said, the multi-player element is Winter SuperSports '92's saving grace. Otherwise, there's nothing much worth broadcasting.
Still, if you do decide to pursue Winter Supersports '92, here's a tip to improve the atmosphere: take the lump of polystyrene used to fill out the packaging, break it up into little pieces and voila! Your own snow...
The Bottom Line
A high price to pay for what boils down to four different events. None of them are particularly involving or compelling, but there's fun to be had when more than one player is involved.