Tag Archives: sports games

short;Play: Olympic Games Tokyo 2020 – The Official Video Game

I’ve always loved a good multi-sport athletics game, right back to the good old days of Epyx’s “Games” series on 8- and 16-bit platforms.

With the 2020 Olympics being cancelled (sorry, “postponed”) due to the COVID-19 pandemic, there I was thinking there wasn’t an official video game out there. But there was! It came out in 2019 and is a Japan-only release, but has full English support. You can read more about it here.

Or you can watch me show off all 18 events to varying degrees of success in the video below, of course. Don’t forget to subscribe on YouTube for more.

Atari A to Z Flashback: Miniature Golf

Miniature Golf on the Atari 5200 is absolutely nothing to do with Miniature Golf on the Atari 2600.

It’s another unreleased game for the Atari 5200 that was a casualty of Atari not really knowing what they wanted to do with this console — and eventually canning it and its games altogether. Thankfully, we now get to enjoy this high-resolution physics puzzle for ourselves — and without having to suffer the original 5200 controller — thanks to Atari Flashback Classics!

Enjoy the video below, and don’t forget to subscribe on YouTube for more.

Atari A to Z

Olympic Games Tokyo 2020: The Game of the Games That Never Were

With a few exceptions, officially licensed video game adaptations of the Olympics tend to be little more than footnotes in video gaming history.

Often regarded by critics as collections of minigames rather than anything of real substance, they tend to enjoy a brief period of popularity around the time of the real-life Games they find themselves based on, then afterwards fall into complete obscurity, never to be seen again. Which puts Sega’s Olympic Games Tokyo 2020 – The Official Video Game (Tokyo 2020 hereafter) in a rather interesting position.

First releasing in Japan in July of 2019, a full year before the actual Tokyo 2020 games were set to begin, it now finds itself in the peculiar position of being an official adaptation of an event that never happened — and that, at the time of writing, we’re not 100% sure will happen as the global COVID-19 pandemic continues. Which makes it an interesting historical curiosity at the very least — but thankfully it’s also an entertaining game, too. Let’s take a closer look.

Continue reading Olympic Games Tokyo 2020: The Game of the Games That Never Were

Atari A to Z Flashback: Home Run

I live in a country where there have, for most of my life, been fairly strict rules in place saying that advertisers should advertise their own products rather than say how shit their competitors are.

It’s for this reason I always find it rather amusing when I come across titles like Home Run, and Intellivision’s rather mean-spirited attempts to make this game look as crap as possible next to their baseball game.

I mean, okay, Home Run is exceedingly simplistic… but as I’ve discovered a few times previously on this series, that can actually make sports games that I’d otherwise baulk at exploring rather more fun than expected! See the evidence in the video below, and don’t forget to subscribe on YouTube for more.

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Atari A to Z Flashback: Football

FOOTBALL! It’s time to play some FOOTBALL! YEAH!

Those of you who have been following this series for a while will be all to familiar with my general lack of experience with sports games — particularly those focusing on American sports. Despite my wife once referring to American football on camera as “shit rugby”, I hope I have at least given the impression that I am giving these games a chance!

If anything, I find the simpler, vaguer digital interpretations of sports — such as seen here in this very early American football game for Atari 2600 — a lot more palatable and understandable than the more realistic simulations we’ve had since the 16-bit era or so. So you know what? I didn’t have a terrible time playing this.

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Atari A to Z: Leader Board

Ah, golf. A good way to ruin a perfectly good walk, or something. Unless you’re playing it on your Atari 8-bit home computer, of course, in which case you don’t even have to get out of your chair!

Leader Board from Access Software wasn’t the first computerised golf game, nor was it the inventor of the power and accuracy meter system that many golf games continue to use to this day. But it did help to popularise the genre among home computer users, as well as cement a lot of conventions that have very much stood the test of time.

If you can play Everybody’s Golfyou can play Leader Board… in theory, at least. I can definitely do the former, so let’s see if the latter is true, shall we?

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Atari A to Z Flashback: Double Dunk

I don’t “get” sports games at the best of times, but throw in the need to select “plays” before you can do anything and my comprehension of what is going on goes right out the window.

Enter Double Dunk, then; one of the latest games to be officially released for the Atari 2600, and a game which takes the “playbook” approach to two-on-two basketball.

I do not fare well with this game. I do not fare well at all. But I try, very hard!

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Atari A to Z Flashback: Breakout

Bip! Boop! Bip! Boop! It’s an iconic sound of the late ’70s: a computerised simulation of some sort of bat-and-ball game. And few games of this type are more classic or influential than Breakout.

The Atari 2600 version of Breakout offers a variety of ways to play, including several multiplayer modes. This technically made the home console version a superior experience to the arcade machine… which is a phenomenon we wouldn’t really encounter again until roughly the Dreamcast era.

Anyway, Breakout for 2600 is a good time, particularly if you’ve got some friends to play with. If you’re flying solo, Super Breakout may be a better choice… but that’s a story for another day!

Find a full archive of all the Atari A to Z videos on the official site.

Atari A to Z Flashback: Bowling

With a few occasional exceptions, sports games these days tend to be limited to a few “safe” options.

You’ve got your football, you’ve got your American football, sometimes you have your golf; very occasionally you have your Olympics. But ten-pin bowling? I can’t remember the last time I saw a game based around that for a modern computer.

Back in 1978, however, developers were still working out what kinds of sporting rules and structure worked and didn’t work in the electronic space. I’ll leave it to you to decide whether or not Bowling for Atari 2600 does the noble pursuit of hurling heavy things at skittles justice!

Find a full archive of all the Atari A to Z videos on the official site.

Atari A to Z Flashback: Basketball

Sports games have always been a staple of video gaming. In fact, in the earliest days of the medium, they were a good source of basic rules and mechanics for designers to rely on.

Basketball for Atari 2600 was a noteworthy example of one of these early sports games for being an early title that didn’t require two human players. In fact, the single-player mode even claimed to offer an adaptive difficulty of sorts, with the computer player supposedly playing “better” if the scores were closer.

In practice, this mostly equates to the computer player running the wrong direction if he’s winning too much, but it was 1978… give them a bit of credit!

Find a full archive of all the Atari A to Z videos on the official site.