Old Games Revisited: World Games

WorldGamesGame: World Games
Genre: Sports / Events
Format: Commodore 64
Media: Tape or Disk
Year: 1986
Developer: Epyx
Publisher: Epyx

As the years roll on, there are video games that have aged well and others that have not. It is no secret that Epyx had the sporting events genre video games down pat. They had all the main seasons of the year covered in their sports games, from performing breathtaking Hot Dog Aerial manoeuvres in Winter Games, to throwing a Javelin across the field in Summer Games II. They didn’t just stop with Olympic events type games. Epyx branched out to street / sub-culture sporting events style games like California Games, which was yet another exemplary title to show off the Epyx sports games pedigree.

WG_Weightlifting

WG_CliffDiving

From all the great Epyx sports video games, one that has the most obscure and diverse events, is World Games. Don’t get me wrong, obscure does not mean it is terrible, it’s quite the opposite. The eight (8) sporting events take place across the world in their country of origin: Weightlifting – Snatch and Clean & Jerk (Russia), Slalom Skiing (France), Log Rolling (Canada), Cliff Diving (Mexico), Caber Toss (Scotland), Bull Riding (USA), Barrel Jumping (Germany) and Sumo Wrestling (Japan). Just like in previous games, World Games allows the player to compete in all events (sequentially), choosing some events or just one event. If you aren’t sure of your form, then the game does provide a practice facility. The playing mechanics may take some getting used to (pushing forward, pulling back), but persist and you will be richly rewarded.

WG_BarrelJump

WG_Slalom

The level of detail in Word Games is second to none, from the inhaling and exhaling weightlifter that grips the weight bar, to the brave cliff diver that waves at you after he nails his dive. The humorous touches when you stuff your event, like the caber hammering you into the ground, are a stroke of genius. Each event feels distinct and Epyx left no stone unturned on any of them – they are all visually impressive with well-developed play mechanics. You will experience frustration in playing some events (like the Caber Toss in Scotland and Bull Riding in the US), but as mentioned previously, persistence and timing are key to your success in obtaining a gold medal.

WG_LogRoll

WG_BullRiding

When it comes to crowning a gold medal winner, the developers at Epyx deserve the gong for creating sports games with great graphics, awesome sound and most importantly, loads of fun and playability. World Games is another title deserving of its entry in the sports games winner’s circle. Just like a fine wine, World Games has aged very well. Play on your own, or better still, grab a few mates and go for gold!

WG_CaberToss

WG_Sumoimage source: C64-Wiki