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Olympia

Olympia is a version of a game that has now become an arcade classic - Hyper Olympics. However, it has a lot of faults and very few redeeming features.

Let us start with the faults.

First, the arcade game involved using either one button very quickly (by the muscle tension and spasm method) or two buttons (the pianist's method). The Blaby version uses the space bar to run, and only the space bar. This means that those who were used to co-ordinating two hands will have to start all over again.

Secondly, the game does not feature all six events, choosing instead to omit the javelin throw (presumably because the programmer assumes falsely that it is unpopular, bearing such a close similarity to the long jump).

Thirdly, the events are rearranged. The arcade events were 100 Metres, Long Jump, Javelin, 110 Metres Hurdles, Discus, High Jump. The event order in Blaby's attempt is 100 Metres, Discus, Long Jump, 110 Metres Hurdles, High Jump. This is a small fault, which some may even consider an improvement but, in an arcade copy, as few changes as possible should be made.

Next, the game does not incorporate a sideways screen scroll (although it would not have been difficult to write) which means that the proportional speed in comparison to player height on screen is laughable.

The angle increases far too quickly, leaving very little to judgement, and far more to luck. This is a very serious fault more serious as it is easily rectifiable.

There are only five hurdles and they are too precise in their jumping requirements. Although I have progressed through this event I have yet to complete it without knocking over one or more hurdles.

There is no resemblance to the arcade in the high jump! You run to the bar (by pressing the spacebar as fast as possible) and then pressing SHIFT. I have not succeeded in doing this yet so I have no idea what the commendation display is like.

The game's major virtue is that it has the addictive quality of the original, if in a slightly diluted form. The events are, for all their numerous and irritating faults, good fun, and they have a temporarily addictive quaiity that wears off only after a large number of games.