Eidos Summer Athletics

Go for gold

Eidos Summer Athletics
  • Eidos Summer Athletics
  • Eidos Summer Athletics
  • Eidos Summer Athletics
  • Expert Rating

    4.00 / 5

Pros

  • Career and character-creation modes, excellent graphics

Cons

  • Sports nerds may complain about definition of 'athletics', unevenness, disappointing multiplayer mode

Bottom Line

Fans of licensed products will be better served by Sega's official Olympics game, but Summer Athletics is a simple, low-cost alternative that will provide hours of old-fashioned fun, with the bonus of excellent graphics and career modes.

Would you buy this?

If the success of our Australian team at the Beijing Olympics gave you a taste for sporting glory, 49Games's well-timed Summer Athletics could be right up your street.

Conspicuously lacking in official Olympics branding, Summer Athletics is nevertheless a fun, varied game that evokes the spirit of the event in a cheap and cheerful way.

A sports nerd in the PCA offices (who shall remain nameless) insists that diving and archery don't count as 'athletics'. Thank goodness, then, that the developers took a wider view — these fringe disciplines are the most enjoyable parts of the game.

The fiendishly tricky diving in particular pushes things into the currently more fashionable realms of rhythm gaming (you have to hit sequences of buttons at key moments to pull off the moves, as in Guitar Hero), as opposed to the straightforward button bashing that drives most of the running and swimming.

Not that button bashing is entirely a bad thing. There's nostalgia value here, for a start. Fans of old-school track-and-field simulations will be pleasantly familiar with Summer Athletics' general principles: hit the left and right keys as quickly as you can to go as fast as possible. They'll also know how surprisingly addictive these techniques can be. Chuck in some superb graphics, an impressive range of sports and the variety offered by the more complicated events mentioned above and you have a winning formula.

There's some unevenness in Summer Athletics, however, as tends to be the case with portmanteau sports sims. The swim races, for instance, are very easy indeed — we sliced 17 seconds off the world record in our first, wrist-destroying attempt at the medley relay.

The team cycling, on the other hand, is bafflingly hard — as with several other events, the instructions make little sense. But you can adjust the difficulty levels in Summer Athletics, and it's actually nice to have a couple of events that are immediately accessible and others that reward prolonged practice.

A more frustrating issue is the disappointing multiplayer mode, which could have been the game's trump card and the saviour of the track events. What you want here is for all parties concerned to be allocated two buttons on the same keyboard and then tap away at once — hey presto, you've got a nicely raucous party game. Instead, with Summer Athletics you have to take it in turns.

Finally, the long-term appeal of Summer Athletics is improved by the inclusion of career and character-creation modes, allowing you to edit your athlete's name and appearance, gradually improve his or her athletic skills and unlock achievements.

Rocket to Success - Your 10 Tips for Smarter ERP System Selection

Join the newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.
Show Comments

Cool Tech

Breitling Superocean Heritage Chronographe 44

Learn more >

SanDisk MicroSDXC™ for Nintendo® Switch™

Learn more >

Toys for Boys

Family Friendly

Panasonic 4K UHD Blu-Ray Player and Full HD Recorder with Netflix - UBT1GL-K

Learn more >

Stocking Stuffer

Razer DeathAdder Expert Ergonomic Gaming Mouse

Learn more >

Christmas Gift Guide

Click for more ›

Most Popular Reviews

Latest News Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Edwina Hargreaves

WD My Cloud Home

I would recommend this device for families and small businesses who want one safe place to store all their important digital content and a way to easily share it with friends, family, business partners, or customers.

Walid Mikhael

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

It’s easy to set up, it’s compact and quiet when printing and to top if off, the print quality is excellent. This is hands down the best printer I’ve used for printing labels.

Ben Ramsden

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

Brainstorming, innovation, problem solving, and negotiation have all become much more productive and valuable if people can easily collaborate in real time with minimal friction.

Sarah Ieroianni

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

The print quality also does not disappoint, it’s clear, bold, doesn’t smudge and the text is perfectly sized.

Ratchada Dunn

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The Huddle Board’s built in program; Sharp Touch Viewing software allows us to easily manipulate and edit our documents (jpegs and PDFs) all at the same time on the dashboard.

George Khoury

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The biggest perks for me would be that it comes with easy to use and comprehensive programs that make the collaboration process a whole lot more intuitive and organic

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?