The Olympics are over, and a load of track and field simulations are on the market, Psygnosis have got in on the act with none other than Carl Lewis to support them! So, tie up your trainers, get on your marks and enter the Carl Lewis Challenge!
After putting the first of two disks in the drive, you are asked to choose between Training and Arcade or take both of them together (full simulation). There is a 1-4 player option where people can choose their countries. There are 17 countries, including the USA. Germany and of course good old Great Britain.
First of all, "Arcade only". In this mode, all you'll really need is a joystick that can take a lot of waggling, and a cramp free hand. As an athlete you aren't exactly world class (not yet anyway!), but you're still good enough to get through a few heats. In this section, you can take part in five disciplines, including 100m Sprint, 110m Hurdles, Long Jump, High Jump and Javelin, you can, however, skip (Or even jump!) as many events as you want. In the five competitions, qualification is in the form of heats, this is done by achieving a certain distance or time. If you don't qualify, you are out of that discipline for the rest of the tournament but you can still take part in the others. Your aim is to win a medal, qualify for the final and come in 1st(Gold), 2nd(Silver) or 3rd.(Bronze).
In the other option, that is "Training only", you take on the responsibility of managing a team of 10 athletes. It's up to you alone to organise the training for all the athletes, and select them at the end of the five weeks. You have a wide selection of training methods and you must use them wisely to achieve the best results at the Olympics (you just watch them run in this mode, no energy loss here!). There are all sorts of combinations to choose from. Firstly, the type of training which your athlete will undergo; you can select here between isometrics (for power training), isotonics (power, speed and agility), repeated running etc.etc. You then have to decide whether he (a bit sexist, there are no women included!) must train for an intensive short spell or build up over a long term period. You then set the length and conditions of these training sessions, setting the values between 0-100%. As usual, you can call up all sorts of statistics, which are mostly understandable, for a change. You have the possibility of saving your team at any time. After completing this gruelling pre-training, you go to the Olympics, and put into practice all those hours of blood, sweat and tears. Then hopefully to the winners podium and the strains of God save the Queen together with the emotive sight of the Union Jack being raised! (Sorry all this isn't included I'm just getting carried away!). After everything is over you get a complete score summing up your performance. The final option available is "Full simulation", in which you play both the above modes at the same time.
The graphics in this game are very impressive, especially compared with most other track and field games. All the athletes are digitised, and the crowd and background effects are also good. The screen structure is useful, with all the important information well laid out. The sound effects, comprising of even the voice of the starter and his pistol are pretty true to life. In general, it's a good game, and most definitely the best one of it's type around.
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