California Games is the successor to
Summer Games I &II, Winter Games and World Games. Epyx produced
some of the best games on the Commodore, the pinacle of sport games, on
the Commodore, was reached with this release. The events include, BMX,
Foot Bag, Surfing, Frisbee, Roller Skating and Half Pipe.
As far as sport simulations go this is one of the best ever. The test
of these games always are; would an individual event have made a good
game in itself? As far as the Commodore version is concerned the answer
is yes. Each of the events, with frisbee the weakest, could have been
sold as budget games.
The Commodore version has great presentation,very good tunes and very
polished graphics. The game play is very good, no direct two
player action but the events are easy to get into and when competing
against a friend, you always want to do little better.
Unfortunately the same cannot be said
about the Spectrum version ,it really pales when compared against
the Commodore. That is not only due to the bad use of color. All the
nice little tunes are gone, you really miss them in this game. It feels
like the Spectrum version was rushed. The surfer doesn't lie down on
his board and paddle with his arms when the event starts, there is no
graphical sponsor selection screen, in surfing there is no score screen
with people holding up your score, in foot bag you can hardly see the
footbag when you kick it up into the air.
Then all the nice touches on the Commodore, the dolphin in Surfing, the
Seagull in Foot Bag, all seems to be missing. They didn't even
include Joystick control as an option!
This game makes you wonder how the
two machines were ever even compared, lucky for Spectrum owners
Commodore programmers also came up with a few plokers. On the
Spectrum this is the biggest plonker of them all.