Hello once again my Retro heads, to another week. I cannot believe just how quickly this year is flowing. Today, on this rather windy day, I bring you an arcade staple classic…
Track and Field!
Track and Field, the game that started the button bashing genre of games, and makes you feel tired after playing due to the intense bashing of said buttons. But oh man, what a fun game to play, which also supports 4 players although only in 2 teams of 2, which actually works pretty well.
The events in which you take part in are as follows:-
100 Metre dash
110 Metre Hurdles
Each event makes use of 2 run buttons and a jump or action button. You only really need to utilize one run button however and just hammer that one as fast as you can, then hit the action button at the right time. The game works on angles and precision as well, so long jump for example, you hammer the run button to gain speed up, then just as you approach the white line, hold your action button to set the degree of take off and release. If you go over the white line, it’s an automatic foul, so you do need to be careful on your approach. For every event you do, you have a qualifying time, or height or distance to achieve to be able to move on to the next event, they all start off as fairly simple ones to achieve but get progressively harder as you move on. If you are a solo player on the game you will go head to head with the CPU opponent in the 100 metres and 110 metre hurdles, starts off as fairly easy to beat, but will become more of a challenge later on. The game also has a few Easter eggs built in, and go a little something like this:-
100m Dash and 110m Hurdles: If both players finish with the same time, the main character from the Konami game Tutankham will run across the top of the playfield screen and a 1000 point bonus is awarded.
110 meter hurdles trick: Player 1 plays normally, while player 2 ensures a 100 seconds plus time (use a stopwatch and time 1:40) if you finish slightly over 100 seconds, you’ll record a physically impossible time, such as under a second.
Long Jump: If you make three jumps of exactly the same length, a man with a key will run across the screen and a 1000 point bonus is awarded.
Javelin: Throw the javelin off the top of the screen and you will hit a bird or lamp which falls to the ground. A 1000 point bonus is awarded. The full angle button press should be used (press and hold jump/throw button).
High Jump: Fail on your first two attempts, then qualify using your last remaining attempt. A mole will pop up out of the ground and a 1000 point bonus is awarded.
Hammer Throw: A throw of 99.99 meters is possible with full speed and 45 degree angle at either zone limit (note passing the limit zone is a foul and will hit someone in the audience). If you throw perfectly, you’ll throw greater than 99.99 and thus a foul will be recorded.
Graphics:- Fun, cartoon style and well drawn for it’s time scale. Nice animations also shine through with the sprites in their events too. Very good job when you consider this was released in 1983.
Sound:- Dulled down, but you don’t really need that much sound for a game like this. You get a digitised voice to report your results, a beeper to say when to start bashing your buttons and crowd clapping. It really doesn’t need any more than this in my opinion. Sometimes, less is more.
Overall:- If you enjoy competitive sports games with your mates, this game is a corker to do so with. Standing next to your friends and slamming those buttons as fast as you can is a hoot, you do feel like you have done a massive work out afterwards, but it’s all part of the charm. I strongly suggest you seek out this game and give it a try!