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California Games


Lorenzo has written 23 additional reviews

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Written by Lorenzo

October 1, 2001


A major hit on the old Commodore 64, California Games was an incredibly stunning game for 1987 standards. It managed to recreate perfectly all those californian cliche├Ęs: those hot breezes, the sea, the sun, sand between your toes... anyway, this is an extremely enjoyable multi-event sports sim in the good ol' Epyx fashion, probably the best one ever produced.

Events include halfpipe, BMX racing, skating, surfing, footbag and frisbee. Each one is well made and intriguing in its own way; basically, it' s just a matter of making a few tricks and figures within a limited amount of time, but with a great appeal and playability.


Being a very old game, graphics -animations, particularly - are not exactly the state of the art, but they' re pretty clear and detailed, and very good for their time. The main flaw is that they' re just too similar to those of the C64 version, so I guess that those guys at Epyx could have made a better effort on a 16 bit machine, but never mind...


Once again, it' s the same sound heard on the C64, and considering the ST' s Yamaha chip horrible limitations it' s not too bad. A nice collection of Cali - style chip tunes, and some sparse fx.


Here' s where the game becomes really good. As I said before, it' s basically a matter of making tricks and figures and try to score more points than your friends, but it' s still very enjoyable; each event has its own peculiarities and strategies, and even if some are really hard you' ll soon get the hang of them after a little practice.


This is not a game to play on your own; the complete lack of an AI-controlled opponent makes a single-player game very boring, only good for practice. But play it along with a few friends - the more, the better - and you get one of the most enjoyable multi-event games EVER. And THE best on the ST, also considering the lack of other decent titles. Totally radical, dudes !

  • Graphics: 6
  • Sound: 6
  • Gameplay: 9
  • Overall: 8

Review Comments

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Zone Warrior

February 12, 2023 by AtariCrypt

Once again, pesky aliens are giving us Earthlings lots of grief. We previously fought them off but they managed to pinch a time machine so are using that to alter history and wreak havoc by taking crucial hostages from each period in an attempt to halt their influence. From the invention of the wheel in prehistoric times to England's King Arthur uniting Britain! And where would any of us be today without Japan and its technical wizardry? Yep, we cannot allow this - the fight is on!

Son Shu Shi

March 21, 2021 by ST Graveyard

What an accomplishment this game is. Created with such a small team, the result is really amazing. The game oozes creative passion. While the gameplay is really well balanced, it is a tough cookie, very hard from time to time with its moments of sheer frustration. As of level 3, timing becomes key. You will need to practice and learn the levels to complete this game, there are so many bad guys on screen it sometimes gets a bit hard to take.

Blood Money

April 4, 2020 by Morcar

Graphically, it's also nice on the eyes with well-defined graphics and animation. You really get the feeling that the developers put some thought and love into the game. Remember what I said about the large levels? Well these are wonderful and are very different to each other, they also scroll fairly smooth in all four directions.

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