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California Games

AL Mobile

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Written by Lorenzo

October 1, 2001
Comments

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 clicheès: 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.


Graphics

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...


Sound

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.


Gameplay

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.


Conclusion

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 !





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

Review Comments

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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.

Cybernoid - The Fighting Machine

March 28, 2020 by Morcar

When you boot up the game you’re presented with a fantastic loading picture of your ship. It's detailed with bold colours and it tells you This is 16-bit, bitch. Then you get the wonderful rendition of the Cybernoid theme that's on all the 8-bit versions. It's not exact but the changes still make it noticeable to anyone who knows it.

Live And Let Die

January 13, 2019 by ST Graveyard

Now all of this might sound a bit much, but that really is not the biggest problem with Live and Let Die. In Buggy Boy you had checkpoints to reach in time. In this game, they have taken it all a step further...or maybe better, a whole leap further. You see, you run out of fuel when moving forward. And you run out of it fast, way fast. To solve this problem, fuel pods are scattered all over the waterway. Grab them, and you win yourself some time. Miss them and run out of fuel and guess what ... YOU EXPLODE!

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