The bread and butter of computer game maker Epyx was their Games series, starting with the beloved Summer Games, initially released in 1984 to coincide with the Summer Olympic games held in Los Angeles that year. It was followed up by Summer Games II the following year, along with the game we feature today, Winter Games. All of the games in the series were great fun and reasonable representations of the included sports, but apropos of the commencement of the 2014 Winter Olympic Games in Sochi, Russia, we present to you the pomp, the passion, and the pixels of Epyx’s Winter Games.
The graphics are spectacular in the game, really putting the player in the environment of a grand winter sports spectacle, surrounded by mountains and running streams. The music score is another standout, with a simultaneous grandiose and groovy attitude. But the hallmark of all the Games games by Epyx is the precise feeling of controlling the athletes. The designers were well aware that the almost intangible “feel” of movement and control is what makes or breaks a sports title. Gold medals all around for their work on recreating seven different Olympic sport challenges for the player, without any undue frustration. I’d like to complain about the figure skating in Winter Games, as it initially feels like the only part of the game where you’re not in complete control of the athlete… but ultimately I’ll have to be honest and say that my cursing and swearing in that part probably comes down to my own fumblings with the controls and not because of the design.
Every game in the Epyx Games series will be featured in posts all during the Sochi 2014 Winter Olympics. Here are the links to the other articles:
The Epyx Games: Summer Games on the C64
The Epyx Games: Summer Games II on the C64
The Epyx Games: World Games on the C64
The Epyx Games: California Games on the C64
The Epyx Games: California Games II on PC (DOS)
The Epyx Games – The Games: Summer Edition on the Amiga
The Epyx Games – The Games: Winter Edition on Amiga
The Epyx Games – The Fail Reel
For more information on Winter Games maker Epyx, consult your local Dot Eaters entry.