Yo dudes! Come on down to the Californian coast where sun, sea and surf are there for the taking: where there's action all day and all night; and, as it happens, where this game is based.
The earlier California Games failed to create much of an impact on the Amiga. This latest version is in the Epyx style and consists of several different events all related to the sun, sea, surf and snow(!), and they all involve simplistic controls and methodical joystick movements.
As for the events themselves, what's on offer? There are five sports of the Californian variety: hang gliding, jet surfing, snowboarding, bodyboarding and of course that Stüssey favourite: skateboarding. They're a mixture of some known, and not so well-known pastimes of the wacky residents of California, but they're also mixed in terms of enjoyment.
Graphically, the game doesn't use the Amiga's abilities very well. The events are displayed in only 16 colours and while they look quite detailed and bright, they could have been much better. Some colourful title screens introduce many of the sections. Sound-wise there are some appropriate tunes, such as the rather ominous Wipeout on the bodyboarding event. The rocky tunes don't make up for the rocky and rough gameplay, though.
While California Games 2 tries hard, and up to eight people can compete against each other, there are not enough events or enough variety in those events to keep you playing for very long. The simple joystick controls make it initially accessible but don't help the gameplay in the long term, although some may like reminiscing about similar games of the past, back when the C64 ruled the roost and California Games was the game to have.
Here we have a game that lives up to the fast-paced lifestyle of the place it's based on, where trends change quickly and the past is soon forgotten - if you get the game you'll soon forget about it, and like the hula-hoop, it will be destined for the back of your closet.