The timing of this game is probably a little dubious. There is no obvious tie-in with the athletics, apart from the season itself, nor is there a big name licence. On top of that, the Olympics aren't until next year.
Basically there is no obvious reason to release an athletics game which offers nothing new. If the game was stunningly playable that would have been no problem - sadly there is not even that to recommend it.
Joystick waggling makes up the bulk of the 10 types of events, except the longer distance runs and the steeple
This is triggered by hitting the fire button, the idea being that if it is hit far enough in advance, but not too far, it will sweep through the optimum angle of 45 degrees at the moment the jump is triggered automatically. Meanwhile you are furiously waggling to get maximum speed in order to make the greatest distance.
The fact that the jump is triggered automatically takes away the one realistic aspect of the game, and anyone with a strong wrist can waggle their way to success very quickly.
The same applies to the throwing events but this time the fire button is used to catch the athlete as he is facing the right way, and the constantly moving Angle Sweep is at the optimum central point. The energy level created by the waggling is shown at the right of the info panel. This juggling of the three elements, energy, direction and angle, is a good idea but is too easily conquered: my third throw of the hammer netted me nearly 80 metres.
The running events under 400 metres come down to nothing more than your basic waggle: the stronger the wrist and the higher the level of stamina, the better you will perform. Still, physical strength and stamina are what athletics are all about aren't they?
Above 400 metres it comes down to tactic. The idea is to use the joystick to adjust the level of energy expenditure: the more energy you use the faster you will go but the quicker you will collapse, exhausted. The idea is to get a balance that will see you run out of energy just as you cross the line in first place. Trial and error will soon sort this out.
Finally, we come to the steeple
Not all the events have to be entered - you may choose to focus on single events for the sake of practice - but those with a strong wrist will find that after half an hour all the events have been successfully mastered. Or you can take part in the full championship and fight for the title. Either way, you'll probably regret it.You see, not only does the gameplay fall woefully short of adequacy, but the graphics are truly dismal, amateur in the extreme, and the sound comes down to nothing more than a few oohs and aahs at the end of the event - and even these have to be loaded individually from disk.
My advice is that I would be loathe to pay out £7.99 for this on a budget label, but paying full price is well out of the question. This has nothing more going for it than the novelty of being so poor.