The London 2012 Olympics

Today the London 2012 Olympics start. Now I am not that much of sports fan, but I do enjoy playing sports games on my C64 and hence I remember all those classic Olympic themed games like Epyx’ Summer Games and Konami’s Track and Field. The latter took most of my pocket money at the arcades and the former took the rest when it wrecked another one of my joysticks.

The games performed beautifully on the breadbox and are up there in my personal top-10 list of best sports games on the Commodore 64.
Summer Games was a favorite amongst my friends as well and we must have played it over a hundred times on the Wednesday afternoons. Cheers around when your chosen nation’s flag flew at the top and the national anthem played through the speakers at the award ceremony when one of the heats in the series was over. I think I’ll be playing this one with my kids over the course of the next week and see if they can beat their dad at this classic.

Now Track & Field, which was a good coin-op conversion for the C64 had a sequel on both the arcades and the home computers of the 80s called Hyper Sports. The concept was the same (a lot of frantic button pushing and joystick moving) but it featured other sports. Skeet shooting was my favorite as I perfected my aim and got a maximum score all the time. Even 25 years onwards, I still hadn’t lost the hang of it as I got to play it on a classic arcade cabinet last year at the Amsterdam Arcade Expo. The games were such a success back then that they were also featured in the classic BBC TV show “First Class”. It was actually the first TV show to prominently feature video games as part of a game round and other game rounds even featured a real computer display from a BBC Micro. This computer also provided the on-screen captions and scores.

So if you don’t feel like watching the Olympics, why not try to play one of the classic sports games on your Commodore? It’s fun and that’s a guarantee!

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