Can Daley Thompson keep up the pace of Decathlon with his new Super-Test?
There are eight new events with all but one requiring the agonizing bashing technique of successive key pressing or rapid left and right joystick movement for building and maintaining speed.
Events such as cycling, pistol shooting, rowing, goal scoring and tug o' war are straightforward, while others - spring board diving, ski jump and slalom - require speed and additional co-ordination.
With the ski jump Daley descends the slope, takes off near the edge and lands safely. All three movements are controlled by you. In the diving event his take-off height, number of somersaults achieved and entry into the water are again your domain.
The format remains the same as Decathlon in that scores and qualifying times are displayed, but there are no stamina plus energy-sapping combinations, like the 400 metres, and only one event has an 'angle-ometer'.
The graphics are large, clear and colourful. Great care has been taken to create an environment allowing you to enjoy watching and playing. For instance, the ski jump scene is split into three windows, one showing a close-up side view of Daley on the slope while the other two show side and elevated views of the course.
Both sides of the cassette have been filled, which makes it very reasonably priced.
Price: Free with 128K Spectrum
Joystick: Kempston, Cursor, Sinclair
The world-famous T-shirt enthusiast is back again in a repeat showing of some of his favourite events, in the 128 version of Daley Thompson's Supertest. Twelve separate events are included, four from Daley's Decathlon and all eight from the sequel, the 48K Supertest.
The full list of simulated sports is: rowing, penalties, ski-jump, tug of war, triple jump, 100m spring, javelin, 110 hurdles, pistol shoot, cycling, spring board diving, and giant slalom The game takes an enormous time to load, but all the events go in at once, so you don't have to mess about playing four or five at a time - though you still only get three lives for the whole lot. That makes things a good bit more difficult.
For those who are not yet aware of such novel concepts as joystick fatigue, there are two basic techniques involved in playing these games. Smashing the joystick left and right at high speed builds up power, speed, energy or whatever, and pushing the fire button at just the right moment for the correct length of time will allow you to hit targets, jump, throw things at the correct angle and so on.
The game opens with a dramatic rendition of the theme tune from Chariots of Fire to put you in the mood. Short bursts of alleged music link the various sports and new sounds have been put into some of the events for firing pistols.
The eight Supertest events look very much the same as the original events, but the four from Daley's Decathlon have been juiced up to a similar standard of graphics. The old flickery Daley is now much more solid and the backgrounds are more pleasantly coloured.
This sort of compilation program, while it offers nothing of any great novelty, makes sense on the 128. It is a distinct advantage to be able to play all the events on a single load.
Our rating is not, of course, based on value for money as Supertest is free with the Spectrum 128, at least for the time being.
In the meantime, it's a good addictive game for new users to get into quickly and will obviously have a wide appeal.
Label: Hit Squad
Reviewer: Garth Sumpter
He's back! Britain's favourite pop drinking athlete is back on target to take the tape - well certainly the cassette tape (titter). Yes, Daley Thompson's Supertest is back - this time on the Hit Squad label where he's competing in events that we didn't even know he could do - all, of course, with a little help from you.
There are 12 events in all that cover Tug o' War, Pistol Shooting, Rowing, Giant Slalom, Spring Board Diving, Cycling, Ski Jump, Penalties, 110m Hurdles, 100m Sprint, Triple jump and Javelin.
The action is all aka the arcade and the best way to play is undoubtedly by keyboard as you must use the old left and right key bashing mode to build up energy or speed and the fire button to shoot bullets, jump off the ski slope etc at the right time.
Each event has a qualifying time or score that you must achieve in order to complete the whole series of events but I must admit that I thought the Summer/Winter/Autumn/Any old time is party time group of games were great when they first came out but do we really want to bash the hell out of our Spectrum keyboards/joysticks? I don't but Daley certainly does and this he does to reasonable effect. The graphics are a little on the simple side and the whole game, whilst quite jolly, is now a fairly tired product. Even Daley's gone into retirement nowadays and this game really should follow his example.
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