Alien Olympics
Nintendo Gameboy
Richard Naylor
As it's title suggests, Alien Olympics is a sports game with an extra-terrestrial theme and features 15 'humourous' events in a Track & Field stylee. Cosmic.

Despite the otherworldly theme, most of the events should be familiar to anybody who has played any one of a gazillion Track & Field style sports games. Tapping the A and B buttons rapidly is the order of the day here, and there are a multitude of running, swimming, throwing and jumping events to partake in. Thankfully, there is some respite from this button-bashing malarkey in the form of a skeet-shooting variant, a target shoot, a frantic maze game and a spaceship collect'em up. Each event has a qualifying target which must be beaten in order to move on to the next and failure to qualify leads to the inevitable appearance of the Game Over screen. Before play starts, players can choose to practice individual events, compete in several or go for glory and attempt to play through all fifteen alone or against another player. Go on, smash up your gameboy in the name of intergalactic fun. You know you want to.

Well at least it has a nice title screen

Let's be honest, button-bashers don't really work on handhelds do they? Unfortunately in this case, even ignoring the practical implications involved, Alien Olympics just isn't a very good game. Visually bland although polished in places, Alien Olympics stars a very unappealing blob as main character. Ocean could have at least given us something with legs. Desperately tapping away at the buttons, it can be more than a little disheartening to see your alien 'character' mooching along the ground at a snail's pace. Some scurrying legs may have at least given the player more of a sense of motion. Also, given that this is a 'wacky' themed take on the sports genre, why couldn't we have had some more original events? Behind the 'alien' exterior, in essence we are still running, throwing and jumping. With fifteen events to plough through, although fun at first, it all becomes pretty tiresome. To be fair, the skeet shooting, survival and tag games do offer a break from the button-bashing madness, but these events are by no means brilliant either. The skeet event suffers from unresponsive controls, while the other two events not only seem out of place, but are also quite dull. Overall, Alien Olympics fails in it's attempt to bring originality and even playability to a well-worn genre. Personally, I think an Epyx Summer Games style approach to sports games would be more suited to the Gameboy but hey, what do I know?

Graphics: 73%

Sound: 31%

Gameplay: 62%

Overall: 57%
Polished in places but overall quite bland. Featuring possibly the most unappealing character to appear in a videogame yet. A God-awful title tune and very, very little else. The weak alien theme does little to disguise the limited gameplay on offer. Although there are fifteen events, they are mostly similar and playing through them all becomes a slog after a while. Skeet shooting is the only notable exception, but suffers slightly from unresponsive controls. Does little to redress the lack of decent sports games on the 'Boy.
R E C O M M E N D E D   A L T E R N A T I V E S
International Track & Field

O T H E R   F O R M A T S
Track & Field (Arcade) • Hypersports (Arcade) • Winter Games (Commodore 64) • Summer Games II (Commodore 64)

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