Version tested Retro
Having carved itself a reputation for making the finest sports games in the world the preceding year, Epyx quickly released its best yet with the wonderful Winter Games.
Featuring seven superbly designed events, some of the gameplay elements refined in Summer Games II carried over into this version, but Epyx really went to town on certain sports - notably the epic Biathlon, where you'd find yourself skiing cross country, building up speed downhill, and then steadying your breathless aim to shoot five targets before doing the whole thing a further two times.
And then there was the thrilling Bobsled, with its pseudo 3D representation of your men bombing down the icy confines, anticipating every corner and trying not to wipe out. The trick-tastic Hot Dog event was another highlight, baffling gamers with tight timing demands and the kind of innovative combo system that - at that time - was a completely fresh way of challenging your manual dexterity.
Elsewhere, Speed Skating was a fairly typical Epyx-style take on things, demanding good rhythm ahead of an ability to destroy your joystick, while Ski Jumping was lightweight, but still demanding in its own way, purely for the way you had to position your body in mid-air, trying desperately to stop your skis crossing.
The two figure skating events were a bit of a bind next to the others, but, as with all the Games titles, you could create your own custom tournament and skip them altogether. Me? I preferred to keep them in, because invariably it was a great 'decider'.
Just like Summer Games II, going back to these old relics makes you realise just how special these games are (as long as you play the disk version, mind). They really don't make 'em like this anymore.
9 / 10