Apr 24, 2012
Justin Smith’s Realistic Summer Sports Simulator is an accurate representation of those classic Olympics-style events games that were all the rage in the 80’s and 90’s. That is to say that this game is horrifically counter-intuitive and almost unplayable â€“ on purpose. There are 15 events, which all have the basic premise of actual Olympic-style events, that then all go horribly awry. All the graphics look like they were plucked from the Atari 2600, and the controls use swipe gestures. They’re accurate, but everything is just kind of unwieldy. The horse in the equestrian event just kind of tumbles through the air. The javelin launch is kind of just flung from the body of the ‘athlete’.
Taken at face value, as a game where everything controls horribly and some events are basically impossible, this should mean that I hate it, right? Nope, because it’s just so stupid that it feels like that’s the point. When there are country names like Jakraine and Kazakhstingapore, I’m not quite sure things are meant to be taken seriously. Watching a guy flail through the air after a javelin toss, or shimmy while racewalking, or a swimmer rapidly turn his tiny pixelated arms in the air as he tries to get back in the water, that’s the fun. Hey, at least the game lets the player in on the joke that these events are practically impossible. That old NES summer sports game played its difficulty straight.
For those looking for a bit more balance, events can be removed from the main competition. I am convinced that I will never get higher than a 2.4 on the Rings competition, or that I will ever not DNQ in Weightlifting. I am Lord of Archery, though. I set a world record in swimming! I do well in the hammer toss from time to time! I watched this video on how to do the pole vault and I do pretty well in it now! I managed to not hit anything once in equestrian!
Some of the events are actually shockingly playable, and while they’re still goofy, they aren’t as funny. This may be the point, of being the few events in those compilations that actually are fun.
Still, it’s silly to complain that a game’s drawback is that it’s occasionally playable. It may be well-designed in the sense that it isn’t well-designed, but Justin Smith’s Realistic Summer Sports Simulator is still incredibly fun. Gather a friend or 3, laugh at all the faults that will inevitably occur and represent the proud nation of Monganda!