#64 Track & Field

Posted: 24th January 2016 by Jeroen in Games
Tags: , , ,

483rd played so far


Genre: Sports
Platform: Arcade
Year of Release: 1983
Developer: Konami
Publisher: Konami

Sports games have been around for a while, and today we’re going to play an early one. Many newer ones don’t necessarily grip us, but it feels like a large part of it is because they become impenetrable if you haven’t kept up with the series, not offering the learning curve contemporary games do.

These older games, being from the arcade generation, generally tend to do better as the history isn’t there and (to be fair) they wanted you to keep spending. Time to try our luck!

Our Thoughts

Track & Field does what it says on the tin. Effectively, it’s a bunch of minigames based on various athletics events. Minigames because each have simple controls and happen pretty quickly – you start with a running game that consists of just alternately hitting two buttons. A mechanic I’m fairly persisted until at least 2012 Olympics games, so clearly they had something there.

Being an arcade game, there’s a lot of quarter-gulping, and you don’t get a choice in minigames – you have to do them one event after the other, which means that if you can’t do an event (long jump…) you can simply get stuck there.

With that said, minigames are addictive, because they give you the reward of success so frequently and often relatively easily.They become familiar quickly, and as the games progress, you will quickly learn how to play them even if you’ve not made it to that event before.

Final Thoughts

Track & Field is a simple game, and it surprised me how much of it looked familiar from games that followed it. While this is an area where you would have expected time to have moved features on, Track & Field seems to have stayed a good baseline to build athletics minigames around. I’m not sure it’s the best approach for those games, but here it works nicely as a properly competitive game.

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