Saturday, 13 July 2013

Games for the Summer

It's now summer and unbelievably the Sun is shining and the temperature is high! However, you can be certain that the current good weather won't last long and we'll be forced back indoors soon enough. But here are a few games that might help to extend the season a little longer.

California Games
Enjoy some totally rad West Coast activities in this collection of cool Californian sports. On offer is surfing, BMXing, roller skating, Frisbee throwing, skateboarding and, um, bag kicking. Released for just about every available computer and console in the late 80s and early 90s, the game was an instant hit. Played today, it reflects its era and the trends of the time very well. Gnarly dude.

NES: Just about to pull off an awesome turn on the half pike. Failed miserably though.

The British seaside wouldn't be the same without Punch & Judy, and the violent politically incorrect puppet show is the basis of Punchy, a computer game released for the Spectrum, Amstrad and a few Commodore computers by Mr Micro. In it, wifebeater Mr Punch has kidnapped Judy's baby and it is down to you, as Bobby the policeman, to rescue it. The game is basically a clone of Hunchback (it was nearly called Hunchy) and wasn't a bad version at all, although time hasn't been good to it.

Spectrum: That's the way to do it! This game even features speech. Or something claiming to be speech.

Cool Spot
A platform game featuring 7-Up's mascot Cool Spot, who was based on the red dot in the logo of the fizzy drink. Well, its American mascot. We had shitty Fido Dido over here. And a game that made no reference to 7-Up at all. Although not technically a summer game, it had a summery feel to it, starting and ending on a beach, and Cool Spot wore sunglasses throughout his adventure. Cool Spot was released on the Super Nintendo, Sega Master System, Nintendo Gameboy, Commodore Amiga and Sega Mega Drive. A review of the SNES version is available here.

SNES: It's those lobsters in pants again.

Theme Park
If queuing for hours for a ride at Alton Towers just doesn't appeal to you but you wouldn't mind having the chance to run the place, then Theme Park might just be the game for you. Released in the mid-90s for a heap of computers and consoles, this management sim saw you setting up and managing your very own fairgrounds. The game was great fun and even had a few sequels which are also worth a look at too.

PC: Roll up! Roll up! Get yourself a Mr Whippy here, and then throw up all over my park!

Greendog: The Beached Surfer Dude
Released for the Sega Mega Drive and Game Gear only, Greendog was a platform game featuring a cool surfer dude on a treasure hunt to release a curse. It was an average platformer, released at a time when Sonic the Hedgehog was dominating the scene, but featured a groovy little Calypso soundtrack. Something to fill a bit of time on a Sunday afternoon perhaps.

Mega Drive: Greendog doesn't even have a steak bake to waft around, but the birds are after him anyway.

Dead or Alive XTreme Beach Volleyball
A volleyball game for the original Xbox featuring ladies in skimpy bikinis with breasts which appear to bounce of their own accord. Probably not a great game to put on when you've got the in-laws over, but a surprisingly good volleyball sim. Its sequel for the Xbox 360 features a bundle of mini games. It's basically California Games for pervs.

Xbox: Fun in the Sun with some beach babes.

Out Run
Nothing beats driving along the coast with the roof down, and in Out Run you get the chance to do just that. Out Run is the ultimate sun-soaked racer, featuring colourful visuals and a timeless summer soundtrack. The arcade version from 1986 was ported to the Spectrum, C64, Amstrad, Atari ST, Amiga, PC Engine, Xbox, PS2 and Gameboy Advance. It is also one of the few games to have been released on the Sega Master System, Mega Drive, Game Gear, Saturn and Dreamcast!

Arcade: Mr Flagman is about to wave you off.

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