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California Games - The Atari Times

California Games

Fun in the Sun
by Dan Loosen

August 29, 2005
I bought California Games when a local toy store was going out of business in the early 90's just because it was really cheap and I still would sometimes drag my 2600 out to play. My friend had rented the NES version and really liked it in the 80's, and although I never played it, I was interested. I didn't have much hope for the 2600 version, but I figured that for about a buck it was probably worth it. Was it ever!

The game opens with the familiar tunes of Louie Louie being played. Upon hitting a button, you are asked to select a team to represent, and you start playing through four challenges. You can challenge up to eight friends, with everyone taking turns on the joystick. The four games are half-pipe skating, surfing, footbag and BMX. All of the games are varied, and they each look and play great. My favorite event is BMX, although footbag is a close second.

The graphics in this game are incredible. They are easily among the best graphics on the 2600, if not _the_ best graphics on it. The sound is great. The only music is Louie Louie, but that sounds awesome. The sound effects are perfect, and you will be amazed at how much this game offers. Control takes a little getting used to for most of the events, but within a little while you'll be shredding with the best of them.

The only problem that I have with this game is that you can't play one event by itself. I don't much care for half-pipe or surfing, but if I want to do the BMX race I have to play through them. This is okay when you are playing with a group who all like varied events, but when you are playing it alone, playing the events you aren't very good at isn't very fun.

Overall, that's a small issue with an otherwise incredible game. Get this game, California Games!

California Games
System: 2600
Publisher: Epyx
Genre: Sports
Graphics Score: 100%
Sound & Music Score: 95%
Gameplay Score: 90%
Control Score: 85%

Final Score: 90%

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