Overall Rating: 3/5
Of the original batch of launch titles for the Nintendo Entertainment System, many were subpar offerings that were limited or even outright flawed in gameplay, such as Gyromite. Others, however, were classic masterpieces that went on to carve formidable legacies, such as Super Mario Brothers and a title called Track & Field.
Track & Field was so successful, with its simple gameplay formula of offering multiple button-mashing or precison events, that it inspired several similar games, such as its sequel Track & Field 2 or the goofy Caveman Games. One of these imitations was a smaller-market cartridge called World Games, an Olympics simulation with many differing events at multiple difficulty levels for one or two players.
The looks were standard. As far as NES entries go, World Games was neither spectacular nor terrible. Some events, such as Cliff Diving, looked crisp and clean as the long dive down genuinely did create nervous tension. But other events, such as Slalom Skiing, suffered from crude pixilation and questionable contact detection.
The effects were basic, highlighted by breathing noises in Weightlifting and the occasional breaks and shatters of Barrel Jumping, along with the sickening thud of a cliff diver hitting the cliff. Perhaps the best sound, though, belonged to the country selection screen, where the national anthem of each selectable country could be played.
World Games did not bring an entirely new formula to the table; as mentioned earlier, Olympics-style games with multiple mini-games had been done before. World Games does deserve credit for coming up with entirely new games, and executing them fairly well, with some better than others. Sumo Wrestling was simplistic and had no real strategy, while others like Caber Toss, Bull Riding, and Log Rolling were actually competitive and required finesse skills.
One odd side item worth mentioning is a humorous glitch in the Sumo Wrestling game: Although normal gameplay would not reveal it, the wrestling ring level wraps. In other words, what goes off one side of the screen will appear on the other. While it is not possible to walk outside the bounds of the ring without losing the match, there is a move that throws the opposing player backwards. If done at the very edge of the ring, the flung opponent will reach the edge of the screen; or, at least, his head will. This means that his body will be laying still on one side, while his head suddenly jumps over to the other, creating the appearance of a decapitation! Other weird visuals can be achieved with other games, such as the weightlifter who holds the barbells too long and falls through the floor after turning blue.
Overall, World Games does not establish any fantastic new heights for video gaming, merely doing a solid job of imitating Olympics-type settings. But it is certainly a piece of fun, especially for two players, thus earning a decent three stars out of five.
For a look at other decent NES games (or better or worse), click over to NintendoLegend.com.