The history of the Olympics through video games

The history of the Olympics through video games

The Olympic games are often accompanied by video games dedicated to the event. Over the years these titles have outlined a real sub-genre of sportsmen, a sort of hybrid with party games that presents different types of mini-games related to the various Olympic events. Their gameplay has never been particularly brilliant, but their release at regular intervals allows us to keep track of technical evolutions and the succession of generations. Let's go and see in more detail, what was the history of video games dedicated to the Olympics.

The first games of the 80s

We can identify some examples of the genre already in the early 80s with the appearance of Olympic Decathlon, published by Microsoft on TRS-80, Apple II and IBM PC: 10 disciplines present to make up to 6 players compete who could alternate controls. A few years later we will see Konami release the arcade classic Track & Field and its follow-up Hyper Olympic '84, which will add new sports disciplines such as swimming, archery and horse riding.

So far the gameplay of these titles had remained quite basic: mainly it consisted of pressing keys in rapid succession, but this time the competition was also possible with two players at the same time. Hyper Olympic '84, known in the West as Hyper Sports, will also be the first Olympic-themed game to be officially licensed for Japan on the 1984 Summer Olympics. We will therefore have to wait for the 1988 Seoul Olympics to see The Games: Summer Edition arrive. , the first official video game recognized by the US Olympic Committee.

The 90s and the advent of 3D

Olympic Summer Games, the title dedicated to Atlanta '96 In 1992 the Barcelona Olympic Games arrive on Sega consoles: Olympic Gold will be the official game for the event on Game Gear, Genesis and Master System. 7 disciplines, 8 selectable nations, with the possibility to choose between different game modes, to be able to face a complete or partial Olympics. Also present here is the selection of difficulty, which at the highest levels allowed computer-controlled athletes to break every world record.

The Olympic Summer Games will then be the last Olympics for the fourth generation of consoles, but also the first on the fifth: it will in fact also be available on Playstation and 3DO, with a version that will mark the arrival of 3D in the virtual Olympic games. Three additional events compared to the previous title bring the total of competitions to 10, but 39 nations will be represented: a decent step forward compared to the 8 of Olympic Gold.

Mario & Sonic at the Olympic Games

Mario & Sonic at the Olympic Games, all the characters in the starting blocks A breath of fresh air will come only on the occasion of the Beijing 2008 Olympics. While Sony and Microsoft see the official Beijing 2008 game arrive on their consoles, Sega realizes the much Expected crossover with Nintendo: Mario & Sonic at the Olympic Games. Developed by Sega Japan, under the supervision of Shigeru Miyamoto, the title will have unprecedented commercial success for the genre, selling approximately 10 million copies on Nintendo Ds and Wii. Some critical voices have pointed the finger at the choice of using the two famous mascots to create a party game rather than a platform, but the success of the title will lead to the birth of the series dedicated to the Olympics which to date continues to churn out some of the most interesting titles such. And to think that the Rio 2016 games would not have had a dedicated title if it hadn't been for the fifth chapter of the saga, Mario & Sonic at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games.

Winter Olympics by Ubisoft

Steep: Road to the Olympics, dedicated to the 2018 Winter Olympics The following year will instead be that of the Ubisoft Winter Olympics: taking advantage of the excellent base developed with Steep, an expansion dedicated to the competition is proposed in December 2017 that will take place in 2018 in South Korea. This opportunity will allow you to insert new events and settings within the Ubisoft sports, thus packaging an Olympic experience seasoned with a decidedly different gameplay from what we have seen in the past.

Tokyo 2020

The Official Video Game of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games Adds a Pinch of Madness to the Competition The Tokyo 2020 Olympics have suffered an atypical one-year postponement compared to the original calendar. The event is about to end in these days and it is logical to think that the official game of the Tokyo 2020 Olympics had already been scheduled for a couple of years: the game was in fact released in Japan as early as 2019, while for the rest of the world has only been made available for just over a month, in June 2021.

2019 is also the launch year of the latest installment of the Mario & Sonic series. Using the pretext of time travel, the setting of the Tokyo 1964 Olympics is also introduced, rendered with a 2D graphic style and pixel art, all of excellent workmanship. Within the title it is also possible to find documents and historical references that provide some information on the history of the Olympic event.

To date, the history of video games dedicated to the Olympics has almost never given us big surprises. Excluding some experiments such as what happened with the Steep DLC or the excellent series of party-games signed by Sega and Nintendo, the gameplay of these titles has always remained linked to the very first titles of the genre at Track & Field. However, these experiences have always accompanied every edition of the event and, in one way or another, they manage to convey a hint of nostalgia.

Have you noticed any mistakes?

Powered by Blogger.