The first Olympic themed video game was actually created by Timothy Smith for TRS-80 and Apple computers in 1980!
David Crane's Decathlon on the 2600 was influential, popular,and actually released before Track and Field at the arcades.
The A8 version is superior to the 2600.
Field events actually have proper locations.
The track events have 2 onscreen runners creating more interest.
The ultimate joystick killer!? Running the 1500m race!
I don't agree with many voices here. Decathlon is one of the best Atari sport games! Great joy killer but also great fun!
A nicely atmospheric game, but something is missing from this Atari version. Where are the rections of the audience, when you succeed well?
I don't mind 'primitive' graphics or whatnot - these are good enough graphics for me. But the explanation for it is definitely not "the Activision look", because otherwise, the C64 version would look identical.
The C64 version looks, sounds and feels more 'realistic', the characters are bigger, they utilize different tracks (so you actually SEE your player all the time, unlike in the Atari version, if you can't keep up), and everything just feels more polished, visually pleasing and better thought-out.
There is also the incredible atmosphere in the C64 version. I can't explain it, but it's just amazing.
This version has a lot of good atmosphere, too, though.
There's nothing fundamentally wrong with the Atari version, though - but the inevitable comparison to the excellent and superior C64 version makes it look a bit poor. Atari could have done better, but Activision didn't want to try too hard, it seems.
I wanted to play every event just to see the differences to the C64 version, but my muscles got too sore.
Not too bad, but could've been a lot better.
Oh, my poor right wrist! A nightmare yet it had just enough to keep me waggling the stick and having just another go to try and better my last score. It wasn't perfect by a long shot but it filled the gap at the time and provided some amusement.
What a joystick killer this game was!
The graphics are poor compared to the C64 version and look more like the version for the 2600.
Shame on Activision!
The version for the C64 feels and looks much stronger than the one for the Atari.
The animations are much better on the 64 and the sprites look more powerful.
Activision could have done this much better on the Atari 8-bit.
Daniel Thomas MacInnes - 09/05/2011
A very solid game, and fun with friends, but nowhere near as great as Track n Field and Summer Games. The graphics are very simple, 2600-ish, and I never understood why Activision could never take advantage of the power of the Atari 800. Heck, years later, their games on the NES like A Boy and His Blob are using 2600 graphics. Maybe it was just the "Activison Look?"
This game made me to convert my auto-fire joystick into an auto-left-right joystick :-P
Yep, a dead-cert joystick masher. Not bad for the genre, but the 1500m was beyond tedious. Also, the javelin throw graphics were nowhere near convincing - the javelin didn't seem to go far enough.
Off-handedly, I never found this game too appealing, largely on the account of the amount of joystick maneuvering necessary to get a decent score. Usually by the 1500 yard dash my hands and arms were too dead to continue against a friend, let alone the computer! The shorter events like the 100 yard dash or hurdles were fun, but everything else took too much out of me! Most of the time I'd get a lot of power, but then timed by aims so poorly I'd get no points.
Auntie Pastie - 21/03/2008
Not bad- although you get the impression that this could have been a bit better, it was still good fun and a change from the shoot-'em-ups. I paid £1.99 for the Firebird reissue, so I certainly got at least my money's worth!
Gotta agree with Penge, that quikshot joystick got hurt..
joystick killer of a game. another of those games you used to fight with your siblings over on a wet afternoon.