Dear Abandonia visitors: We are a small team that runs one of the largest DOS Games websites in the world. We have only 3 members of staff, but serve 450,000 users and have outgoing costs like any other top site for example: our servers, power, rent, programs, and staff. Abandonia is something special. It is a library of old games for you to download. It is like an old gaming arcade with all the old games in their original format. Abandonia is a place where you can find great old games and have fun four hours and years. To protect our independence, we are dependent of our friends using the site. We run on donations averaging around 6 USD (5 Euro). If everyone reading this gave the price of a cup of coffee, our fundraiser would be made easier. If Abandonia is useful to you, take one minute to keep it online for another year. Please help us forget fundraising and get back to Abandonia.
First off, this game asks you if you have a joystick; then you can choose to compete in a single event, a few events, all events, or just to practise. Like many other Epyx games I know from the C64, this game gives you a chance to select your country. There are seventeen countries you can choose from, although there are eighteen flags. The eighteenth flag is Epyx (clearly not a country). You can choose up to eight players (but if you want less, just leave the name empty and press Enter).
Then there are events in which you can compete. There are quite a few to choose from:
Weight Lifting: There are two ways to lift the weights, 'Clean and Jerk' and 'Snatch'. In the first case you need to squat before you continue lifting, in the other you don’t. Just remember that those are heavy weights, and you mustn’t simply pull them up (they're too heavy). You need to use both the Up and the Down arrow to lift the weights successfully. Oh, and once the three lights are turned on, you need to drop the weights - otherwise something bad can happen.
Barrel Jumping: You need to jump over the barrels (duh). You increase your speed by moving left and right - the gauge indicates your speed - and you jump with the right Shift key. Just remember that you need to land as well (otherwise you’ll break the ice).
Cliff Diving: Here you are in sunny Acapulco in Mexico, standing on the edge of a cliff, and you need to dive into the sea. Sounds easy enough, right? There are several levels from which you can jump. Once you're in the air, you can move up and down. If you’re too close to the rocks, you might hit them, so don’t stretch too fast, but you must be fully stretched before hitting the water. Once in the water, you need to move left quickly, otherwise you’ll hit the bottom. And I always thought I’d be playing a guy named Cliff, who’d be diving for sea shells.
Slalom Skiing: This has got to be the worst event of them all. Basically, you just need to make it to the finish. You need to pass through gates, but you can miss them, unlike in the real event, where you mustn’t miss a single one. The more you zig-zag, the slower you’ll go (makes sense), but if you hit anything you’ll fall (and be disqualified).
Log Rolling: This is a fun event. There are two guys standing on a log which is floating in a lake. They need to roll the log (by walking or running) and throw the other guy into the water while trying to maintain their balance. There are gauges telling you how fast you’re going, and in which direction, to help you on your way. Now let’s see if you’ll get all wet!
Bull Riding: Now this is an event that I’ve never been any good at. It helps if you slow down your computer to play this. You have to move in a certain direction to counter the movement of the bull, but I always end up pressing keys at random and falling off.
Caber Toss: This is a fun event. You get a long log (a caber) that you need to hurl as far as possible. You move by pressing Left and Right, but you need to keep the caber balanced as well. If you start too fast, the caber will fall on you. So start slow, and when the caber leans in front of you, speed up. When you see the caber leaning too much, throw it!
Sumo Wrestling: Gained weight? That’s amazing, considering how much exercise you’ve been getting lately. Anyway, the point of this event is simple: You need to either push your opponent out of the ring or make him fall (I find the second option easier). Enjoy!
The game has CGA graphics (only four colours), which is definitely a downside. The sound doesn’t improve the experience much, either. Luckily, the multiplayer option is there and the game is quite addictive. Also, the choice of events to compete in is very original, to say the least. Except for Weight Lifting and Slalom, which are also Olympic events, you compete in more "exotic" sports. Every event is neatly described with some history of the sport, so you can even learn a thing or two. If the game didn't have those dated graphics (CGA was already outdated in 1987) and those horrid sounds, it would deserve a 5, but this way it only gets a 4 from me.