Track and Field (NES) Retro Review

Track and Field (or Hyper Olympic in Japan) is a 1987 sports game for the NES developed and published by Konami. The game consists of eight ‘events’ which are: 100 Meter Dash, Long Jump, 110 Meter Hurdles, Javelin Throw, Sket Shooting, Triple Jump, Archery and High Jump. Like most minigame collections i’ll review each minigame seperately.

The title screen wasn’t overly fancy although the way it scrolled in from the left with the running guy holding a torch was quite nice. I assumed Game B was just a harder version of Game A, something old games like to do. The small tune was ok but the fact it loops on the level select screen causes you to get sick of it very quickly. Also i found it odd that despite being a list you still have to use select to go down one at a time and choose with start. Also the konami logo was still there. Considering how most of the games worked i thought i’d include scores i got with a turbo button along with my personal scores.

Getting into the game you see the graphics are alright but almost half the screen is taking up by information like score, times and speed. This was quite cool but at the same time very distracting. The first game aka The 100 meter dash was pretty simple since you just spam A although it was interesting to note you could get a false start. My personal best is 12.48 seconds, i also messed with a turbo button and got 7.67 seconds so i imagine you have insanely quick fingers to beat the ingame record without cheating. One of the most simple minigames ever but always nice to have.

Second game was Long Jump and it took me a few tries to work out you needed to press up on the d-pad to jump causing me to trip and foul multiple times. It took even longer to work out that you needed to hold it to get the perfect jump angle which seemed like a cool idea. My best was 5m 89 and messing with a turbo button i got 9m 74. I like games like this, easy to get used to but difficult to master.

3rd game is 110 meter hurdles which i assumed might be a bit complicated although i knew the controls from the lsat two minigames (spam A to run, up on the dpad to jump). This minigame was just a bit too difficult for me which took a little bit f the enjoyment out of it. My personal best was 16.06 seconds which is above the qualifying time and with turbo button i got 11.70 seconds. I didn’t really like this one.

4th game was Javelin Throw and disappointingly it controlled exactly the same as the long jump did although for some reason this seemed far harder to qualify. My best was 54m 70 and messing with a turbo button i got 127m 96. The game looked nice visually but didn’t really need to exist.

5th game was Skeet Shooting which seemed very different from the previous 4 minigames. The controls seemed a bit awkward at first, there was 2 boxes which i rightly assumed were where you shoot although i thought a and b shot on different directions. It turns out it uses controls similar to pinball where the d-pad shoots left and both A and B shoot right, as you might guess this annoyed me. It just felt really awkward with the boxes moving and although i knew i needed to get the right timing i still couldn’t enjoy it. I only managed to get 500 points and obviously turbo wouldn’t do any better. This minigame is badly made.

The 6th game was Triple Jump and from its name alone i knew it’d be similar to the Long Jump and it was essentially a hard mode version of it. Instead of the one jump you jump 3 times in a row without stopping which includes getting the right angle every time. Personal best was 13m 13 and i got a huge 24m 21 with turbo enabled which was surprisingly difficult as you had to do all 3 jumps within the first 13 meters. I thought this was a good minigame but the fact its seperate from Long jump kinda bothers me.

7th game is Archery and no matter what i did i had no clue what i was doing. You had to know things about wind and angles. I knew i had to time the shot and choose the right angle dependnig on the wind but it just looked stupid. I just couldn’t take it that seriously at i felt it would take way too much thinking and even when i did try i only got 920. It may be my fault that i didn’t like this game.

The 8th and last game was High Jump which i assumed would be a Long Jump clone with a different angle needed to get the high score although it turned out to be far more difficult than it looked at you needed to adjust your angle as you go over it. I had no idea how to get good at it which annoyed me and i only just managed to hit the qualifying score of 2m 26 with a fluke as i failed literally every other time i tried. I couldn’t even be bothered to try it with turbo on. Its not like this one was badly made like Archery was but i didn’t really like it that much.

Overall its an ok game but sadly there isn’t really much it offers you when you think about it. They’re all variations of each other although at least most of them would probably be decent with other people to play with and having more than 2 players isn’t impossible. Maybe i would of enjoyed it more if i played with someone else.


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