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Although
HES Games is getting on a bit now, it certainly isn't showing its age. The presentation is first class and there are plenty of impressive touches throughout, such as the replay feature. Three of the six events involve some hefty waggling and prove a mite monotonous, but the others are great and require some very precise timing; I especially like the archery and weightlifting. HES Games is basically an extremely classy sports simulation that shouldn't be overlooked by any self-respecting fan of the genre, especially at the ridiculously low price.

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I played this last year and remember being very impressed then. In fact, the only thing wrong with it was that it was about 25! Now you can sample its sporting delights for an eighth of its original price! The graphics are great, the sound befits each event and the program is a highly playable and addictive one. All I can say is buy it!

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This review has been based on the DISK version of the game. The cassette version is multi-load, which will be less convenient by far, but considering overall quality, enjoyment factor and price, this probably won't be such a serious drawback. HES Games should be released mid-summer.

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Welcome to Game of the Week! Each week there will be a new featured game on this page. The game may be good, average or diabolically bad, it really doesn't matter! Just look at the pics, read the text and enjoy the nostalgia! :-) Game of the Week! is open to contributions so if you would like to contribute a game article for this page you're more than welcome to! Every article we receive will be considered!
HES Games
1984 HesWare
Programmed by Michael F.C. Crick
 
Most text of the present article comes from the review published in the fifteenth issue of the British C64 magazine ZZAP!64 (street date: June 12th, 1986).
 

HES GAMES
Americana, 2.99 cass, 5.95 disk, joystick only


Summer is coming and it's time to don your skimpy shorts and go out and get fit by doing lots of strenuous sporty things. If that's not really your style and you like to spend the sunny season slumped on your posterior toggling your joystick, then you can still compete in various sport events courtesy of HES Games from Americana. There are six different events which have to be loaded separately -- three of them test your joystick toggling muscles and the other three require precision timing and reflex skills.

Before an event is loaded you must enter the number of players (up to six) and enter their names and affiliation (ie Mad Dog Regan USA, Mag the Hag UK etc), and select the strip colour (red shorts, red top for Derek Hatton etc). After that any of the events may be loaded and it's possible to view the real world records for that event by pushing the joystick in certain directions. Once you've seen what you're up against you can start the event proper.

Another nice feature about HES Games is the replay/classic replay options. After you complete an event you can watch it again by pressing F1 on the keyboard! Or, if you so desire, watch a classic replay -- an emulation of when the world record took place. This is particularly useful with weightlifting to study technique. If you manage to get a world record or a good score then this can be saved out (on the disk version ONLY). Right, here is a breakdown of all the events . . .

100M SPRINT

This nice simple event is played over a scrolling track with your big character seen in the centre of the screen. When the starting gun sounds, frantically waggle your joystick left and right. The faster you can waggle the faster your on-screen personna hacks. One or two players can bash away at this event. Two players is better since it adds that competitive edge.

110M HURDLES

This is viewed in similar style to the 100m sprint and the same sort of joystick toggling applies, but if you only waggle left and right in this event, your man falls rear end over chest because he won't jump a hurdle when he encounters one. So, to remedy the situation, press right on the joystick when he comes up to a hurdle and he jumps it. In between the hurdles waggle the joystick to get up speed.

LONG JUMP

Yet another event which takes place over a scrolling backdrop. Move the joystick left and right quickly to gain speed on the run up and when the man reaches the board press up on the joystick to make him jump. If you time it correctly he flies through the air and lands in the sandpit. Then pull right on the joystick to push him forward otherwise he falls backwards landing on his bot, spoiling the jump length.

ARCHERY

This is the first event to deviate from joystick waggling and it tests your timing. This event is played in 3D -- all that is seen of your archer is a hand holding the bow; beyond that the four targets are arrayed. To put an arrow in the bow, keep the fire button depressed and pull back on the joystick. Once the arrow is strung you can move the bow anywhere on the screen and using the sight mounted on the arrow you can fire it at the target. This event automatically caters for the distance to the target, so you don't have to worry about compensating for the arrow dropping during its flight, but you do have to watch out for the wind and compensate for its effect. Current wind speed and direction is shown and is constantly updated.

WEIGHTLIFTING

This has two parts -- the Two Hand Snatch and the Clean And Jerk, and is another event which tests your timing. Both feature a big fat weightlifter who stares out of the screen and the player controls lifting movements by either pushing or pulling on the joystick. The real key to success is learning to time the weightlifter's movements -- if you mistime a snatch or don't give him time enough to steady himself, he drops the weights. The two-handed snatch is the easier event, requiring an up/down/up (with pauses) movement on the joystick to lift the weights successfully. Clean and jerk is far more difficult and requires up/down/up/down/up (with pauses) to lift the weight.

SPRINGBOARD DIVING

This is viewed from the side. You woman (for it is a she) stands on the extreme left hand side of the screen and when the joystick is tapped right begins the short run-up to the end of the board. When she reaches the end of the board, push up to make her jump, pull down to tense her legs, and then up again to spring. If this is timed correctly, she whizzes through the air doing somersaults. Just before she hits the water, pull down to kick out. Points are awarded for the gracefulness of the dive multiplied by the dive's difficulty factor.

     

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Here's an oldie given a new lease of life at a price fraction of its original cost. Although sport action simulations are old hat, HES Games really is among the best ever. The animations are realistic, full of nice touches, and help make it all very playable. The game isn't content with being obvious, so you get things like the runner on the long jump traversing the screen diagonally, getting bigger as he approaches the jump off point. The archery has a good feel to it, the weightlifting is tricky and the diving really tests your timing skills. This is a great package at a ludicrous price. Don't miss it!
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Presentation 98%

Just great -- informative instructions, demo modes, replay options . . .

Graphics 93%
Large, well animated sporting characters and convincing backdrops.

Sound 84%
Rather twiddly jingles and lavatory flushing style roars of the spectators but some good spot FX
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Hookability 95%
Enjoyable and addictive sporting action right from the starting gun.

Lastability 93%
Getting a world record is a highly desirable, but difficult task.

Value For Money 98%
Three quid for one of the best sports sims on the 64 -- you'll be a nutter to miss it.

Overall 95%
A wonderful sporting game which is challenging, addictive and graphically excellent and now ever so cheap. Need we say more?
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NAME CHANGE

One of last month's four Sizzlers, Hes Games, isn't going to be released . . . as Hes Games. US Gold are going to change the name of the game to Go For The Gold. Why? Dunno. One thing's for sure, though -- the game will remain the same, ie very good indeed.

 

Htmlized by Dimitris Kiminas (1 Mar 2006)
The original review featured screenshots for the Long Jump, Archery and Weightlifting events only.

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