|Title: California Games
Author:Epyx, Inc. 1989 , Lic. to Atari Corp.
Rom Player: Handy
Synopsis: # of Players: 1-2
Synopsis: - This title originally came with the Lynx system, but it can also be found on the NES. Basically, it's a sports game with a California theme.
Gameplay: 6/10 - There are four different games to play.
BMX: You ride a bike down a path containing steep hills, ledges, metal "speed bumps" and bales of hay. You get more points if you complete the level before the time runs out. The most important thing, though, is to perform a variety of stunts for extra points. To slow down, press left on the directional pad. To move faster, press right. You can also move up or down on the path with the directional pad. To flip your bike 360 degrees, press the B button. To do a wheelie , press the A button. The controls generally work fine, but sometimes I crashed because the bike would move up slightly for no reason. Still, this is my favorite event because you can perform some really crazy stunts.
SURFING: This is probably the easiest event to master. The way to win the most points is to perform as many 360's as possible. Use the directional pad to guide your board, and use the A button for a sharper turn. Avoid the area where the wave is crashing or you'll wipe out. The faster you ride the waves, the higher your board will shoot in the air. This will give you more time to perform the 360's. Be sure to have the front of the board facing the wave when you start falling or you'll wipe out.
HALFPIPE (Skateboard): I had the hardest time figuring out this event because the controls are confusing. If you have the instructions, they will help. Anyways, you need to perform as many hand plants and aerial turns as possible for the most points.
FOOTBAG (Hackey Sack): This one is also fairly easy to master and is really about timing. You can hit the bag with your head, knees and feet. Pressing "down" allows you to turn around. Do a full turn for extra points. Pressing "up" makes you jump higher. You can also hit the seagull flying by with the bag.
Graphics: 9/10 - This game really shows the Lynx's graphic capabilities. The backgrounds and characters look realistic and I especially liked the color of the waves in the surfing game. The zooming camera in halfpipe also looks really cool.
Music/Sound: 8/10 - I liked the music in this game. There's a distinct tune for each of the events and they're all catchy, especially the "Wipe Out" song for the surfing level. The sound effects are great, too, especially when your bike crashes or you slide down the halfpipe.
Originality: 7/10 - I don't know of too many games like this one, so it's pretty original.
Overall: 7/10 - I would have given this game a higher rating but it's too easy. Beginning and young gamers will like this title, but advanced gamers will want something more challenging. Although it's fun to try and beat your score for a while, it gets old fast. I wish that this game had computer opponents since I don't have anyone to play against. This game shouldn't be too difficult to find if you wish to purchase it.
Best Cheats: Nothing Entered
Game Play: 6
Overall Rating: 7
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