Just like the real Olympics: lots of hard work, very little reward.
Released in 1993 by U.S. Gold
You may recall that the 1994 Winter Olympics, held in Lillehammer, Norway, were most notable for the Tonya Harding/Nancy Kerrigan women’s figure skating controversy. Unfortunately, this game has no figure skating, nor can you club someone on the knee with a baton. Both would be more fun than the biathlon, I can tell you that.
This game is a batch of mini games, and only the ski races are potentially fun. You can choose to repeat a single event or play through them all while painstakingly watching results of your imaginary competitors flash across the screen. Let’s go one by one, best to worst.
Skiing: There are actually four variations: Downhill, Super G, Giant Slalom, and Slalom. Like a real Olympic skier, your only path to victory is relentless training. You’ll need to memorize the tracks, especially because the camera looks up the hill, not down it. One wrong move, and you’re zooming way off the track, into the bushes. But I must say, if you’re up to the challenge, it’s gotta be pretty satisfying to finish a smooth race down the mountain.
Bobsled/Luge: One race has your dude or chick laying down on a gurney, the other has two dudes or two chicks sitting upright, but they’re both the same. You whiz down a tubular track, riding the turns at just the right angle and trying not to scrape the sides. The races have a great feeling of speed, but it’s a pretty repetitive endeavor trying to shave milliseconds off your time over and over again.
Moguls: If you don’t know, moguls is the skiing competition where your dude or chick traverses one little bump after another and occasionally leaps in the air to do tricks. It’s tough to learn even the basics of this one, but at least it looks kinda cool. The instruction manual doesn’t help nearly enough.
Short track speed skating: Using a diagonal view and tricky controls similar to the ski races, you and three other skaters zoom around an oval a few times while mashing all the buttons. It’s pretty stupid and pointless. Can you believe there are two things worse than this?
Ski jump: Keep a cursor steady in the middle of a meter as you zoom down a ramp, time the jump, straighten out in the air, and time the landing … it actually sounds more fun when you read it than when you do it.
Biathlon: One of the weirdest sports I’ve ever seen, you ski across flat snow, stopping occasionally to shoot a rifle at targets. The problem is that the skiing mechanism involves moving a cursor across a meter over and over, and the shooting is incredibly frustrating, like trying to pull a tiny crumb out of a glass of water while drunk as a skunk.