Athletic World


Genre: Power Pad

Publisher: Bandai

Total time played: 20 minutes

Short review:  A very short power pad game featuring several events such as running, running with animals, running in caves, running on logs and riding a raft.

Interesting links related to Athletic World

It took a while to figure out how to play this game.  At the beginning I selected the beginner level and was taken to a screen to enter my name, sex, age and today’s date.  The cursor moved between the letters, the A button put a blank space, the B button moved back a space and the start button started the game without entering information.  I reset the game to try again.  It turns out, for the first time ever in an NES game the SELECT button does what its name implies, it SELECTS the highlighted letter.

My control issues didn’t end there.  After entering my info I was taken to a side view of my character on a dirt path on the top half of the screen and a turtle on the same dirt path at the bottom of the screen.  At this point I think this is a World Class Track Meet rip off and I will then have to race faster and faster animals to beat the game, I was wrong, you always race the turtle.

I waited several seconds and the race never started.  I hit every button on the controller and stepped on every number of the power pad, still nothing.  A quick Google search told me I was supposed to use side A of the power pad even though the cover art of the game clearly shows side B.  After flipping the power pad over the race immediately started.

Hurdles: Run in place and jump at the right time to leap over the hurdle.  After falling at the first 5 or so hurdles I finally got the hang of it and beat the turtle.

Animal Trial: Run in place to outrun what look to be porcupines or hedgehogs? The key here, which I didn’t immediately know, is that you can jump between the circles on the power pad to move to the top and bottom of the screen.  Once I figured this out the race became much easier.  Instead of running at full speed to outrun the animals and looking like a fool I could jog slowly and simply jump to avoid the animals that were chasing after me.

Dark Tunnel: This race takes place in a stone corridor that wouldn’t look out of place in an Indiana Jones movie.  The key here is to just jog slowly and then when a steep hill appears run like a fool until you get to the top.  Not much of a challenge but I still worked up a sweat.

Log Run: This one took a while and even after reading what to do I still had trouble.  The way I finally passed this event was by hopping on one leg and jumping between the different circles on the power pad depending on where on the screen the log was.  Not intuitive at all.

Raft: This was probably my favorite event once I figured out what to do.  You float on a raft down a river and either jump over a log or duck under it while moving up and down to avoid rocks.  Again I had to look online how to do something, duck.  To duck on the raft you must place your feet on the pad and also place your hands on the pad.  It makes sense that to duck in the game you would actually have to duck, but it was still not a natural thing for me to know without instruction.  Once I learned to duck this event was a breeze until the end when you had to jump off the raft and land on a dock.  I was able to finally make the jump after 7 tries.

The first time through the game I achieved the 7th degree.  I had enough energy to play the game again and improve my score to get the 4th degree.  I imagine that the 1st degree is the top score.  I feel as if I could probably obtain this degree with some practice but there is no reason to do so.

The game achieved its goal of getting my heart rate up and making me sweat, however it failed at making me want to continue to play the game or to ever play the game again.





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