Track & Field

Track & FieldBuy this gameThe Game: It’s time for the 1984 Olympics! Qualify and compete in such events as the 100-meter dash, the long jump, javelin throw, and the shot-put. (Konami, 1983)

Memories: Though the above summary of Track & Field may seem unjustly short, that really summed up the game, which was actually quite fun, especially if you could get a second player to compete against you at the same time. Very rarely have I given a sports game the time of day unless it was a good one (such as Atari’s Pole Position) or a game so goofy that it transcended its genre (i.e. the hilarious Odyssey2 Computer Golf! cartridge). Track & Field was a true rarity – a decent sports game.

Track & FieldThe controls on Track & Field consisted of buttons which you had to punch rapid-fire to achieve your running speed. As such, the game was somewhat tiring to play physically (a bit of a rarity with video games!), but it was a real rush – again, especially if you were competing against another person instead of the machine.

Frequent Konami licensee Atari did get around to adapting Track & Field for the Atari 2600, along with a special controller to simulate the arcade’s button-heavy action, but 4 quarters!since this wasn’t released until the twilight of Atari as a game manufacturer, it wasn’t very common. And by that point, Activision and other companies had already mined the Olympic-themed game genre with cartridges such as Decathlon.