Yet another fine Joystick Waggler for the ZX Spectrum - Hypersports was the official conversion of the Konami arcade game which was the follow up to Track and Field (which had inspired the uber popular Daley Thompsons Decathlon).
Anyway, Imagine Software released Hypersports for the Sinclair ZX Spectrum in the summer of 1985 - and it was met with high regard.
As usual with these types of classic games (and these conversions from arcade game to home computer), there were a number of events for you to overcome.
The events were: Swimming, Skeet Shooting, Vault, Archery, Triple Jump and finally Weightlifting.
Each event had either a qualifying time, distance or target for you to achieve. To proceed onto the next event you had to qualify in the preceding one - failure to do so resulted in the end of the game.
It should be noted that some of the events could be a bit damaging to your ZX Spectrum keyboard or your joystick. But that was usual for these types of sports arcade games...
So, after inputting your initials it was game on, and time to don those speedo's for the first event.
The swimming event was a pretty simple one to start with. All you had to do was waggle that stick or mash the keys as fast as you could whilst intermittently hitting the fire button to make your swimmer breathe (a little breach icon flashed up telling you to do so). If you breathed too early then your swimmer would stop for a moment to cough and splutter.
Skeet shooting (my favourite) was a fast moving event. Your marksman would stand in the centre of the bottom half of the screen as the clay pigeons zipped in from the left and right. You had two 'targets' and when a skeet passed through you could blast it away. Qualifying from here saw your marksman turn to look at you with a smile on his face and give you a cheeky wink!
Next, it was into the gym and onto (or vault) the wooden horse. Your man automatically ran up to the horse but you had to time his jump onto the springboard using the fire button to make him vault. Too itchy on the trigger finger and you didn't get much of a jump; too late and your guy tripped over.
Timing the jump correctly was the key - doing so launched your athlete through the air, to land hands first on the horse. Now the tricky bit; when his body was horizontal you had to press fire again and hit the speed buttons as fast as possible to make him somersault over and over. Now you had to land feet first, otherwise he would tumble over and you're score would be penalised. This was a pretty tricky event!
After this came the archery - one of the most difficult events (as far as my foggy memort tells me anyway). Pressing fire determined wind speed and then a target was winched down the screen which you had to hit.
To do this you had to allow for wind speed and let the arrow fly by pressing the fire button. Making sure your angle was as near to five degrees as possible was the way to an accurate shot - and if you were really good you might hit the bullseye. You didn't win a speedboat though.
Next it was the triple jump and this was speed button-tastic. With as much speed as you could waggkle, you had to run up to the line and press the jump button, aiming for a 45 degree angle. You had to this again for the step and the jump to get a qualifying score.
The weight lifting event was a mash your Speccy into the deck or destroy your joystick level. After selecting the weight to 'lift' it you had to pound or waggle away until your man lifted the weight to his chest. Once there you had to press fire to 'snatch' the weights and waggle away again push and keep them above his head. Once that is over you and your arms (and ZX Spectrum!) had recovered it was back to the start with each qualifying time more difficult.
This was all classic arcade gaming action!
Daley Thompson Decathlon had been a smash hit on the ZX Spectrum and Hypersports was a welcome addition to the sporting genre. Gamers new the format and style of play and the arcade game had been popular too. Programmer Jonathan Smith (who always signatured his games with 'Joffa' or his name written in reverse) did a good job converting Konami's game to the humble Speccy. The game was playable, the events were varied, the characters nicely animated and it was addictive overall. Playing with others was good for a laugh too as you tried to beat each others scores. Magazines and gamers enjoyed Hypersports and it was a big hit.
The test of time:
Well here in Spectrum games we like a bit of Hypersports every now and again. It is a pretty simple game and is easy to get into. It'll never keep you occupied for hours but for a quick half hour you can't go wrong - and it's still fun with two players too. The controls are responsive, and the skeet shooting and triple jump are particularly good. A good arcade game back then, still not bad today.
Try not to be too hard on your keyboard when playing Hypersports again!
We recommend getting hold of the real Sinclair ZX Spectrum hardware, but if not then download a ZX Spectrum emulator and download Hypersports for the ZX Spectrum. Alternatively you could try and play it online.
Please see our other ZX Spectrum retro game reviews - all links are listed in alphabetical order. Cheers guys.
GENRE: Arcade sports game
RELEASE DATE: Summer of 1985
RELEASED BY: Imagine Software
DEVELOPER(S): Jonathan (Jof) Smith
Bri does a bit of swimming with classic arcade action
Mart loves a bit of arcade game shooting...
Classic Games, Arcade Games and ZX Spectrum Games