International Athletics is a sport game by Ghostlight. $5.99
I am sure many of you have bought Playman's Track & Field for $0.99. The game featured an Athletics theme with simple controls of tapping on buttons as they appear. The game worked extremely well and left me feeling like that earned by $0.99 and probably deserved an extra dollar or two.
When International Athletics was released I was very interested in how this game would work. For a higher price (Originally $9.99 before dropping down to $5.99) this game is a port of a top selling PSP game. International Athletics has alot more events to compete in with many game modes to play such as single event, decathlon or to try and get a gold medal. The game also features 3D graphics which originally made me think of Athens 2004 on the PS2. This is the first time Ghostlight has come to the iPhone, after spending many years publishing great games on larger platforms. Is this a successful port however? While the sales don't say so I think it is a top notch game.
This game has top notch graphics, even if the still shots of the game suggest quite dodgy ones. While at times the characters look like they were carved out of a piece wood by an amateur, they are generally looking as good or even better than the characters in Tiger Woods PGA Tour 2009. Ghostlight haven't taken the easy way out with the graphics, with full detailed stadiums perfect for competing in. The animation for all the events are really smooth and surprised me, especially since its a port from the PSP. Also unlike Playman's Track & Field you get the real experience with 3D graphics instead of the 2D ones. All around the graphics are a great selling point of this game.
There is a fair amount of sound effects used while the game is going, but as Tiger Woods showed if commentary is used right its a great feature. Being another sporting game that we watch on the TV all the time, this could easily engage you so much more if there was a bit of commentary between races/throws. Apart from this improvements its pretty good.
Generally Athletics games give you one heck of a workout, with even the fittest people cramping up after button mashing a 1500m race. Luckily for us we don't have to resort to this button mashing, instead Ghostlight has given us a slide method like the one in Guinness World Records. Running is done by sliding your finger constantly across the screen horizontally. This is needed for all all events basically but the field events require some more controls. This usually involves a tap and hold on the screen that you must get right to do the perfect throw or jump. These are generally easy to learn but take some time to master.
International Athletics has alot more events than Playman's Track & Field with ten to compete in. These range from the running races like the 100m, 110m hurdles, 400m and 1500m to throwing events like the discus, hammer throw and shotput to jumping events like the long jump, high jump and pole vault. There are multiple game modes to compete it ranging from Quick Play, Tournament Mode and the Decathlon.
Quick Play mode lets you play any event you want in one of the three difficulty levels to try and win the gold medal. Winning each event will give you a gold medal and you can pick up a medal for each of the three difficulty levels. Tournament mode is also over the three difficulty levels. Your aim in tournament mode is to rack up as many points as possible of a various number of events to try and win the gold trophy for that level. For those who think they can go the full distance I recommend you competing in the decathlon. The aim of the decathlon, for those who know their mathematics, is to compete in all ten events, trying to get as many points as possible to come away with the trophy. This is alot harder and requires you to be good at all the events. Once again you can play this in all three difficulty levels.
I would recommend this game if you enjoyed- Playman's Track & Field
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