Playman Track & Field
Posted by Jackie Judge on 2/24/10
Release Date:February 12, 2010
Price:$0.99 (free lite version available)
Summary:Fun track and field sporting app that makes you feel like an athlete, without actually putting on shoes.
In the spirit of the recently ongoing Olympics, here’s a cute game called Track & Field that will put you in the game, when you can’t partake in the sports, yourself. I like running as much as the next self-professed runner, but I will never be referred to as an Olympian – not in this lifetime – nor will I ever participate in any televised events, with fans cheering in stadiums, while donning those ridiculously skintight shorts that long distance runners use, the wedgie ones barely covering their sinewy muscles.
No, I’m content to satisfy my Olympian urges with this game by Playman Sports, where I may select an avatar to participate in one of several events, including the 100m dash, the long jump, the 110m hurdles, the pole vault, and the javelin toss. You may select one of 12 characters as your avatar, the default being a duo of red-headed twins. I took a liking to the rather Germanic looking blonde with green beret, much in the same tough vein as Cammy from Street Fighter II. Oh, how I loved Cammy, in all her muscly, braided hair glory. For my character, I chose the Ukrainian flag, for no particular reason, other than I love saying the Ukraine, with a thick, horribly affected accent. If you don’t like the Ukraine (why wouldn’t you?!), don’t worry, there are plenty of other countries to choose.
After creating your carefully crafted avatar, you may go to the Challenge section as an Amateur, where you may participate in any of the aforementioned events; you must beat each event, and the final tournament, before you can unlock the Pro mode. I have yet to beat the Pro section – it’s quite difficult – but I assume the Survival Mode, as indicated by the tightly clad Eskimo on the main screen, will be unlocked for use as soon as I beat the Pro tournament. Multiplayer is available right away, should you want to take your hurdling, running, jumping and throwing skills to the global universe of Track & Field players, but as my readers know, I’m a lover of the single player. Though, I digress – multiplayer is awesome. Suddenly, instead of just one A.I. opponent, you now have four or five players running alongside you and jumping at different times. It’s pretty cool to watch, and I’m curious why the single player mode doesn’t offer you more opponents.
After you’ve selected your event – say, the long jump – I highly recommend you read through the instructions before participating. The game isn’t obviously intuitive the first time around, so the instructions give some much needed insight into what the orange and green buttons mean. “Buttons?” you may ask. For each event, you power your player forward, to hopeful victory, by tapping the orange buttons to start, and by tapping the green buttons as soon as they appear onscreen, then ending with a calculated press and release of two orange buttons to give your player the final surge of power to propel himself forward to the finish. The more quickly you react and tap to the green buttons, the better your player will perform – whether he’s running, or jumping, or otherwise. The use of the orange buttons can be trickier in some events than others – the pole vault, for example, took Ocie and I countless tries before we finally succeeded in figuring out that the orange buttons must be pushed at one, single moment, otherwise your character will fail miserably, hoisting himself a mere foot or two off the ground before haplessly falling, or just not making it into the air at all. Not exactly the Olympian feat we all admire. I believe it was I, who finally figured that as soon as your player begins moving the pole forward and down, you must then, and only then, press the orange buttons – despite their repeated glaring onscreen – to successfully vault yourself into the air, and over the high beam, to land down on the other side in triumph. Phew! What a workout that was.
Out of all the events, the pole vault and the long jump are the two most frustrating and difficult to master. You challenge different opponents, randomly, for each event, and you must conquer them in three rounds to successfully complete an event. If you’re lousy at the game (a little like me), then at least the game is enjoyable to watch, with its retro-stylized graphics that seem appropriate for a classic Nintendo. I always appreciate anything retro, anyway.
Definitely a fun game to pick up whenever the urge to compete strikes, with Track & Field you don’t have to worry about scraped knees or muddy shorts. Just make your player do all the dirty work and reap the applause, anyway.
Categorized as: $0.99,Apps for Kids,Apps for Teenagers,Entertainment,Games,Lifestyle,Paid Apps,Racing,Social Networking,Special Categories,Sports,Sports Games
Tagged as: fun apps, gaming apps, just for fun apps, paid iphone apps, Playman, strategy apps, Track & Field