Crazy Athletics Summer Sports & Games is very different from CrazySoft’s Educational Games For Kids. Bear in mind that the latter is targeted towards learning (and very good at it); the latest game is a throwback to classic sports games such as Track & Field.
Y’see, Crazy Athletics Summer Sports & Games is all about timing and pressing the correct button at the precise moment. Though there is a rhythm for pressing the actual buttons, the music isn’t cued to the beats, so you have to watch the sequence that appears on the screen.
That’s a shame as you aren’t watching the action. The visuals are bright and colourful and will immediately appeal to younger audiences and laid-back game reviewers: watching your avatar run and jump is enjoyable. Well, it’s more enjoyable when watching someone else when it’s not your turn, as you’re too distracted by the visual timing.
A quick heads up: the game has been updated since this review and the button timings are no longer an issue. I’m not rewriting the review, but it’s way better now than it was when writing about it.
After choosing your character and nationality, then opting for a single-player run or multiplayer mode, it’s possible to use your music within the game. Though the in-game music didn’t match the events, they were uplifting, feel-good tracks that helped dilute the frustration with Crazy Athletics Summer Sports & Games’ gameplay. Uh-oh.
There aren’t any difficulty settings or calibration options to prevent failure. You can’t use any ‘lag’ excuse here, so stick with “my glasses steamed up” – whether you wear them or not. This ruled out my youngest playing the game with me in multiplayer as she couldn’t get the rhythm whatsoever, and there was no way to set up a handicap. Even without pressing the buttons on my part, she still couldn’t catch up.
There are in-game guides to indicate the optimum time to press. The actions have to line up with a gauge of 100 on either side. As long as you get within +20 or -20 on the precise time, you’re safe, but it’s not as simple as that. Despite watching these guides again and again, the only stages that were enjoyable were the ones where you could afford to make the odd mistake, such as swimming or racing. Our experience nosedived very early on when one of the sports events meant outrunning a dinosaur.
We’d continually fail as you have five attempts in this 100-metre dash. I tried, and my eldest tried, but we kept failing, and the monetary incentive and “do it for daddy” wasn’t enough. We even got my wife involved, who never plays games, but just as I went to demonstrate what she needed to do, I finished the stage. Instead of elation, we decided to play something else.
Crazy Athletics Summer Sports & Games has family-friendly written all over it, but due to the timing/difficulty, it was only me who could play it properly, and even then, not very well. Within the context of this Crazy Athletics Summer Sports & Games review, I’ve been playing games for decades (which doesn’t mean I’m a good gamer but based on the volume I cover, better than average), and it was very testing. That said, rhythm games aren’t my forte, and perhaps other players will have better results than we did.
In some ways, I’d have embraced the Track & Field controls of frantic tapping rather than the timings. At least I’d be able to finish a race in one go. I’m on the fence with Crazy Athletics Summer Sports & Games. Educational Games for Kids is one of our most played games as a family, and I recommend it. However, as my eldest was frustrated with it and the youngest couldn’t do anything, it’s one I will have to coax them to play with bribes or guilt trips. If there were difficulty settings, this would make a massive difference, but unless we have to enter the Konami code, there wasn’t the option.