Track & Field

Developer: Konami Publisher: Konami Genre: Sports Released: April 1987 Rating: 4.0
Nintendo Entertainment System
Developer: Konami
Publisher: Konami
Genre: Sports
Released: April 1987
Rating: 4.0

Track & Field is a home port of the 1983 arcade game of the same name. Although the original arcade game never gained much notoriety, the release of the game on the NES popularized the series and spawned numerous sequels on multiple platforms.

Track & Field features 8 events; the 100-meter dash, long jump, 110-meter hurdles, javelin throw, skeet shooting, triple jump, archery, and the high jump. Skeet shooting requires the player to hit a button precisely when the clay pigeon enters the target sights, and archery requires exact timing to hit targets as they move across the screen.

The other 6 events all involve tapping the buttons as fast as possible to build up running speed, interrupted only by tapping the d-pad at the appropriate time to jump or throw the javelin.

The game has two modes (A & B) which are nothing more than a difficulty setting. In each event, there is a minimum time or score that must be met to move on, and that minimum is the only difference between the two game modes.

The true strength of the game lies in its 2-player mode, as it pits players against each other to see who has the fastest fingers. While many 2-player games are a contest of experience with a game, Track & Field is a test of tapping speed and hand-eye coordination. No matter which mode or how many players you choose, the game format is the same. You pick an event to start with, and then cycle through all of the events in order until you fail to meet the minimum qualification requirement for an event, at which time your game will be over. After each cycle of events is complete, the qualification requirement is raised slightly, so the game gets harder each time you play through it.

While this game isn’t very deep, it is certainly fun to play, makes for a great multi-player game, and is an excellent means of keeping your gaming fingers nimble.

Buy Track & Field on GameGavel or Amazon.