It's now summer and unbelievably the Sun is shining and the temperature is high! However, you can be certain that the current good weather won't last long and we'll be forced back indoors soon enough. But here are a few games that might help to extend the season a little longer.
Enjoy some totally rad West Coast activities in this collection of cool Californian sports. On offer is surfing, BMXing, roller skating, Frisbee throwing, skateboarding and, um, bag kicking. Released for just about every available computer and console in the late 80s and early 90s, the game was an instant hit. Played today, it reflects its era and the trends of the time very well. Gnarly dude. A sequel followed but it didn't have much success.
The British seaside wouldn't be the same without Punch & Judy, and the violent politically incorrect puppet show is the basis of Punchy, a computer game released for the Spectrum, Amstrad, Tatung Einstein (!) and a few Commodore computers by Mr Micro. In it, wifebeater Mr Punch has kidnapped Judy's baby and it is down to you, as Bobby the policeman, to rescue it. The game is basically a clone of Hunchback - in fact, it was nearly called Hunchy - and wasn't a bad version at all, although time hasn't been good to it.
A platform game featuring 7-Up's mascot Cool Spot, who was based on the red dot in the logo of the fizzy drink. Well, its American mascot. We had shitty Fido Dido over here. And a game that made no reference to 7-Up at all. Although not technically a summer game, it had a summery feel to it, starting and ending on a beach, and Cool Spot wore sunglasses throughout his adventure. Cool Spot was released on the Super Nintendo, Sega Master System, Nintendo Gameboy, Commodore Amiga and Sega Mega Drive. A review of the SNES version is available here.
If queuing for hours for a ride at Alton Towers just doesn't appeal to you but you wouldn't mind having the chance to run the place, then Theme Park might just be the game for you. Released in the mid-90s for a heap of computers and consoles, this management sim saw you setting up and managing your very own fairgrounds. The game was great fun and even had a few sequels which are also worth a look at too. A remade version was released for iOS which is nothing more than a money-making scam.
Released for the Sega Mega Drive and Game Gear only, Greendog was a platform game featuring a cool surfer dude on a treasure hunt to release a curse. It was an average platformer, released at a time when Sonic the Hedgehog was dominating the scene, but featured a groovy little Calypso soundtrack. Something to fill a bit of time on a Sunday afternoon perhaps.
A volleyball game for the original Xbox featuring ladies in skimpy bikinis with breasts which appear to bounce of their own accord. Probably not a great game to put on when you've got the in-laws over, but a surprisingly good volleyball sim. Its sequel for the Xbox 360 features a bundle of mini games. It's basically California Games for pervs. A third game in the series is available for PS4 and PS Vita in Asian areas only.
Nothing beats driving along the coast with the roof down, and in OutRun you get the chance to do just that. OutRun is the ultimate sun-soaked racer, featuring colourful visuals and a timeless summer soundtrack. The arcade version from 1986 was ported to just about every computer and console known to man. It's also appeared on every single Sega console released in the west! Twenty years later, OutRun 2 appeared out of the blue, along with a few later variations (OutRun 2 SP, OutRun 2006: Coast to Coast, OutRun Online Arcade) These reboots were released in arcades, and on PlayStation 2, PlayStation 3, Xbox, and Xbox 360