Olympic Summer Games (video game)

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Olympic Summer Games
Olympic Summer Games Coverart.png
Sega Megadrive Cover art
Developer(s) Silicon Dreams
Tiertex Design Studios
Publisher(s) 3DO
U.S. Gold
Sega Genesis, Game Boy & Super Nintendo Entertainment System
Black Pearl
Platform(s) 3DO, Sega Genesis, Game Boy, Super Nintendo Entertainment System, PlayStation
Release 3DO & Sega Genesis
Super Nintendo Entertainment System & Game Boy
  • NA: June, 1996
  • EU: June 27, 1996
  • EU: July ??, 1996
  • NA: July 23, 1996
  • JP: October 25, 1996
Genre(s) Sports (Olympic)
Mode(s) Single-player, two player hotseat or simultaneously

Olympic Summer Games is an official video game of the Atlanta 1996 Olympic Games. It is the successor to Olympic Gold and Winter Olympics. It was the last "Olympic" video game released for the fourth generation of consoles, as well as the Game Boy.

It follows the already common button mashing techniques of previous (and future) games, with the usual exceptions.

It has 10 events (three more than Olympic Gold), with all but two based on track and field events.[1] Unlike Winter Olympics, there are no major differences between each event on different platforms.


The game comes with eight preset athletes to choose from, but the player can customize their names and nationalities before entering events.

  • United States Paul
  • United Kingdom Chris
  • Canada David
  • France Kevin
  • Spain Gary
  • Japan Colin
  • Germany Ian
  • Finland Jon



As in the previous titles, there are three difficulty levels and both Olympics and mini-Olympics (here called "custom game") modes. However, the points table was removed, and the only way to compare results is by the medals' table. In the sprinting events, there are two qualifying rounds, and only the winner (out of four competitors) passes to the next round. On long jump, triple jump, discus and javelin each player has three attempts; the best 10 progress to the final and have three extra attempts. The best result overall wins. In high jump and pole vault there aren't qualifying rounds; the players jump in turns until missing three consecutive jumps.


GamePro's Bruised Lee and Johnny Ballgame gave negative reviews to, respectively, the Genesis and Super NES versions. They criticized the bland, simplistic graphics, shortage of sound effects, repetitive music, and the lack of variety in the gameplay of the different events. Bruised Lee remarked that the Genesis version was even worse than the Super NES one.[2] A reviewer for Next Generation contended that "Although buried behind substandard graphics (even for 16-bit standards), Olympic Summer Games features the multiple player gameplay that made Track and Field so popular." He described the gameplay's demand for a combination of intense button pounding and precise timing to be both an effective challenge and a traditionally fun experience, and scored the Super NES version three out of five stars.[3]

Next Generation gave the 3DO version three out of five stars as well. The reviewer again praised the combination of button mashing and timing, and noted that while the graphics do not measure up to International Track & Field or DecAthlete, those two games would not have been able to run on the 3DO without significant compromises.[4]

The two sports reviewers of Electronic Gaming Monthly scored the PlayStation version 6.0 and 6.5 out of 10, complaining of low frame rates and a lack of lasting appeal.[5]


  1. ^ "Olympic Summer Games". Electronic Gaming Monthly. Ziff Davis (83): 118. June 1996. 
  2. ^ "Olympic Summer Games". GamePro. No. 94. IDG. July 1996. p. 86. 
  3. ^ "Olympic Summer Games". Next Generation. No. 20. Imagine Media. August 1996. pp. 101, 103. 
  4. ^ "Olympic Summer Games". Next Generation. No. 23. Imagine Media. November 1996. p. 275. 
  5. ^ "Box Score: Olympic Summer Games". Electronic Gaming Monthly. No. 86. Ziff Davis. September 1996. p. 142. 
Preceded by
Olympic Gold: Barcelona '92
Official video game of the Summer Olympics
Succeeded by
Sydney 2000
Preceded by
Winter Olympics: Lillehammer 94
Official video game of the Olympics
Succeeded by
Nagano Winter Olympics '98