The Activision Decathlon

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The Activision Decathlon
Thedecathloncover.jpg
Developer(s)Activision
Publisher(s)Activision
Designer(s)David Crane[1]
Platform(s)Atari 2600, Atari 8-bit, Atari 5200, ColecoVision, Commodore 64, MSX
ReleaseAtari 2600
Commodore 64
Atari 8-bit
Genre(s)Sports
Mode(s)Single-player, up to four players on the Atari 8-bit

The Activision Decathlon is a sports game written by David Crane for the Atari 2600 and published by Activision in 1983.[1] It was ported to the Atari 8-bit family, Atari 5200, Commodore 64, ColecoVision, and MSX. Up to four players compete in the ten different events of a real-life decathlon, either in sequence or individually.

Gameplay[edit]

110 meter hurdles (C64)

The events are:[5]

  1. 100-Meter Dash
  2. Long Jump
  3. Shot Put
  4. High Jump
  5. 400-Meter Race
  6. 110-Meter Hurdles
  7. Discus Throw
  8. Pole Vault
  9. Javelin Throw
  10. 1500-Meter Race

Activision Decathlon Club patches[edit]

A player whose score met or exceeded the values below could send photo documentation to receive an Activision Decathlon Club patch in one of the colors of an Olympic medal:

  • 8,600 points: Bronze
  • 9,000 points: Silver
  • 10,000 points: Gold

Reception[edit]

Shortly after release, Activision's Decathlon drew comparisons to Konami's popular arcade game Hyper Olympic (Track & Field), which was introduced at the Amusement Machine Show a month later in September 1983. According to Cash Box magazine, several people claimed there were "cursory similarities" between the two games.[6]

The Atari 2600 version of Decathlon was reviewed by Video magazine in its "Arcade Alley" column where it was described as "an absolute triumph of imaginative programming" and as "a masterwork."[7]:28 Computer and Video Games rated the VCS version 92% while giving the ColecoVision version a 93% score.[8]

In 1985, the game appeared at number-two on the Atari 8-bit chart in the United Kingdom.[4]

Legacy[edit]

The game was later reissued simply as Decathlon by the UK budget label Firebird.[9] It was included in the 2002 PlayStation 2 compilation Activision Anthology.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Hague, James. "The Giant List of Classic Game Programmers".
  2. ^ "Activision Decathlon (Registration Number PA0000189213)". United States Copyright Office. Retrieved 8 June 2021.
  3. ^ "The Activision Decathlon". Retro Gamer. Future Publishing. 7 June 2011. Retrieved 1 May 2021.
  4. ^ a b "Gallup Chart". Computer Gamer. No. 5. United Kingdom: Argus Press. August 1985. p. 10.
  5. ^ "The Activision Decathlon Atari 2600 manual". archive.org. Activision. 1983.
  6. ^ ""Somber" JAMMA Show Hosts Five Laser Disc Games". Cash Box. October 15, 1983. pp. 32, 34.
  7. ^ Kunkel, Bill; Katz, Arnie (December 1983). "Arcade Alley: Super Gifts for Gamers" (PDF). Video. Vol. 7 no. 9. Reese Communications. pp. 28–9. ISSN 0147-8907.
  8. ^ "Complete Games Guide" (PDF). Computer and Video Games (Complete Guide to Consoles): 46–77. 16 October 1989.
  9. ^ "Decathlon". Atarimania. Archived from the original on 2011-06-05. Retrieved 2009-10-03. Publisher: Firebird (UK) [..] Other versions with the same title: Activision (USA), Activision (UK), HES.

External links[edit]