Daley Thompson's Supertest

by Dan Hartley, F. David Thorpe, Jonathan M. Smith, Paul Owens, Bob Wakelin
Ocean Software Ltd
Crash Issue 22, Nov 1985   page(s) 21,22

Producer: Ocean
Memory Required: 48K
Retail Price: £6.95
Language: Machine code
Author: P Owens and J Smith

Daley Thompson's Supertest is the long awaited follow-up to last year's big summer hit Daley Thompson's Decathlon. DTS and DTD (sound like weed killers) really originate from the Konami arcade classic Track and Field which started the Olympic sports craze around Easter last year.

There are eight events in DTS: four on one side of the cassette and four on the other. When you load in a side, the aim is to go through the quartet of events as many times as possible. To complete an event you have to beat the set qualifying time or score. If you qualify then you progress to the next event; if you don't then you lose one of the three lives you start the game with. Each time you complete a cycle of four events the qualifying times get harder.

Control is very simple, using just two speed buttons and a fire button. The speed buttons have to be hit alternately as fast as possible - if you're using the joystick then swift left and right movements will do the trick. The fire button is used to do a number of things - fire a gun, jump and so on, depending on the event.

Initially, the qualifying targets are fairly low, but as you go round and round, things get progressively more difficult and the challenge mounts up. Once you've lost your three lives (or become a superhero) you can always flip the tape over and load in the other four events... but the score you achieve on one set of games cannot be carried over onto the other.


Pistol Shooting
You stand in front of a set of six 'flip-round' targets. With ten shots in your pistol you shoot the targets as they spin round. You control a cursor, manoeuvring it over the target and shooting the bullet with the fire button. You cannot compensate if you move too far horizontally or vertically which can be annoying, and if you don't get a shot off while the target is facing you, you still lose a bullet. Points are scored for accuracy.

This is one of those simple pound-the-keyboard-into-the-floor events. As soon as you hear the starting gun just hammer away at the keyboard (or joystick) to get the fastest possible time.

Springboard Diving
Bounce your man on the diving board three times by using the fire button to gain height and then he'll automatically dive. Pound away at the keyboard to make your man do as many somersaults as possible. When he's near to the surface of the water stop somersaulting when his head is pointing down. If you get it right, he enters the water perfectly. A panel of four judges awards points for each dive…

Here you have to build up velocity by pressing the speed buttons so you can zoom down the hill. Once you see the flag gates you gain control of the skier and you have to steer him between the flags. If you hit a flag or turn too sharply then you lose speed and missing a gate completely means disqualification.

This is another simple event where you have to beat the qualifying time by pounding the speed buttons as fast as you can.

Here you have to build up speed during the run-up to the ball using two keys, then you kick the ball at the goal by pressing the fire button at the appropriate moment. The way the ball travels depends on how fast you run up and how long you keep the your finger on the fire button. The longer you keep your finger on the button the more the ball will bend. Too little and the 'keeper will save it, too much and you'll put the ball the wrong side of the post. You get five shots and must score three goals to qualify.

Ski Jump
Another event where you have to build up speed at the beginning. Whizz your way down the slope and when you reach the end press the fire button to jump. Watch him fly gracefully through the air and then press the fire button to land him safely.

Tug O' War
To complete this event you just have to build up massive energy with the speed buttons so you can out-pull your opponent.


Control keys: definable
Joystick: Kempston, Cursor and Interface 2
Keyboard play: reasonable
Use of colour: fair, plenty of attribute problems
Graphics: varied, but mostly big, undetailed and not very well animated
Sound: nice jingles and spot effects
Skill levels: increases as you progress
Screens: eight events

The trouble with this game is that it's trying to break into the Track and Field market where Hypersports rules supreme. DTS is very similar to its predecessor and the essence is on hammering the keyboard as fast as you can. Here there is no skill involved and anyone with speedy digits can easily knock up huge scores. It's boring and predictable to play: two games on the market are incredibly similar. The graphics are nothing special and the sound is reasonable with a few jolly jingles and effects. The games isn't half as good as Hypersports and I wonder why Ocean haven't gone for a new type of control method… I'm just getting very bored of pounding my fingers into a Spectrum keyboard.

Only eight events this time. Supertest doesn't really test much other than your persistence at pounding two keys or waggling the joystick from side to side. No strategy, no tactics, just lots of stick waggling or key pounding and a little bit of timing. I suppose it's ultimately competitive, but the fun wore very thin for me very quickly. A respectable piece of programming with jolly tunes, passable graphics and eight different ways to pound two keys.... If you like this sort of thing you love it if you don't, you'll loathe it.

I suppose the extremely unreliable loader bumps up Super Test's event by one. I'd say it was the only test with any kind of lasting appeal. The graphics and sound are quite good though very predictable, with Ocean employing all the little tricks they've learned from Hypersports. The events themselves aren't anything new either; all of them making appearances in various other joystick destroying games. If Ocean really intend to squeeze every last drop of money out of Daley Thompson's name then I think it's about time they broke the mould and did something different rather than trying to re-capture past glory through mediocre products such as this.

Use of Computer: 86%
Graphics: 81%
Playability: 72%
Getting Started: 70%
Addictive Qualities: 77%
Value for Money: 79%
Overall: 76%

Summary: General Rating: Very disappointing; nothing special.

Transcript by Chris Bourne

Crash Issue 80, Sep 1990   page(s) 47

The Hit Squad

Daley Thompson's Super Test includes all the favourite sporting events to try your hand for joystick) at. Featuring pistol shooting, cycling, spring board diving, giant slalom, rowing, penalties, ski jump and even a tug-o'-war, there's bound to be something to tickle your fancy.

Graphically, it's good, with plenty of neat animation and lots of colour; it's also superbly presented. With controls changing from event to event, a thorough reading of the instructions is a must to get anywhere.

My personal favourite event is the rowing - except I always thought oars were for splashing people in other boats with, not rowing! Brilliant!

Overall: 83%

Transcript by Chris Bourne

Your Sinclair Issue 56, Aug 1990   page(s) 77


As those modern philosophers Status Quo once said, "Down down deeper and down, down down deeper and down." MARCUS BERKMAN trips in the stairwell...

Hit Squad
Reviewer: Marcus Berkmann

Even further back into the archives here - this Daley Thompson game dates from the days when Daley Thompson actually used to win things - 1985. Actually, for those days, this isn't half bad - a bit of a joystick juggler, to be sure (I always prefer playing those sorts of game on a rubber keyboard, but then I'm just an old perv) but not a bad one at that, For the two days of your eight event decathlon you've got to be unbelievably brilliant at everything, and then some. There's pistol shooting, cycling, spring-board diving (very tricky this), giant slalom, rowing, penalty kicking, ski-jumping and then, just when you're beginning to think about putting your feet up with a nice cup of Ovaltine, a tug o' war Gasp! More than half of these use the juggling technique, but there's enough variety to keep your spirits up, which is more than can be said of many Track And Field variants from this time. It has shown its age, but at the time it sold simply trillions of copies, and it's not entirely difficult to see why. A nifty and well-planned package.

Overall: 76%

Transcript by Chris Bourne

Your Spectrum Issue 20, Nov 1985   page(s) 57

Dougie: you'll be really knackered when you get to grips with D.T.'s Supertest, it;s a real test of skill and endurance not to mention the dadamge it does to your digits!

First off, comes the pistol shooting, where you'll need a quick eye and a fast hand to score enough points to qualify.

Next up is the Cycle Racing, where you compete against the clock. Actually, it's more of a test to see what gives in first, you, your fingers, or your poor ol' speccy!

When you've fully recovered from the cycling, you get the chance to go for a nice relaxing dip in the pool. Ha-ha, that'll be the day - you didn't think you'd get in there for nothing did you? No, you have to turn somersaults and dive into the water without the slightest ripple.

You'd better dig out your thermal underwear for the next even as it gets pretty chilly on the Giant Slalom. Although you get 2 chances you'll probably spend more time on your backside than you will winging your way down the slopes!

Say 2 sees you starting four new events. The rowing is another finger numbing exercise in stamina, and you'll have to beat the clock to qualify. You're also up against a computer opponent who's hard to beat.

Beat the Goalie, next. Well, you don't actually get to beat the goalie, you have to beat him at penalties. You can build up the power of your shot on the run up and at the last minute kick the ball at an angle to fool the goalie. (Tee-hee!)

Now you're for the high jump. Well, actually the Ski Jump, but they want you to jump high anyway! To get the best flight, build up your speed on the ramp, then just before the end, press the fire button to jump off into the clear blue yonder.

If you've any stamina left after all that, it's time yo put your bulging biceps to the test in the tug-of-war. Once again your fingers bear the brunt of the bashing as you struggle to pull your way to victory. It's all pretty exhilerating stuff. 9/10

Overall: 9/10

Award: Your Spectrum Dougie//s Rave of the Month

Transcript by Chris Bourne

Sinclair User Issue 44, Nov 1985   page(s) 22

Publisher: Ocean
Price: £6.95
Memory: 48K
Joystick: Any

Can Daley Thompson keep up the pace of Decathlon with his new Super-Test?

There are eight new events with all but one requiring the agonizing bashing technique of successive key pressing or rapid left and right joystick movement for building and maintaining speed.

Events such as cycling, pistol shooting, rowing, goal scoring and tug o' war are straightforward, while others - spring board diving, ski jump and slalom - require speed and additional co-ordination.

With the ski jump Daley descends the slope, takes off near the edge and lands safely. All three movements are controlled by you. In the diving event his take-off height, number of somersaults achieved and entry into the water are again your domain.

The format remains the same as Decathlon in that scores and qualifying times are displayed, but there are no stamina plus energy-sapping combinations, like the 400 metres, and only one event has an 'angle-ometer'.

The graphics are large, clear and colourful. Great care has been taken to create an environment allowing you to enjoy watching and playing. For instance, the ski jump scene is split into three windows, one showing a close-up side view of Daley on the slope while the other two show side and elevated views of the course.

Both sides of the cassette have been filled, which makes it very reasonably priced.

Overall: 4/5

Transcript by Chris Bourne

Sinclair User Issue 49, Apr 1986   page(s) 55

Publisher: Ocean
Price: Free with 128K Spectrum
Memory: 128K
Joystick: Kempston, Cursor, Sinclair

The world-famous T-shirt enthusiast is back again in a repeat showing of some of his favourite events, in the 128 version of Daley Thompson's Supertest. Twelve separate events are included, four from Daley's Decathlon and all eight from the sequel, the 48K Supertest.

The full list of simulated sports is: rowing, penalties, ski-jump, tug of war, triple jump, 100m spring, javelin, 110 hurdles, pistol shoot, cycling, spring board diving, and giant slalom The game takes an enormous time to load, but all the events go in at once, so you don't have to mess about playing four or five at a time - though you still only get three lives for the whole lot. That makes things a good bit more difficult.

For those who are not yet aware of such novel concepts as joystick fatigue, there are two basic techniques involved in playing these games. Smashing the joystick left and right at high speed builds up power, speed, energy or whatever, and pushing the fire button at just the right moment for the correct length of time will allow you to hit targets, jump, throw things at the correct angle and so on.

The game opens with a dramatic rendition of the theme tune from Chariots of Fire to put you in the mood. Short bursts of alleged music link the various sports and new sounds have been put into some of the events for firing pistols.

The eight Supertest events look very much the same as the original events, but the four from Daley's Decathlon have been juiced up to a similar standard of graphics. The old flickery Daley is now much more solid and the backgrounds are more pleasantly coloured.

This sort of compilation program, while it offers nothing of any great novelty, makes sense on the 128. It is a distinct advantage to be able to play all the events on a single load.

Our rating is not, of course, based on value for money as Supertest is free with the Spectrum 128, at least for the time being.

In the meantime, it's a good addictive game for new users to get into quickly and will obviously have a wide appeal.

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Overall: 4/5

Transcript by Chris Bourne

Sinclair User Issue 101, Jul 1990   page(s) 66

Label: Hit Squad
Price: £2.99
Reviewer: Garth Sumpter

He's back! Britain's favourite pop drinking athlete is back on target to take the tape - well certainly the cassette tape (titter). Yes, Daley Thompson's Supertest is back - this time on the Hit Squad label where he's competing in events that we didn't even know he could do - all, of course, with a little help from you.

There are 12 events in all that cover Tug o' War, Pistol Shooting, Rowing, Giant Slalom, Spring Board Diving, Cycling, Ski Jump, Penalties, 110m Hurdles, 100m Sprint, Triple jump and Javelin.

The action is all aka the arcade and the best way to play is undoubtedly by keyboard as you must use the old left and right key bashing mode to build up energy or speed and the fire button to shoot bullets, jump off the ski slope etc at the right time.

Each event has a qualifying time or score that you must achieve in order to complete the whole series of events but I must admit that I thought the Summer/Winter/Autumn/Any old time is party time group of games were great when they first came out but do we really want to bash the hell out of our Spectrum keyboards/joysticks? I don't but Daley certainly does and this he does to reasonable effect. The graphics are a little on the simple side and the whole game, whilst quite jolly, is now a fairly tired product. Even Daley's gone into retirement nowadays and this game really should follow his example.

Graphics: 58%
Sound: 65%
Playability: 72%
Lastability: 57%
Overall: 62%

Summary: Daley hasn't been the same since he broke his pole (ooer).

Transcript by Chris Bourne

C&VG (Computer & Video Games) Issue 49, Nov 1985   page(s) 24

MACHINE: Spectrum/CBM 64/Amstrad
PRICE: £6.95 (Spectrum), £7.95 (CBM 64), £8.95 (Amstrad)

And you thought there were enough sports games on the shelves of your local computer store already! Well, make room for one more - for despite the fact that you've probably played Hypersports, Decathlon, Superstar Challenga and Summer Games II and Daley Thompson's Super Test is great fun!

No, this isn't a throwaway selection of games that didn't get into the original Decathlon. It's a neat new game in its own right - despite the sports overkill.

I'll pick a couple of the newer events to talk about here - after all you've probably already had a go at cycling, rowing, shooting etc.

Ski jump is great fun. You have to build up speed on the downward slope and time your jump and landing just right. Difficult at first but soon mastered. You'll enjoy going for that mega-jump! The screen display shows a close up view of your skier as he hurtles down the slope and through the air, while on the right hand side of the screen you see a plan view of the jump and an expanded side view in little windows.

There's a power meter at bottom of the screen view in little windows.

Penalty kicking is also a fun event. And the goalkeeper certainly isn't slow on his feet. You get an overhead view of the goal and goalie plus a readout of the angle of your kick.

The Tug o'War is another new event - you can pick a variety of opponents depending on the score you want to achieve. The tougher the opponent the more points you get for beating him.

There's a high score feature and a really nice end screen. If you win, you see yourself standing on the rostrum and the crowd behind you shout thing like "Far Out" and "Great" words which appear in little bubbles.

DT's Super Test is a fine sequel to Decathlon and will wreck many more joysticks!

Graphics: 9/10
Sound: 7/10
Value: 9/10
Playability: 9/10

Award: C+VG Blitz Game

Transcript by Chris Bourne

C&VG (Computer & Video Games) Issue 50, Dec 1985   page(s) 121

MACHINE: Spectrum/CBM 64/Amstrad
PRICE: £6.95 (Spectrum), £7.95 (CBM 64), £8.95 (Amstrad)

Daley Thompson's Super Test is worthy sequel to the original Decathlon.

It consists of eight new events spread over two days of competition.

Day One consists of pistol shooting, cycling, spring board diving and the giant slalom. Day Two covers rowing, penalty kicks, the ski-jump and tug o' war.

The Spectrum version has clear graphics and a nice screen layout.

Great fun with a lot of events at a reasonable price.

Judy 's verdict: I thought it was okay. I don't think the instructions are very good and you don't get enough time to choose things - at least not for me.

Transcript by Chris Bourne

C&VG (Computer & Video Games) Issue 104, Jul 1990   page(s) 67

Spectrum £2.99

The old Lucozade man himself has had three games made about him. This is the second in the series, which continues on from the classic joystick smasher, Daley Thompson's Decathlon, with a further eight events to squeeze you, tease you and break your wrist in umpteen places. Events are many and varied, and include Pistol Shooting which entails shooting at spinning targets to gain a qualifying score, spring-board diving, cycling and other such lovely things. Daley gets three chances to qualify on each event - if he fails all three, he's out and must begin from the beginning. Supertest couldn't ever hold the magic which the original Decathlon game possessed, but having said that it's a much slicker title, with more events, better graphics and not nearly as much wrist-aching joystick waggling to be done. It's a smashing game and, for £2.99, you'd be a bit of a dribbly to miss it.

Overall: 89%

Summary: Loads of more-than-playable events which, stuck together in one package, make Daley Thompson's Supertest an extremely good value for money buy.

Transcript by Chris Bourne

Your Computer Issue 11, Nov 1985   page(s) 45,46

ZX Spectrum
Sport simulation

When Daley Thompson was momentarily dethroned as the world's top decathlete he is rumoured to have said " I lost my world record and took it like a man - I only cried for 10 hours."

Whether or not Ocean's follow-up to the enormously successful Daley Thompson's Decathlon will bring tears to your eyes, it will wreak havoc on your joystick and/or keyboard. Yes, it's another joystick waggler.

The program features eight events only - and suffers strong competition from other sports simulations like US Gold's Summer and Winter Games, not to mention Activision's old Decathlon and the Tour de France. But it has just as much potential appeal as its predecessor.

Spread over two days and two sides of a cassette, the events include pistol shooting, cycling, springboard diving, rowing, tug o' war, taking football penalties and two skiing events: the ski-jump and the giant slalom.

No time for the blade on the feather lark with the rowing section. Start pumping away to build up your speed shown at the bottom left of the screen. The display shows an overhead view of two kayaks zipping down the river. World records, i.e. hi-scores, are shown at the top right of the screen to encourage the spirit of competitive joystick destruction.

You stagger from your kayak to the football field - the display shows an overhead view of your footballer as he runs up to slam the leather into the back of the reticule. Your player runs as you either use the alternate left/right keys or pound away at the joystick to build up power for the shot. You control the ball's direction by timing the kick - the angle (or elevation) is controlled by the amount of time that the fire button is depressed. You get five shots.

You won't find many footballers ski-jumping, you may reflect as the pistol signals the gate to open. However, many of them are used to being on the slippery slope or for the high jump. Again continuous left/right movement builds up your momentum, but you must hit the joystick fire button at the right moment as you come to the lip of the jump.

The tug o' war is impossible. You have a choice of 10 opponents, the weakest of which is totally invincible.

Overall: 3/5

Transcript by Chris Bourne

ZX Computing Issue 22, Dec 1985   page(s) 62


The very title of this one is enough to send the most robust of joysticks on strike and make the keyboard tremble in fear - Yep, it's another left/right-as-fast-as-you-can test of finger or wrist stamina!

I must admit that I did not like this type of game at first but then it grew on me until now I am hooked. The success of a game of this nature depends on the quality and realism of the graphics, no-one is going to work up a sweat over moving an indistinct blob around, so how have Ocean done? Well I'm sure owners of DT's Decathlon would have no doubts, the graphics are just as good if not better than before and Ocean should have another well deserved hit on their hands.

Even though all the games have only left/right and sometimes fire as controls there is enough variation and judgment required to prevent them from becoming tedious. A brief run down and description of the events on side one is:

PISTOL SHOOTING, move cursor around the screen to random target and fire at centre.

CYCLING, L/R as fast as possible.

SPRING BOARD DIVING, 3 bounces and L/R for somersaults.

GIANT SLALOM, steer L/R through the flags as they scroll up the screen toward you.

ROWING, L/R as fast as you can.

PENALTIES, L/R for speed, line up on football, fire to shoot.

SKI JUMP, L/R for speed, fire to jump and land.

TUG O'WAR, L/R for power.

Each one needs slightly different techniques to succeed and I personally enjoyed the shooting and ski jump whilst the tug O'war and diving gave me a lot of frustration.

Graphics: 5/5
Addictiveness: 4/5
Overall: 5/5

Transcript by Chris Bourne

ZX Computing Issue 24, Apr 1986   page(s) 9,10


To force home the point that the 128 is intended as a games machine Sinclair have included Daley Thompson's Super Test with the machine. To add to the key battering strain of the original Ocean have extended the program to include four more events, 100m Sprint, Javelin, Triple Jump and Hurdles.

As before timing and sustained attacks on the keyboard/joystick are the key to success and with improved graphics and sound effects the 12 event package represents good value even though it costs £2 extra than the 48K version.

Transcript by Chris Bourne

Your Sinclair Issue 6, Jun 1986   page(s) 73


And so they came - the first trickle of 128 games. Sinclair cleverly made sure that the software was there, ready for the new machine. But most of the first releases have been expanded versions of existing titles, and we all know, don't we, that bigger doesn't necessarily mean better? After all, it's what you do with it that counts. So here it is - the highly personal, Rachael J Smith guide to those first ten releases.


Try as you might you won't be able to avoid this one - it comes bundled with the machine which indicates that Sinclair has enormous faith in their keyboard, considering 128's joystick compatible problems. Yes, this is the one to punish the membrane, representative of the first era of sport simulations. There's lotsa frantic finger action as you row, cycle, ski and jump. Still frustratingly addictive, if hard on the wrist. The new version at least avoids multi-loads and contains a natty Chariots Of Fire theme.

So there they are, ten offerings for the 128. All benefit from having their amplified sound blasted out through the TV, and where the new sound chip has been used to full effect it's like suddenly being able to hear after years of deafness. But while there are things here to appeal to the person who's never owned a Spectrum before, I can't see much point in duplicating a game unless you were a big fan of the original. And that means that we're not yet in a position to say whether the 128 itself is worth buying. We'll have to wait until games that make full use of that extra memory - that do things that can't be achieved in 48K - appear before we all decide to trade in our old machines.

Transcript by Chris Bourne

Crash Issue 27, Apr 1986   page(s) 34,35


Julian Rignall, for it is he, puts down the joystick attached to his Commodore 64, wanders into the CRASH office and has a quick look at the game we've received for the 128K Spectrum. Between thee and me, he ended up well impressed - a diehard Commie 64 man, Jaz left the office muttering about buying the new Spectrum. Can't be bad news for Sinclair, that....

Hmmmm, a Spectrum with added bits? What would they be? I wondered. Wheels, a bit of whoosh, twiddly things? Nope, none of these - just extra RAM and an on-board hot plate to keep your coffee warm as you bash the baddies through the night. Well, it's not really a hot plate, but it doesn't half act like one. Anyway, what do these extra features mean to yer average gamesplayer on the street?

Two 128 games are given away with the computer: Daley Thompson's Supertest and The Neverending Story. Daley's appeared on the Spectrum some time ago, and the original game had eight events which were loaded in two parts. The new 128 version has an extra four events: the javelin, 100m sprint, 110m hurdles and the triple jump along with the eight others and they're all loaded in a single go, making the game far more jolly and varied to play. Ocean have also made use of the 128's three-channel sound capability: excellent music accompanies the title screen and jingles play before and after each event. The whole game is far better than the 48K original and is a great freebie!

The other game in the package is the official adventure of the film The Neverending Story. Again, the original version was a multiloader, although this time the game came in four chunks. The 128 version is another single load program, which makes it far more enjoyable to play. Again it's free, so you can't really complain.

Transcript by Chris Bourne

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