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World CHAMPIONS: Decathlon Review

Official Score

Overall - 55%

55%

Track and field titles were designed as casual button mashers at their core, and World CHAMPIONS: Decathlon doesn’t do much to shake things up. The lack of personality and depth prevent this competitor from ever taking on the Track & Field champ.

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Keyboard warriors might not be able to enter the Olympics any time soon, but we can certainly give our fingers a workout with the release of NowakGames’ retro-style sports title World CHAMPIONS: Decathlon. With a number of events waiting to be tackled, should players hit the track (and field)?

World CHAMPIONS: Decathlon Review

Back in 1983, Konami set the gold standard for track and field titles with Track & Field. With nearly no competition in the last 30 plus years, World CHAMPIONS: Decathlon is more than just a simple tribute.

It’s not just the graphics that have that old-school pixelated look; it also comes down to the way each event plays out. This is one game where button mashing will actually help players get ahead – tapping the left and right arrow keys in succession can help players fill a speed meter and get ahead of the game. Time that with a press of the space button, and you’re in good condition to tackle the majority of its events. Just try not to get a foul along the way from a false start or a knocked down bar.

Just be warned that there isn’t too much of a skill ceiling to this title. For better or for worse, World CHAMPIONS: Decathlon focuses on the basics. Somebody who is just starting out can stand toe-to-toe with somebody with dozens of hours in the title, which means that there just isn’t too much to master.

Thankfully, there’s a fair amount of variety between both days of events. Players can start out with the 100 meter dash, long jump, shot put, high jump, and 400 meter dash. This can then be followed up with the 110 meter hurdles, discus throw, pole vault, javelin throw and 1500 meter dash.

While this may seem like a good spread of events, the repetition of World CHAMPIONS: Decathlon quickly begins to settle in. A lot of the running events share the same controls and overall layout, with only the distance changing between them – this might seem like a no-brainer, but it steals slots from other events.

In addition, there’s a lack of pizazz when it comes to its proceedings. These are supposed to be feats of strength where everything is on the line – why is everything moving so slowly without any sort of music. The retro aesthetics are also used as a crutch in this particular case – the graphics lack the detail of the more notable works that appeared on the Nintendo Entertainment System and arcades back in the 80s. Put simply, it just lacks any sort of personality.

Track and field titles were designed as casual button mashers at their core, and World CHAMPIONS: Decathlon doesn’t do much to shake things up. The lack of personality and depth prevent this competitor from ever taking on the Track & Field champ.

This review of World CHAMPIONS: Decathlon was done on the PC. The game was purchased digitally.
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Casey Scheld

Drawn to the underground side of gaming, Casey helps the lesser known heroes of video games. If you’ve never heard of it, he’s mastered it.
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