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Monday, 4 May 2009

Playman Track & Field (iPhone/iPod Touch)

Funny how sometimes you just can't resist something.

I was browsing the Apple Store and happened across this in the "What's Hot" section, for just 59p. The words "Track & Field" were almost enough to get me to buy it regardless, and the positive reviews tipped the balance that little bit further. I was sold.

And I'm happy that I was! Playman Track & Field is very nice indeed!

The game has five events... not too bad given that the original (and Hyper Sports, the follow up) only had six. They're all standard for this type of game... 100 metres, Long Jump, 110 metres hurdles, Pole Vault and Javelin. You can play each event separately, or run them all together in a kind of half-decathlon, where you score points for how well you do in each event.

There are two difficulty levels, Amateur and Professional. You shouldn't have too much difficulty winning every event in Amateur... Professional is where the challenge lies. It's very difficult to get good enough to beat your computerised opponents at some of the events.

So how do you play? It's not exactly like the original Track & Field... belting the crap out of an iPhone screen would not be a good idea. Instead, coloured buttons appear on the screen randomly, and you have to hit them correctly and as quickly as you can to build up speed. Then, at the end of the event, you hold two buttons for differing effects (to "dip" across the line in the running events, for jumping or throwing in the others).

It all works really well, it's challenging, fun and addictive to play, and it has a very cute and endearing style. I would say if you have any kind of liking for Track & Field and fancy an on-the-go version, you could do a lot, lot worse than to spend 59p on this.

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