While extremely simple, with minigames that at times ask of you nothing more than to tap the keys as fast as you can, Decathlon still manages to be pretty useful and pretty well rounded, a game that sure known how to keep itself fresh and well produced. A cool idea, for instance is that some of the games translate immediately: take the running competitions, all you have to do is tap two buttons, and the steadier and faster you do that, the better the chances you will win. Other games are just as direct, testing your speed most of the time and fewer times any other skill rather than speed and endurance. So, overall, Decathlon is simple, looks oldschool, but it offers you a few minutes o fun. Sure, it's no game that you'll be awed by, but sometimes simplicity, barebones type, at times, can be exactly the kind of fun you want, that asks you not to think but to act. A better alternative though, I'd say, has to be California Games, still a bundle of minigames, yet with more to them than key pressing and endurance.
Minimalist sim, but lots of fun
Microsoft Decathlon is a great game, one that uses sparse technology to recreate a running type competition, decathlon. It all takes place in black and white, and, most amazingly the animations for the competitors are very well executed, very life like. In terms of the mechanics, the game plays as an arcader, where you have to push buttons, without too much depth about it. But it's just very enticing, like watching one of those slow mo videos of, say, a panther running faster and faster! Yep, it's like a minimalist sort of recreation of that kind of thing, highly enjoyable, simple, and yet very enticing. Minuses?!! Well, it's a very short lived game, but it sure offers a cool 5, 10 minutes of fun, and, well, it works, which is not something that can be said of many 82 releases! Yep, it's an 82 game, which in itself should be reason enough to give it a try. So, yeah try it, but for a more advanced, more diverse experience see Microsoft Arcade, a later release packing quite a few Atari era arcaders, for the bulk of your 5 minute breaks!
Old school is the best school!
Decathlon is one of the oldest games in the history and it's amazing how fun and addictive can it get today, more than 30 years later from its initial release. One can really spend hours just pounding on the keyboard in an effort to get to the finish line as fast as they can. Just as the title says, you are competing in the Decathlon disciplines - 100, 400 and 1500m runs, jumps, disc throwing and five others. Since this game is a very simple one, the controls and the gameplay as are as elementary as they can get - just press the button hard and often enough and you'll speed up and get to the finish faster. The game remembers your score so you can always do better and beat yourself or a friend! No matter how many years has passed, games like these won't ever get boring. The graphics, although extremely outdated and I really don't like the bright blue that is screaming in my eyes, serve the purpose just right. Overall, this a fun and exciting simple old school game that is great when you don't know what do to with yourself.