Solomon's Key for the NES was released in Japan on this day in 1986.

California Games

User Reviews

This radical game is totally awesome dude! DOS Roedie (5226)
SMS California Games in Better than Genesis Version Shocker SEGA Master System Liam Dowds (51)
It's GREAT to be playing CALIFORNIA GAMES! DOS Accatone (5187)

Our Users Say

Platform Votes Score
Amiga 11 3.6
Amstrad CPC 3 3.6
Apple II 4 3.5
Apple IIgs 3 4.0
Atari 2600 5 3.4
Atari ST 5 3.6
Commodore 64 20 4.1
DOS 26 3.9
Genesis 12 3.4
J2ME 3 3.8
Lynx 11 3.8
MSX 2 3.6
NES 10 3.5
SEGA Master System 15 3.7
Wii 2 3.6
ZX Spectrum 4 2.9
Combined MobyScore 136 3.7


The Press Says

MobyRanks are listed below. You can read here for more information about MobyRank.
100
Atari 2600The Video Game Critic
The graphics are some of the best ever for the 2600. Objects and backgrounds are multi-colored, finely detailed, and rendered in high resolution. I was especially impressed by the waves in the surfing event. Each event poses a completely unique challenge, and players choose sponsors to identify their character. California Games is a blast to play. Who would have thought they could have pulled this off on the 2600?
100
LynxThe Video Game Critic
California Games has some very catchy tunes, including a respectable rendition of "Louie Louie". The bright sunny graphics put you in a good mood, and the fine gameplay will keep you in one.
100
GenesisGamePro (US)
Hey gamers, whether you're a California dude or not this game's cool. It looks awesome and plays great, and, like, it's got stuff in it that you're not gonna see anywhere else! So hit the beach, or hit California Games!
98
SEGA Master SystemGame Freaks 365
In conclusion, there is no doubt in mind that California Games is one of the greatest sports titles in history. After playing it on the SMS, there's no wonder in my mind as to why this title was ported to nearly every system in existence and even led to a sequel. If only Epyx could have did a better job with later titles. It's a shame for them, but not for us because we have this to play. In addition, for those of you interested in the collecting aspect of the Master System, there is a rare re-release of California Games with a different label. Quite hard to locate and an additional bonus for anyone interested in playing and collecting.
97
Commodore 64Zzap!
Epyx surpass themselves yet again with another incredible sports simulation. Don't miss it.
94
Commodore 64Computer and Video Games (CVG)
Amazoid! A brilliant sports sim that's four quid well spent!
93
LynxJoystick (French)
Livré avec la machine Cal. Games(Oh Yeahh!), est tout ce qu'il y a d'étonnant. Au programme quatre épreuves: le BMX (vélo tout terrain), le Surf, le Skate et pour terminer le Footbag. Tous ces jeux sont dotés d'une animation et d'un graphisme à faire pâlir tous ces gros ordinateurs encombrants.
93
SEGA Master SystemComputer and Video Games (CVG)
To put it bluntly, California Games is the best Sega game to date, combining six superb games, stunning graphics and animation, and a variety of excellent tunes and sound effects. The events are all highly playable, and had me glued to the Sega for hours. Don't miss it.
93
SEGA Master SystemMean Machines
The array of sub-games and the skills needed for each event in California Games makes this one of the best multi-player games about; inevitably some people are better at some events than others, guaranteeing an exciting challenge. My particular favourite's the BMX race, whereas Julian prefers Footbag. Some of the events are tricky to learn, especially the Flying Disc and Half Pipe, and this may be discouraging to some payers. It's worth persevering though, as California Games offers a varied and thrilling test of anyone's joystick skills.
92
Commodore 64The Games Machine (UK)
California Games is easily as impressive as its forerunners with the six events providing plenty of playability and long-term entertainment.
91
GenesisMean Machines
California Games must rank as one of the greatest multi-event sports simulations ever written - and this Megadrive is the best version yet seen! It's a graphical tour-de-force, with superbly animated sprites and splendid backdrops, and it plays like a dream. Each event is a brilliant mini-game in its own right, with beautifully weighted playability that's easy enough to get into but is challenging enough to allow experts to learn and perform tricks that let them attain seemingly impossible scores (can anyone top my 427,00 record on the footbag?). The only disappointing aspect is that the Frisbee event that appeared in other versions is missing - but since it was by far the weakest event, it's not a major issue. Obviously, California Games is best appreciated with multiple players, but even as a single-player game I think it's enjoyable, addictive and challenging enough to make it a priority purchase.
90
Atari STAtari ST User
I thouroughly enjoyed both games and think they will appeal to most that want a break from the common shoot-'em-ups. I have been playing California Games on the PC for about twelve months and now its on the ST I consider it to be slightly better than Games Summer Edition.
90
Atari 2600All Game Guide
California Games, like Super Mario Bros. 3 for the NES and Super Mario RPG for the SNES, pushes the capabilities of its hardware into previously unimaginable territory, proving a console is only as good as its best programmers.
90
Atari 2600The Atari Times
The only problem that I have with this game is that you can't play one event by itself. I don't much care for half-pipe or surfing, but if I want to do the BMX race I have to play through them. This is okay when you are playing with a group who all like varied events, but when you are playing it alone, playing the events you aren't very good at isn't very fun. Overall, that's a small issue with an otherwise incredible game. Get this game, California Games!
90
Commodore 64Commodore User
California Games is the best of the 'games' series, the graphics are a new first not only for Epyx but for the 64. The sound is amazing too and features the 60's classic 'Louie, Louie'. But the greatest virtue of the game is its ease of use and playability.
87
GenesisComputer and Video Games (CVG)
The five events may not sound like much, but each has its own appeal and can be thought of as a separate game. Sound-wise, this cart is reasonable, I mean the tunes are brilliantly done, but they're kind of depressing and don't really suit the game. Learning the different control methods for each event is fun and a different talent is required for each sport. Some need speed, some need rhythm, but all need a laid back Californian attitude. California Games is a brilliant title, but ultimately dull for one player.
85
LynxGénération 4
California Games est vendu d'origine avec la console Lynx, et est une version bridée du jeu original. On n'y retrouve en effet que quatre des épreuves du fameux jeu de chez Epyx.
83
Commodore 64Happy Computer
Es kann natürlich auch an den ungewöhnlichen Sportarten liegen, aber im Gegensatz zu World Games vermisse ich die Fazination, den Reiz des Neuen. Trotz aller Kritik gibt es aber kaum Zweifel, daß California Games für alle Fans von Sportspielen ein Muß ist. Ein sicherer Anwärter auf die Spitzenplätze der Hitparaden.
82
GenesisJoystick (French)
Si les graphismes de California Games sont sympas, les animations des divers protagonistes et des divers sportifs de cette simulation sont très agréables. Chacun des différents niveaux est accompagné d'une musique guillerette qui colle parfaitement avec l'épreuve en cours. Peut-être un petit peu trop répétitif, lorsqu'on y joue tout seul, California Games devient nettement plus intéressant quand on y participe à plusieurs. Sous cette condition, je vous assure que les éclats de rires sont au rendez-vous.
82
Commodore 64Power Play
Die C 64-Originalversion dieses Klassikers ist immer noch die beste. Keine andere Umsetzung nutzt die Hardware so gut aus und bietet ein so gutes Spielgefühl. Die sechs Disziplinen sind so abwechslungsreich und spieltechnisch anspruchsvoll, daß man hier wirklich viel für sein Geld geboten bekommt.
81
Atari STST Format
On the whole the events are enjoyable, though perhaps a little difficult to begin with - there are loads of controls and rules for you to learn. Fortunately there are also practice events. The graphics aren't spectacular - the bloke doing the foot bag looks like he needs major surgery - but they're up to the job. Sound is predictable and minimal. If you can ignore the trendy and embarrassing comments that continually appear, you're in for a good time with California Games. lt's truly a gnarly buy, dudes (ack! it’s catching).
81
SEGA Master SystemVideo Games
Sechs für den amerikanischen Sonnenstaat typische Sportarten warten bei „California Games“ auf bis zu acht Mitspieler. Das Geschicklichkeitsspektrum reicht vom Fahren mit dem Skateboard übers Frisbeewerfen bis zum Surfen,
80
Atari STComputer and Video Games (CVG)
Save on the airfare to California by taking part in the ST California Games, featuring events such as the Half Pipe, Surfing, Roller Skating, Foot Bag, BMX Racing and the Flying Disk. Although the events are quite entertaining, it isn't quite as enjoyable an experience as the C64 disk version. Still, for eight quid, six events isn't bad value for money.
80
Atari STPower Play
Die Grafik übertrifft eindeutig die der Amiga-Version, was ein ziemliches Armutszeugnis für deren Programmierer ist. Auf dem ST macht California Garnes mehr Spaß als auf dem Amiga.
80
SEGA Master SystemPower Play
Ich bin von der Sega-Umsetzung dieses Computer-Klassikers angenehm überrascht. Ohne spielerische Abstriche wurden alle Disziplinen in ein Modul gepackt. Steuerung und Spielbarkeit sind sehr gut. Bei den sechs Disziplinen gibt es keinen Ausfall; sie machen alle Spaß. Besonders viel Mühe haben sich die Grafiker gegeben. Auf dem Master System sieht California Games am schönsten aus. Viele Farben, große Sprites, kein Flackern weit und breit. Selbst die Amiga-Version kann da nicht mithalten. California Garnes bietet Sega-Besitzern eine prima Gelegenheit, einen bewährten Evergreen in gut aufpolierter Form zu spielen. Wer ein Faible für Geschicklichkeits- und Sportspiele hat, wird den Kauf dieses Moduls nicht bereuen.
78
SEGA Master SystemThe Games Machine (UK)
In the translation to the Sega joypad, little has been lost. The graphics are very good indeed. Backgrounds are as lively as the colourful, well defined sprites and the various participating teenage characters are realistically animated. Definitely one for the collection.
78
J2MEMobile Game Faqs
At the end of the day the updated version of California Games is exactly that... an updated version of an old classic. Great graphics and some good options but just lacking a bit of substance for the 21st Century.
77
NESPower Play
Milton Bradley ist eine hervorragende Adaption gelungen, die spritzige Sportspielunterhaltung für die ganze Familie garantiert. Die Disziplinen sind meist gut ausgetüftelt und erfreulich abwechslungsreich. Grafik und Musik passen sich dem Spielniveau an. Wer schon Konamis "Track & Field 2" mochte, der wird mit dem etwas anspruchsvolleren California Games sehr zufrieden sein.
76
LynxMegablast
Ohne krebsrot zu werden, darf man behaupten, daß California Games am Lynx in grafischer und musikalischer Hinsicht einen der vorderen Plätze belegt so manche l6Bit-Masehine hat da das Nachsehen. Nur vor dem Verteilen der Sound-FX haben die Programmierer ihre Spendier-Shorts wieder ausgezogen. Dafür lassen sich die Beachboys hier einwandfrei steuern, wer sich gemeinsam mit einem Freund unter kalifornischer Sonne fit halten will, braucht allerdings ein Comlynx-Kabel. Was soll man noch sagen: ein Klassiker!
75
DOSPower Play
Die sechs Disziplinen sind so abwechslungsreich und spieltechnisch anspruchsvoll, daß man hier wirklich viel für sein Geld geboten bekommt. Die Umsetzungen von California Games sind anständig bis sehr gut gelungen. Die MS-DOS- Version macht nur mit EGA-Grafik Spaß.
73
AmigaPower Play
Sechs Sport-/Geschicklichkeitsspiele wie BMX-Radeln, Surfen oder Rollschuhlaufen erwarten Euch bei den "California Games". Die Amiga-Version des Epyx-Klassikers ließ fast zwei Jahre auf sich warten. Spielerisch hat sich gegenüber dem C64-Original nichts verändert, die Grafik wurde nur wenig verbessert. Für Laune sorgt die gute Musik. Das Spielprinzip ist anno 1989 nicht mehr die ganz große Nummer, macht aber immer noch Spaß - vor allem beim Wettkampf mit mehreren Teilnehmern.
72
LynxPower Play
Das von den Heimcomputern bekannte “California Games” liegt jedem Lynx bei und enthält vier separate Spiele: BMX-Radfahren, Wellen-Surfen, Skateboard fahren und das sogenannte “Foot-Bag”.
70
Atari 2600Power Play
California Games bietet zwar keine grafischen oder spielerischen Sensationen, aber immerhin vier erfrischende Sportarten. Wer Summer & Winter Games wird auch gerne California Games spielen. Zudem ist es technisch sehr sauber programmiert. Bei allen vier Disziplinen sind schnelle Reaktionen und viel Fingerspitzengefühl bei der Joystick-Steuerung gefragt.
70
SEGA Master SystemSega8bit.com
Overall I think it's a great game definitely worth owning. If you own it and don't think too much of it, I ask you to have a go, be patient, practice at it and you'll find it's better than you thought. And if you can, try play with some friends, it's a good laugh. And for the record, no one will ever beat my high scores.
70
WiiNintendo Life
If you are looking for something different from your usual track-and-field type of sports game, and especially if you have somebody to play against, then this comes highly recommended. If you don’t normally enjoy competing alone then there’s probably nothing here that will change your mind. For everyone else this is a worthy purchase and a welcome addition to the Virtual Console.
60
SEGA Master System1UP!
California Games n'est pas un si mauvais jeu, la réalisation est satisfaisante (d'impressionants scrollings parallaxes au niveau du désert), c'est juste un titre dont les qualités sont complètement rongées par sa maniabilité désastreuse. On n'arrive à rien car il faut toujours presser le bouton pendant un moment trop infime pour que cela puisse être fait par le commun des joueurs. La manette ne se prête pas non plus à certaines actions qui correspondent mieux au clavier, comme cet usage intensif des directions haut et bas. Donc vient l'échec répétitif, la frustration, l'ennui, puis le rejet. Et six épreuves, c'est finalement peu, surtout quand la grande majorité d'entre-elles sont injouables. Le jeu n'ayant aucune profondeur ni de secrets, il est facile de s'en désintéresser rapidement. Le salut vient uniquement du mode multijoueurs, jusqu'à huit en alternance, mais il tire sans doute plus parti du fait d'être entre amis que du jeu lui même.
60
NESNintendo Power Magazine
You'll be in a state of excitement with the variety of "fun-in-the-sun" activities to choose from in California Games.
60
LynxIGN
It's understandable why Atari includes California Games in the deluxe Lynx packages: It's easy, varied, non-violent (have to placate worried parents, you know), looks and sounds well, and ComLynxable. However, with only four basic games available, most players will want a tougher challenge soon enough. If you don't already own California Games, you may want to consider a different title.
60
GenesisSega-16.com
There's not really much else to say about California Games that hasn't already been mentioned about the multiple other versions out there. Despite not being as good as many of them, the Genesis edition is still worth playing, especially since it can be had for so little money. I sometimes wish the sequel had been given a chance on Sega's black box, but after thinking about what happened to this version, perhaps one trip to California is more than enough.
60
AmigaCU Amiga
California Games is a good laugh, it was ideally suited to the 64 but the Amiga cannot make much more of it. To buy this sports sim you would either have to be a relative of The Beach Boys, or just simply very rich.
60
SEGA Master SystemVideoGame
Há seis opções de jogo, numa espécie de mini-olimpíada californiana. Primeiro, escolha seu patrocinador. Depois, vá em frente, começando pelo half skate boarding, ou simplesmente skate, no qual o importante é pegar velocidade para fazer acrobacias na rampa.
50
WiiIGN
I was pretty quick to dismiss Epyx's Summer Games II when it arrived on the Virtual Console earlier this year, because I felt that, across the board, trying to figure out its varied and frustrating control schemes wasn't worth the time or effort required. California Games is similarly crippled, in that you're just never really going to perfectly translate the experience of these Commodore 64 compilations -- classic though they are -- without the original hardware, joystick and keyboard from an actual C64 system.
45
Amstrad CPCComputer and Video Games (CVG)
Urrghhl A shambling parody of the brill C64 version!
45
ZX SpectrumThe Games Machine (UK)
The graphics in California Games are monochromatic, poorly animated and with little or no attention to detail, while the sound is limited to unimpressive spot FX. This does not bode well for the rest of the game, which uses a multi-load system for each of the events. This can be tedious, but borne with if the game is compelling. Unfortunately, the events themselves are boring to play and not a patch on the Commodore. A very disappointing conversion of a-once excellent game.
40
LynxDefunct Games
Hmm ... so after you've played through all the games you will come to the conclusion that there's only two good parts of this game. And then you'll realize that this game isn't really worth playing at all ... Well, at least this isn't New York Games.
30
WiiEurogamer.net (UK)
Having played through each event once, and having failed most of them because of the sluggish animation colliding with ergonomically evil Wii controls, I'd satisfied my nostalgic impulse and felt no compulsion to go back and improve my skills at these basic challenges.
25
Amstrad CPCPower Play
Die Spiele der »Games«-Serie von Epyx sind immer sehr stark auf den C64 zugeschnitten. Umsetzungen für andere 8-Bit-Computer gingen bisher mit Ausnahme von «Winter Games« so ziemlich in die Hose. Das gilt auch für die Schneider CPC-Version von »California Games«. Spielerisch sind die sechs Disziplinen mit dem C64-Original identisch, doch Grafik und Tempo haben merklich gelitten - und damit auch der Spielwitz.
21
NESJust Games Retro
Surf, sand, and some wicked beach sports - all packaged in one game, ripe for your enjoyment. Or so the designers of this game would like you to believe, and what they're hoping will draw you to the game, but how "extreme" can you really get by playing a video game? Thus the point of this one is rather lost.