Growing up in the NES/SNES era of video games one of my guilty pleasures from that era was the Olympic/track and field games. You could debate whether they were actually good games but there was just something enjoyable about their simplicity. When I saw Super Sportmatchen on Steam it immediately reminded me of these type of games from the NES/SNES era so I was intrigued to see how well they would hold up today. Super Sportmatchen does a good job recreating track and field games from the NES/SNES era leading to fun but sometimes flawed mini games.
We at Geeky Hobbies would like to thank Kaj Forell Video Game Brand and DANGEN Entertainment for the review copy of Super Sportmatchen used for this review. Other than receiving a free copy of the game to review, we at Geeky Hobbies received no other compensation for this review.
So if it wasn’t already clear, Super Sportmatchen is basically a collection of sports mini games. The mini games simulate track and field/Olympic style events with many of them having a slight twist. Most of these games are really quick with many of them taking around a minute to complete. The “sports” in Super Sportmatchen include:
- 100M Dash: A typical button mashing running mini game. You alternate pressing two different buttons and if you make a mistake your character trips which slows you down. Overall I found this game to be okay even though I have never been a big fan of button mashing mini games. This along with the 250M Plint-Sprint were probably my two least favorite games in Super Sportmatchen.
- 250M Plint-Sprint: Utilizes the same mechanics as the 100M Dash but also includes hurdles that you have to jump over. As I just mentioned, along with the 100M Dash this was probably my least favorite game.
- 180M Hopp-Boll: A track event where you are using a bouncy ball to bounce to the finish line. Basically you press down on the joystick in order to charge your jump and then let go to jump forward. Instead of rapidly pressing buttons, this mini game relies on timing and adding the appropriate amount of power into each jump. Of the three “running” mini game this one is by far the most enjoyable in my opinion. This is mostly due to the mechanics being quite fun as you have to judge how much you need to power up each jump in order to avoid pits that slow you down.
- Capy Throw: A discus/shot put event where you are flinging a hamster like creature that has a parachute attached to it. In this game you spin the joystick to gain speed and then press a button to let go. This mini game is decent even though I had some trouble throwing straight as I ended up throwing it backwards once.
- Hoops: A basketball type game where you have to score more points than the other team. The game is a pretty basic basketball game played on one plane (you can only move left and right as well as jump). It does allow you to jump on or push over other players in order to temporarily stun them though. Hoops might not be highly original but I had quite a bit of fun with it. Unless you practice the game a lot though, whether you make a shot seems to be kind of random. The games are also pretty low scoring unless one player/team is considerably better than the other players/team.
- Boll Toss: A shuffleboard type game where you are throwing a ball trying to get it as close as possible to the wall at the end of the path. This is one of the games that I was most surprised by. Basically you set the angle and power to put into your throw. Your goal is to try and hit the wall and have the ball stop almost immediately. My only complaint with this game is that I wish there were more rounds in each game.
- River Dodge: A kayak game where you have to avoid the obstacles in the water. In the game you press left and right on the joystick in order to avoid the obstacles in the water. This game is pretty fun even if it is really simple.
- Animal Feed: A game that kind of plays like duck hunt where instead of shooting the animals you are throwing food to them. You move a crosshair around the screen to aim food at the various animals flying through the air and moving along the ground. It takes a while to figure out where you need to aim to hit the animals but the game is still pretty fun.
- Wall Climb: A rock climbing game that requires you to press different button combinations. Basically you have to jump from grip to grip pressing different button combinations in order to grab the next grip. You need to watch out for items that are dropped down the wall and sudden changes in the wind which will knock you off the wall. This might be the most original game in Super Sportmatchen.
- Pillow Push: A sumo wrestling type game where you are using pillows to knock the other player out of the ring. There is a button to attack and a button to counter. The sumo game mostly relies on players quick twitch reaction time and being able to guess what button the other player is going to pick. Another fun yet pretty simple game.
While some of the mini games aren’t highly original, for the most part I had fun playing them. Most of the game require you to only use a few buttons which makes Super Sportmatchen one of those games that anyone can quickly jump in and play immediately after reading the short game description before the event. Super Sportmatchen is a perfect game for a party situation as the game excels when you play it with other people. This is an example of a game that works well in local multiplayer as you celebrate your wins over the other players. This is shown by the fact that I yelled out loud when I made a miracle throw at the end of a Boll Toss game which stole the victory for my team.
While the game includes computer A.I., there are two main reasons that you probably want to play the game against other human players. First this is the type of game that is just more enjoyable playing with other people that are sitting next to you. The other reason is that at this point I would say that the computer AI could use some work. I will clarify that this is based on playing the pre-release version of the game so the computer A.I. could have improved by the time of the final release. The problem with the A.I. is that it is usually either terrible or basically impossible to beat. The game doesn’t seem to have a difficulty slider so you are stuck with whatever difficulty the game decides to give you. While it is not that exciting playing the computer when it is constantly messing up, that is more enjoyable than when the computer acts like it is on steroids. There were several times during the game where it would have been basically impossible to beat the A.I. without being an expert at the games. Even then it would be debatable whether I could have beat some of the computers. Hopefully the developers fix the A.I. as at this point I probably wouldn’t recommend playing the game against the A.I.
I mentioned earlier that most of the games are pretty simple and straightforward which makes them easy to pick up and play. While the games are simple enough that everyone should be able to quickly pick up how to play them, doing well in them is a different story. I did pretty well in some of the games right away but there are a lot of games that require quite a bit of practice in order to do well in them. This isn’t much of an issue if you are just playing them to have fun with some friends but if you want to excel at them you are going to have to put in the work. Without practicing the games a lot, some of the games kind of feel random so players shouldn’t take the game too seriously.
When it comes down to choosing which games you want to play, you have three different game modes. There is a mode where you can choose five different events. Another mode has you play all of the mini games. Whoever or whichever team wins the most games ends up winning the match. I found both of these modes to be fine even though I preferred the mode where you didn’t play all of the games since you could then avoid some of the games that you don’t really care for. The game also has an endless mode that lets you keep playing the same mini game over and over again. The game gives you a score for how well you do each time and the player that scores the most points wins. I like the idea of an endless mode but I wish it either let you choose different games or would randomly choose the next game.
Being a game that obviously took inspiration from the 8 and 16 bit era of video games, I appreciated the game’s artwork. The pixel graphic style works well for the game. The game tries for more of a cutesy style of graphics and I think it works pretty well. I did find it a little weird for animals to randomly appear on the screen though to congratulate you on your success.
One small technical issue that I had with Super Sportmatchen was the fact that the game doesn’t let you skip through the “filler” material between mini games. These might be used to hide behind the scenes loading which is understandable. After you have played each game a couple times though you kind of just want to get to the start of the next mini game instead of waiting through the transitions to and from each event. If these transitions aren’t hiding loading, I kind of wish the game could have included a skip button in order to speed up the time between each mini game.
Basically Super Sportmatchen is exactly what I thought it was going to be when I first saw it. It is a collection of little sports mini games reminiscent of track and field games from the NES/SNES era. The games are quick and to the point where anyone should be able to quickly pick up a controller and join the game. While some of the mini games are better than others, for the most part they are pretty fun for a party style game. I would highly recommend playing the game with other people though since at this point the computer A.I. is pretty hit and miss. Super Sportmatchen is a game that is fun to play in short doses but it is not something that I would play for long stretches of time.
If you have a group of friends to play the game with and you like these type of simple sports mini games, I think you will have fun with Super Sportmatchen. If you don’t have other people to play the game with or don’t really like these type of games, Super Sportmatchen probably isn’t the game for you.