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Retrospective: California Games

The purpose of PixelVulture’s Retrospective posts is quite simply to remind you of the classic gaming days from ages ago and provide a few minutes nostalgia. This game is one of the very best in that department. California games was created by Epyx Games and released in 1987 for both PC and video game consoles.

california games logo

It was immensely popular across the world providing a bundle of awesome summer activities for you to play. What really made this game stand out from the crowd were these activities, what could be cooler than Half Pipe, Roller Skating, Surfing, BMX, Footbag and Flying Disk.

california games surfing

According to Wikipedia there are a range of Easter eggs hidden within the game, I definitely remember one or two of these:

  • On some random occasions, there is an earthquake during the skateboarding event, causing the H of the Hollywood sign to fall down (The remaining “OLLYWOOD” might also be a reference to the ollie skateboarding trick.)
  • Players can hit the seagull (named ‘George’) in Footbag. Hitting the gull grants more points.
  • A shark or a dolphin or a seagull occasionally appears in Surfing after a player falls off the board. If the shark comes the iconic theme from Jaws plays briefly.
  • When practicing Flying Disc, if the player repeatedly fails in his attempts to throw the disc, a UFO appears and abducts the catcher.

A very interesting aspect of this game was the in-game sponsorship opportunities, including Costa Del Mar sunglasses, Kawasaki and Casio. Is this perhaps a very early form of in-game advertising?

california games sponsors

So if you would like to relive some of the sunshine and glory then download California Games here, it is a whopping  237kb ;)

About Matthew Arnold

I'm a total tech junky, everything from mobile to home entertainment - if it has buttons or a touch screen, I need it. Avid PC & Xbox gamer. Follow me @matthewarnold
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