Sweatbands on the keyboard? Kempston joystick with severe RSI and early onset of arthritis? Surely we're talking Dailey Thompson's Decathlon here? Yes the glory days of repetitive bangs on the keyboard to increase your badly animated athlete are back but this time on a joypad!
Athens 2004 at first play is a riot. With so many disciplines to try your hand at in one game it feels like you have been given the keys to the toy shop, the first half an hour of gaming is spent frantically flitting between events to discover what hokey control set-up you'll be given next in order to balance your national hero on the rings or help her score a bullseye down at the archery gallery or whatever its called.
Once you settle into it Athens 2004 doesn't really offer too much of an engaging experience, so many events and so many tricky modes of interaction with the athletes means that a lot of the games are a compromise and hardly worthy of a replay but get a few players together for a team event and it turns out to be a solid party game. With the additional allure of a dance mat peripheral hook-up Athens 2004 gains a more physical dimension and adds to the amount of sociable fun it provides.
Not a one-player game but a potential party hit.
7 out of 10