Konami 88 Review

Konami’s 88 Games puts your button mashing skills through an Olympic sports simulation game, known in Japan as Hyper Sports Special. This version focuses on eight events such as 100-meter dash and long jump.

Hamster has drawn on their extensive library of arcade classics to assemble this selection. Fans of shmups may lament the absence of games like Castlevania and Silent Hill; however Konami 88 still provides ample entertainment value.


Konami 88 is the third installment in Konami’s Track and Field series – previously known in Japan as Hyper Sports Special – taking players through eight events at the 1988 Olympic Summer Games: 100m Dash, Long Jump, 400m Relay, Skeet Shooting Archery 110m Hurdles Javelin.

As with the earlier entries in the series, players control an athlete through a series of button presses and action buttons. From long jumper’s angle for jumps to javelin thrower distance, the player needs to hit their buttons at just the right moment in order to maximise performance and ensure optimal results. Furthermore, this installment’s difficulty increases over its predecessors; many rounds now feature qualifying quotas that must be met in order to advance into subsequent rounds.

Graphically, this game is well presented. When competing in a 100 meter dash race, other athletes can be seen warming up in the background while when jumping, the player switches to perspective view for an enhanced impression of how far away the jumper travels towards the camera. Although more detail might have been nice for some other events, overall this cartoon-inspired game makes an easy on the eyes experience.

On the sound side, digital voices narrate events; although this was standard for games of this era, its effectiveness does not come through clearly here. There are a few subdued fanfare tunes which add atmosphere but they soon fade from memory.

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Konami 88 offers some impressive graphics for its time, and in comparison with other games from its period. A nice detail is that each weapon type (e.g. the dragon superweapon has blue fire while hammers use red) has different colours depending on its type – for instance when your character takes damage you can view their health bar in the middle of the screen when it becomes activated!

Track and Field features more realistic graphics; in comparison, ’88 Games features cartoony designs which create an enjoyable atmosphere while not hindering its gameplay in any way. While some aspects of its graphics may be disappointing – for instance static crowds in long jump stage and athlete not running towards camera during 100 meter dash are two such examples – others prove effective at creating fun atmosphere and don’t compromise gameplay at all.

An impressive collection of Konami arcade classics. A must have for fans of shooters or anyone interested in this era’s gaming.


The controls are fairly basic, relying on the player wriggling the joystick or hitting buttons in a rapid alternating rhythm to maintain success in various events such as 100m dashes or long jumpers taking off, tapping their start gun or collecting baton in relay events. Timing is key for success.

Konami did an exceptional job of sound design for this title. Additionally, there is great music to accompany events and draw players in to character when visiting jungle, waterfall, snowfield and base stages, along with boss themes. Konami provided great sound design throughout this title!

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Konami Codes are an interesting feature of many games, enabling players to unlock songs and modes with just a code entered on the options screen in Batman Returns, Beatmania GB and Boktai: The Sun Is In Your Hand. They may also be entered in Metal Gear Solid 2: Substance in order to see who produced its opening title sequence.

Pressing the code when being interrogated at CQC may make Snake reciting part of her code. Konami 88 is an enjoyable title worth checking out for fans of its genre; however, it lacks that special something which would set itself apart from its rivals.


konami 88’s sound effects are strikingly similar to those seen in other games and movies, such as RCT 1 and 2 laughs or the Botw cooking jingle; it may take away some of the thrill of play for many people but is certainly no way detrimental.

Konami did an exceptional job with their music for this game and many still enjoy jamming out to its wonderful jungle, waterfall, snowfield, base, and boss themes even today! Many still find comfort listening to Konami’s incredible orchestrations for each stage, such as Jungle, Waterfall and Base stages as well as its boss theme!

Konami 88 was initially released as Hyper Sports Special in Japan and 88 Games in North America. This Olympic-style sport game challenges players’ button bashing skills across eight events introduced by digital voices, each starting off with two fire buttons being rapidly alternated in quick rhythm to start each event – such as 100 Meter Dash, Long Jump and Shotput. Digitized voices and sound effects provide adequate yet nondescript commentary while subdued fanfare tunes dominate its music score.