Konami‘s 1983 arcade hit Track & Field broke new ground with its button-bashing gameplay.
It also broke a fair few cabinets along the way, with arcade machine operators having to repair the buttons on machines quite often, to keep them operative (and therefore earning money). A broken Track & Field machine was no good to anyone, and people tend to get carried away and hit too hard when playing this game.
Of the six events available in Track & Field (100m, Long Jump, Javelin, 110m Hurdles, Hammer Throwing, and High Jump) four of them require the player to hammer the alternate run buttons to reach the highest possible top speed (represented as a bar that fills up with yellow the faster you’re running). The other two events do the running for you, leaving you to concentrate on button press timings for throwing or jumping.
Track & Field is still a wonderful game, let down by one event (in my opinion). The hammer throw. Which is so difficult to judge that getting in a valid throw is more luck than judgement. The rest of the game is still brilliant though – especially when played with friends.
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