The Activision Decathlon

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The Activision Decathlon
The Activision Decathlon animation.gif
Developer Activision
Publisher Activision
Designer Activision
Released 1983
Platform Atari 2600, Atari 5200, Atari 8-bit, ColecoVision, Commodore 64, MSX
Genre Sports
Gamemode Single-player,
up to 4 players (in turns)
2 players (simultaneous)
User rating
Current user rating: 87/100 (1 votes)

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The Activision Decathlon is one of the most fun multiplayer games you can get on the Commodore 64 let's get that out of the way right now. Decathlon was released back in 1983 by Activision. And yes this is the same Activision that so many people either love or hate today. While this is a great game for some reason it has kind of been lost in time. As when you mention Decathlon on Commodore 64 many people think of the not as good Daley Thompson's Decathlon which while fun was not as good as this gem.


Now from screen shots it may seem like Decathlon is a very basic looking game, but this is one of those games that really has to be seen in action to fully appreciate how good it looks. You see while at a glance the sprites may not look like they have a great deal of detail to them it is the animation that really makes this game a spectacle to see. The movements of the athletes no mater if they are doing a running event or a throwing event is incredible. And the backgrounds also have some scrolling to them as well.


Decathlon is a sports game, but this is a sports game that is sure to give you a real workout. I guarantee that after twenty minutes playing this game you will have worked up a sweat far greater than what playing Wii Fit will give you! You see this game is what we back in the day referred to as a joystick waggler.

The game has a good selection of events and each and every event requires you to waggle the joystick from left to right as fast as you can. The faster you can waggle that joystick the faster your virtual athlete can run. Now if you thought that tapping buttons gave you a sweat then you have seen nothing until you have played a game like this. Your hand and arm will be aching like mad, sweat will be pouring from your head, but you will be having a great deal of fun. At the bottom of the screen you have a power meter and this tells you just how fast you are going.

The running events in the game will see you racing against either another player in multiplayer which is where this game is at its best. Or against an AI "pacer" if you are playing in single player. The starting gun goes off and you have to waggle as fast as you can to win the race. When you are playing this game with a buddy right next to you the game is at its absolute best.

The throwing events change things up a little bit. You still have to waggle that joystick to make your athlete run along the track, but you then need to press the fire button to get them to throw the thing they are carrying. The jumping events as well require you to press the jump button. These events are much harder as you still need to waggle as fast as you can, but you also need to time the press of the action button as well.

Decathlon really is a great game in the Commodore 64 library. It is just so much fun to play and in multi player it really is one of the best the Commodore 64 has to offer. Just make sure that you have plenty of spare joysticks and this game is a joystick breaker!


Event Notes
The Activision Decathlon Running.png 100-metre dash One opportunity.
The Activision Decathlon Long jump.png Long jump Three attempts allowed.
The Activision Decathlon Shot put.png Shot put Three attempts allowed.
The Activision Decathlon High jump.png High jump Allowed a maximum of three attempts at each height.
The Activision Decathlon Running.png 400 metre dash One opportunity.
The Activision Decathlon Hurdles.png 110 metres hurdles The hurdles are at 10-meter intervals.
The Activision Decathlon Discus.png Discus throw Three attempts allowed.
The Activision Decathlon Pole vault.png Pole vault Allowed a maximum of three attempts at each height.
The Activision Decathlon Javelin.png Javelin throw Three attempts allowed.
The Activision Decathlon Running.png 1500-metre run One chance in this final event.

External links

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