How to Play Summer Games and Summer Games II

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Summer Games and Summer Games II are some of the most enjoyable Olympic-style games of the 8- and 16-bit home computer era, but they’re not always the most intuitive to play. With our helpful guide on how to play Summer Games and Summer Games II, you’ll be pole-vaulting like a pro in no time!

This guide is based on the Atari 8-bit and Commodore 64 versions of the games, and assumes that you’re using a joystick. The controls should be similar on other platforms.

The Commodore 64 version of Summer Games II (including the events from Summer Games) is available as part of The C64 and The C64 Mini.

Summer Games

Pole Vault

How to play Summer Games - Pole Vault

Select a height to compete at by moving the joystick up and down, then press FIRE on the joystick to confirm.

Once the athlete starts running, push DOWN on the joystick to plant the pole.

At about halfway up the vault, push UP on the joystick to swing over the bar.

When the pole is vertical, press FIRE on the joystick to release the pole and clear the bar.

Platform Diving

How to play Summer Games - Diving

Press FIRE on the joystick to jump.

Press RIGHT for the fastest, tucked somersault.

Press DOWN for the second fastest somersault in a pike position.

Press LEFT for the second slowest turn in a half-pike position.

Press UP to straighten out ready to plunge in.

For the best points, use the plunge move to straighten up and land vertically in the water. Higher scores come from more difficult dives.

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4 x 400m Relay

Summer Games

Push RIGHT on the joystick to speed up and consume more stamina.

Push LEFT on the joystick to “coast” and recover stamina.

CENTRE the joystick for a regular pace.

Press FIRE to hand over the baton.

The first runner recovers stamina more slowly than the last runner.

The second runner loses energy more quickly than the third runner.

100m Dash

Summer Games

Waggle the joystick LEFT and RIGHT as quickly as possible to keep your speed up.


Summer Games

Press and hold FIRE to prepare yourself; release to begin.

Press FIRE to jump on the springboard; more powerful jumps come nearer the edge of the board.

Hold RIGHT or LEFT as you leave the springboard to perform a body twist. This is optional, but increases your final score.

Press FIRE to push off the horse; the most powerful push-off is when the body is vertical.

Push UP for a full-tuck somersault and the fastest rotation.

CENTRE the joystick for a layout position with medium rotation.

Push DOWN for a landing position and slow rotation.

Push LEFT or RIGHT in the opposite direction to where your gymnast is leaning if you don’t land perfectly.

The highest possible score comes from a body twist when leaving the springboard, then maximum height from the horse, a triple somersault and a perfect landing.

Freestyle Relay

Summer Games

Press FIRE to take your marks.

Push RIGHT when the countdown says “GO!” — too early will result in a false start. Three false starts will disqualify you.

Press FIRE every time your swimmer’s arm enters the water for a powerful stroke.

Towards the far end of the pool, hold LEFT for a kick turn. Timing this perfectly gives you a head start for your return length.

Push RIGHT to start your next swimmer just as your teammate reaches the start of the pool.

100m Freestyle

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Exactly the same as above, without the changeover between teammates.

Skeet Shooting

Summer Games

Move the joystick to aim your gunsight.

Press FIRE to release the targets.

Press FIRE to shoot.

You only get one shot per target.

Summer Games II

Triple Jump

How to Play Summer Games II - Triple Jump

Press FIRE to start running.

Push RIGHT at the foul line to “hop”.

Push RIGHT when you land to “step”.

Push LEFT when you land to “jump”.

Push UP to give yourself a boost through the air.

You get three attempts.


Summer Games rowing

Press FIRE to confirm you’re ready.

Alternately push LEFT and RIGHT to row through the water. Watch the speed gauge to determine the correct rhythm.


Summer Games II javelin

Press FIRE to run. Repeatedly press FIRE to gain speed.

Push LEFT near the end of the runway to begin your throw.

Release LEFT to lock your angle and begin the throw.

You have three attempts.


Summer Games II Equestrian

Press FIRE to indicate you are ready to begin.

Push FORWARD when the countdown reads “GO” to start.

Push FORWARD to increase the horse’s speed.

Push RIGHT to jump each barrier.

Push LEFT on landing to prevent the horse from falling.

Push DOWN to turn your horse around if they refuse a jump.

Push UP to get back on track after retreating.

If you fall, press FIRE to get back in the saddle, then FIRE again to start the horse.

You get a 6 point penalty for each fall.

You get a 20 point penalty for a refusal to jump.

You get 1 point of penalty for every second over 50 seconds.

You are disqualified if your penalty points exceed 99 or your total time exceeds 100 seconds.

The winner is the one with the lowest score, not the best time.

High Jump

Summer Games II high jump

Push RIGHT to accept the height proposed. Push LEFT to refuse the height proposed. If all contestants refuse, the bar is raised. You can refuse even if you have already made one or two unsuccessful attempts.

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Push RIGHT to run faster.

Push UP to approach the bar.

Push DOWN to widen your angle of approach.

Press FIRE to jump.

Push UP to flip up and over the bar.


Press FIRE to start the bout.

Push UP or DOWN to position your foil vertically.

Push LEFT or RIGHT to pull back your foil.

Sweep your foil to the RIGHT or LEFT (opposite of where you pulled back) to parry.

CENTRE the joystick and hold the FIRE button for attacking moves.

Hold FIRE and push UP to thrust and recover to a defensive posture.

Hold FIRE and push DOWN to thrust and advance.

Hold FIRE and push LEFT to move left.

Hold FIRE and push RIGHT to move right.


Summer Games II cycling

Press FIRE to confirm you’re ready.

Move your joystick CLOCKWISE to pedal. Watch the arrow display on the status bar to show which direction you should be pushing.

Move your joystick slightly faster than the indicator to accelerate — but not too fast!


Summer Games II kayaking

Press FIRE to confirm you’re ready.

Push UP to paddle once forward.

Push DOWN to paddle once backward.

Push LEFT to paddle once, turning left.

Push RIGHT to paddle once, turning right.

When passing through the gates, the red marker must always be on your left.

Face forwards as you go through gates with a red marker on the left and a blue marker on the right.

Pass backwards through gates which have a yellow marker on the left and a red marker on the right.

Paddle upstream through gates which have a blue marker on the left and a red marker on the right. Pass by the gate, turn around and approach it forwards from the opposite direction.

You get a 20 second penalty for every gate you miss or pass through more than once.

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