California Games

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California Games
Title image from the game
Game No. 46
Voting 8.29 points, 78 votes
Developer Jon Leupp, Chuck Sommerville
Company Epyx
Publisher Rushware (Germany), Epyx (USA), U.S. Gold (Europe)
Musician Chris Grigg, Gil Freeman
Release 1987
Platform Amiga, Amstrad CPC, Apple II, Atari ST, Atari 800/2600/5200/7800/XE/XL, Atari Lynx, C64, C64DTV, DOS, NES
Genre Sport
Gamemode Single player
up to 8 players (in turns)
Operation Icon Port2.pngJoystick
Media Diskette Datassette
Language Language:english

Description[edit | edit source]

Are you bored by all the same sports games, were all the usual olympic events are chewed through?

Then welcome to California, home of the most spectacular sports in the world! We start in Hollywood. With the skateboard the player has to proof his ability by showing reckless manoeuvres in the half pipe. Following, we go to San Francisco. When doing the trend sport foot bag, you need to keep a small ball in the air using all parts of your body except the hands. Next you go down to the beaches of California. During skating you cross an exciting obstacle course. Then it is the turn of the supreme discipline of all beach competitions - the surfing. In search of the perfect wave the player glides along the wave with a surfboard. In the next discipline one shows stunts with the BMX bike on a country track. The last event is frisbee and takes place in the beautiful Yosemite.


The games differs to other Epyx Games also that the player doesn't compete for a nation, but for a sponsor and that there are trend sports used. The sponsors to choose from are not invented but they really exist(ed), which for sure hoped for a higher degree of popularity and a better image by financing this game.

BMX bikes
BMX bikes

Half Pipe[edit | edit source]

CaliforniaGames Ani1.gif

One of the biggest trends of the 80s were skateboards and the idea to cause funny self-inflicted injuries with them. And how could you do this easier and nicer than in the half pipe? You have a maximum of 90 seconds time to do the most and most spectacular stunts that are possible in this discipline. To call it stunt is a bit exaggerated, there are only 180° turns, but depending on the speed and the resulting jump height there are more or less points for each succesful turn (max. 999). You can do three turns: kickturns, handplants and aerial plants, which are made by pressing the fire button and the direction at different poins of time. When doing high jumps the turns are very hard to manage, while doing turns in slow speed is easier. Too long or too short turns lead to a fall, the same happens when trying to turn into the wrong direction. Be careful: when you fall off the board 3 times, the game is early over, which will happen often to untrained players as half pipe is really tricky.


  • press fire button Fire button: start
  • Joystick forwards Joystick up: raise speed (while driving upwards)
  • Joystick backwards Joystick down: raise speed (while driving downwards)
  • Joystick right Joystick right, when the skater is approx. in the middle of the left side (with slow speed)
  • Joystick left Joystick left, when the skater is approx. in the middle of the right side (with slow speed)
  • press fire button Press fire button a bit below the upper edge (with medium speed)
Aerial turns:
  • Joystick right Joystick right, when the skater is on the left side in the air (with high speed)
  • Joystick left Joystick left, when the skater is on the right side in the air (with high speed)


  • more risk = more points
  • 100-300: kickturn
  • 400-700: handplant
  • 400-999: aerial turn


  • find the right timing
  • the contest is over after three falls
  • at the start always gather enough swing by drawing downwards when going down and upwards when going upwards
  • the correct point of time for the turn is just before the highest reachable point.

Foot Bag[edit | edit source]

CaliforniaGames Ani2.gif

Foot Bag is just fun. The aim of the game is to hold a small ball as constantly as possible in the air and to do tricks, which give extra points, for 90 seconds. You can play the ball with the head, knee or foot and the heel, turn and perform lots of funny wrenches. Two additional possibilities to get some points are: the low flying seagull, which sometimes flies over the screen and which you can plant a nice hit on ;o). And if you jockey the ball over the edge of the screen, it will be thrown back and you get bonus points for the direct catch of this throw-in. Especially with several players foot bag is a guarantee for laughs, as the more people will watch and crack silly comments, the less tricks will work. It was never easier to make a fool of oneself! Here the ball can fall to the floor endlessly, this discipline doesn't stop prematurely.


  • press fire button Fire button: start
  • Joystick forwards Joystick up: jump
  • Joystick backwards Joystick down: turn 180°
  • Joystick left and right Joystick left/right: move left/right
  • press fire button Fire button: carrying out movements with the ball


  • 10: every shot
  • 250: Half Axle (half turn between two shots)
  • 500: Full Axle (full turn betweeen two shots)
  • 500: Horseshoe (left heel shot + right heel shot)
  • 750: Axle Foley (one and a half turns betweeen two shots)
  • 750: Five in a row (five shots in succession)
  • 1000: Fowl (shoot the bird)
  • 1500: Catching the ball when it is thrown-in from outside
  • 1500: Dizzy Dean (front header + rear header)
  • 1500: Head Beanger (rear header + front header)
  • 2000: Jester (shot with the left or right foot during a jump)
  • 2500: Double Arch (left + right + left outer jerk)
  • 5000: Doda (left outer jerk + header + right outer jerk)
  • 5000: Reverse Doda (right outer jerk + header + left outer jerk)
  • 7500: Squinty O Toole (right outside foot lift, left outside foot lift, headbutt (NO JUMPING), turn 360 and play hackey with your knee)


  • make as many different tricks as possible (high variation bonus!)
  • the lucrative tricks Doda and Reverse Doda can well be combined with each other

Surfing[edit | edit source]

CaliforniaGames Ani3.gif

Or better said surf ride, because a sail as used in the classic wind surfing is not used here, you just have a naked surf board. With this you have to try to show as many tricks as you can and keep yourself on the board. It is important to have enough speed, otherwise you will get swallowed by the breaker which follows you. The tricks that can be made are 360° turns (only manageable with a big head start to the breaker) and jumps, whereas the jump angle needs to be the same as the landing angle (e.g. when you jump upwards vertically, you have to do a complete 180° turn in the air), because if the aforesaid angles are different, you will lose balance an fall from the board. The maximum time is 90 seconds and here also after three falls from the board the discipline will end prematurely.


  • press fire button Fire button: start
  • Joystick left Joystick left: steering movement to the left from the surfers view
  • Joystick right Joystick right: steering movement to the right from the surfers view
  • press fire button keep fire button pressed: perform sharp loop lines (slow down speed)


  • riding close to the wave peak gets you more points
  • the more tricks, the more points
  • angel of entrance = angle of exit

Skating[edit | edit source]

CaliforniaGames Ani4.gif

Here you play a small girl, who drives along the waterfront with skates. On this there are lots of obstacles (potholes, garbage, sand heaps and much more) which you either have to drive around or jump over. There are points for the distance covered and the jumps (depending on the speed and whether with or without 360° turn). Also in this game the rule applies: if you break with the face three times, you need to stop early.


  • press fire button Fire button: start
  • Joystick right forwards + Joystick right backwards Joystick right up/right down in turns: speed up
  • press fire button Joystick left down: 360° turn clockwise
  • Joystick left forwards Joystick left up: 360° turn anticlockwise
  • press fire button Press fire button: hunker down
  • do not move joystick Let go fire button: jump


  • 10-30: avoid obstacle
  • 20-40: jump over obstacle
  • 40-120: turn during a jump over an obstacle


  • drive close to all obstacles and make turns during a jump
  • the one who falls three times is out!

BMX[edit | edit source]

CaliforniaGames Ani5.gif

A discipline, which is bloody treacherous and extremely invites you to get jaunty. You sit on a small BMX and you have to master a show-jumping course. On the way there are square timbers, buckets, tyres, stumps and lots of other stuff on the track, which you again have to go round or jump over. Furthermore there are many hills and some jumps which give the player the chance for spectacular and risky show interludes. Possible ones are a tabletop (you lie horizontally in the air for a short time, rather easy), a 360° turn (also not too bad), a backflip (only for the professionals) and a somersault forwards (absolutely deadly). The danger while performing the latter two is to have to little drive and to land on the head which instantly ends the game, as with a neck breaking you usually don't drive any more. Otherwise again here the fun is over after the third "normal" fall. If you make it to the end of the track, you have to manage to break on a small plateau and to stop there, then you get some more bonus points, depending on how quick you performed the course.

Controls on the ground:

  • Joystick right Joystick right: start
  • Joystick right Joystick right (several times): speed up
  • Joystick forwards Joystick up: steering left
  • Joystick backwards Joystick down: steering right
  • Joystick left Joystick left: drive on the rear wheel
  • press fire button Fire button: jump or respectively stop in the finish

Controls in the air:

  • Joystick forwards Joystick up: long jump (landing = joystick middle position)
  • Joystick backwards Joystick down: 360° turn horizontally (landing = joystick middle position)
  • Joystick left Joystick left: backward hitch
  • Joystick right Joystick right: forward hitch


  • 60: for every second up to second 120
  • 100-200: drive on the rear wheel
  • 200-400: jump
  • 500-1000: long jump
  • 1000-2000: 360° turn horizontally
  • 1500-3000: backward hitch
  • 3000-6000: forward hitch


  • precise timing when doing the jumps is necessary not to fall
  • a grave (landing on the head) and three light falls are allowed without dropping out
  • if you stop exactly on the finish line, you get bonus points!
  • the faster you go, the more points you get
  • forwards saults are spectacular and give lots of points, but are also risky and difficult
  • turns are awarded with 1000-2000 points and are possible almost everywhere
  • to reach a high speed, keep the joystick pressed to the right and then press fire quickly and successively


  • Points go to a maximum of 65535. Then the counter starts again at zero.

Flying Disc[edit | edit source]

CaliforniaGames Ani6.gif

Finally there is a less hectic discipline to master. Flying Disc is nothing else than throwing and catching a frisbee. You first control the thrower, give him the speed and the angle and the the disc flies through the air. Further back there is a second person which you control after the launch. This second person should catch the arriving frisbee, which is far from easy as you walk slower than the disc flies. You receive points for the distance you reached and for if and how (running, standing or during a jump, with or against the flying direction of the disc) the disc is caught or not. Every player has three shots, which are summed up.

By the way there is a small gag hidden here. When you wait too long with throwing, a UFO will come flying and kidnap the catcher. But you only see it in the bar above the normal picture.


  • press fire button Fire button: start
  • Joystick left Joystick left: gain monumentum (up to the green bar of "speed")
  • Joystick right Joystick right: angle of throwing (up to the green bar of "angle")
  • Joystick left Joystick left: throw


  • 150: catch while walking to the right
  • 250: catch while jumping to the right
  • 250: catch while walking to the left
  • 350: catch while jumping to the left
  • 350: catch over the head


  • always watch the upper window
  • the ideal point for speed and angle is the middle of each green bar
  • while moving the second player the points are rising slower!

Design[edit | edit source]

... an image from the game

The graphics were excellent fot a C64, nowadays of course they seem outdated, but if you grew up with a Commodore you won't mind this. - The sound rocks! Alone an ingenious theme for the intro delights the player and also in the main menue you can find a nice background music. Every discipline has always an adequate sound backdrop with 80s beach pop music. The song at the intro is "Louie Louie", the one during Surfing is "Wipe Out" (how adequate). For the means of a Commodore it was the best. - The controls are also top, it is fully done by joystick and the characters react directly to the commands of the player, there is nothing to complain about.

Hints[edit | edit source]

The main menu[edit | edit source]

The main menu of California Games

The menu of CALIFORNIA GAMES offers the choice of six options. To make a choice use your joystick to move the cursor to the desired place and then press FIRE. You can also choose an option by entering the corresponding number.

OPTION 1: Compete in all events
To play through all six disciplines. You will do the sports in the following order: Half Pipe Skateboard, Foot Bag, Surfing, Skating, BMX Bike Racing and Flying Disc. First you are asked for your name, which you enter, and then you are asked to choose a sponsor. Enter your and then press FIRE. Use the stick to place the cursor on the desired sponsor and press also here FIRE. Repeat this process for every other player (up to eight).

OPTION 2: Compete in some events
The procedure is similar to the one in option 1. But you only compete in those events that you have chosen. To choose them, move the joystick to the corresponding number of the sport and press the FIRE button. The events that you have chosen are shown in violett. When you have finished your personal choice, then move the cursor to DONE and press FIRE once more.

OPTION 3: Compete in one event
The procedure is similar to the one in option 1 and 2, but here you only compete in one single event of your choice. Choose the event by moving your cursor to the corresponding number and press the FIRE button.

OPTION 4: Practice one event
During practicing units the gained points are not saved. Choose an event by moving the joystick to the corresponding number and press the FIRE button.

OPTION 5: View high scores
Here the record for the single disciplines are shown together with the name of the player that achieved them. To return to the main menu, press FIRE.

OPTION 6: View title screen
Here you can view the title screen once more. To return to the main menu, press FIRE.

The final evaluation[edit | edit source]

Image from California Games

After the end of the event, the statement who has won is made. Position 1 counts 5 points, position 2 3 points, and position 3 one point, same as in the former games. After adding you get the end result. Another incentive for top performances is of course the world record bookkeeping for every discipline as already mentioned at the beginning.

Recommended version[edit | edit source]

Version by Remember (Download at Gamebase64)

pro stable
pro highscore list can be reset
pro 2 disc sides (all disciplines on side B, so you only need to turn the disc once)
pro space-saving (565 Blocks free on side A)
pro fast load function
pro instructions in the intro

Solution[edit | edit source]

How do you get a 10.0 in Surfing?

Quote from Roland:

  • Some tricks with/without turns in different angles (doesn't need to be all variations). I once got 10 points with only 11 jumps, of which were 6 times 45° with turn, 2 times 67° with turn, and each once 45° without turn, 90° with/without turn.
  • No spectacular jumps to the left (look nice, but are not necessary), or also the flat jump 23° with turn.
  • Jumps close to the crest are supposed to give more "points", but I have also received the 10.0 with only 3 of these jumps.
  • It is very important to surf some time in the wave/tube (20-40 seconds). For this just do a 360° turn (without jump) and move with fire up/down to get a bit slower.
  • The following is a jump that seems to be very important, especially for the guy with the moustache! A 90° jump, where you dunk back into the breaking wave. For this just speed up a lot until the crest is almost fully at the left border of the screen (it should still be visible a bit). Then pull upwards for the 90° jump, turn and in again. This way you should exactly hit the breaking wave.
  • Finally, when the siren sounds (time over), you should just surf horizontally in the lower area of the wave.

Cheats[edit | edit source]

No known cheats or pokes.

Voting[edit | edit source]

Voting of the C64-Wiki users (10=the best vote):
8.29 points at 78 votes (rank 50).
You need to be logged in to cast a vote.
C64Games 10 1st March 2006 "Highlight" - 33214 downs
Lemon64 8,33 6th October 2006 - 143 votes
Happy Computer 83% Games special 4/87 8,69 11th May 2007 - 16 votes
Gamebase64 9 5/5 "Very Good"
ZZap64 97% Edition 9/87

Reviews[edit | edit source]


Guybrush: "Still today California Games offers great fun when it is played with several people, the more, the better. On our C64 revival parties, which we hold from time to time California Games is compulsory, as it is timeless and ingenious. Without having to configure any settings you can start, the disciplines are short and simple, through which the game stays interesting. It's just a classic. Whoever has never played this game, has in my opinion a gap in education, which needs to be filled.

FighterXXS: "A clear favourite for multiplayer sessions... (concerning this issue I go along with the above critic). As "single-player" the motivation is considerably smaller, provided you don't train for the next "multisession"..."

Spaceball: "My absolute favourite part of the Epyx Games Series. For me California Games is the highlight of the Eypx Games Series. Even Winter Games can't reach it."

Miscellaneous[edit | edit source]

Trivia[edit | edit source]

Since 11.04.2008 the game is available as download for the Nintendo Wii Virtual Console.

Cover[edit | edit source]


[edit | edit source]

Advertisement ...

Fan Art (PETSCII)[edit | edit source]

"Fan Art - California Gamescii"

Highscore[edit | edit source]

  1. Roland - 6/0/0
  2. Werner - 0/3/0
  3. Spider J. - 0/1/4
  4. Mindless - 0/1/1
  5. Löwe - 0/1/0
  6. FXXS - 0/0/1
  7. Starkiller - 0/0/0 (4.)
  8. Colt Seavers - 0/0/0 (5.)
  9. Camailleon - 0/0/0 (6.)
  10. Gangsterkater - 0/0/0 (8.)
Event Gold Silver Bronze further places
Halfpipe 42.559 - Roland
CG Roland Halfpipe.png
31.455 - Spider J.
CG SpiderJ Halfpipe.jpg
29.722 - Mindless

4) 11.964 - FXXS
5) 8.775 - Starkiller
6) 1.875 - Colt Seavers
7) 1.805 - Werner
8) 1.200 - Camailleon

Footbag 239.890 - Roland
CG Roland Footbag.png
180.790 - Werner
CG Werner Footbag.png
177.820 - Spider J.
CG SpiderJ Footbag.jpg

4) 124.610 - Mindless
5) 123.710 - Löwe
6) 43.240 - FXXS
7) 34.310 - Camailleon
8) 33.400 - Starkiller
9) 24.470 - Colt Seavers
10) 22.960 - Gangsterkater

Surfing 10,0 - Roland
CG Roland Surfing.png
9,8 - Löwe
CG Loewe Surfing.png
8,8 - Spider J.
CG SpiderJ Surfing.jpg

4) 8,6 Mindless
5) 7,4 FXXS
6) 6,4 Starkiller
7) 5,6 Colt Seavers
8) 4,8 Werner
9) 4,2 Keule
10) 3,8 Gangsterkater
11)1,4 Camailleon

Skating 11.100 - Roland
CG Roland Skating.png
7.270 - Werner
CG Werner Skating.png
6.460 - Spider J.
CG SpiderJ Skating.jpg

4) 3.300 - Starkiller
5) 2.020 - Löwe
6) 1.930 - Keule
7) 1.680 - FXXS
8) 1.670 - Colt Seavers
9) 720 - Camailleon
10) 520 - Gangsterkater

BMX 65.433 - Roland
CG Roland Bmx.png
32.261 - Mindless
28.167 - Spider J.
CG SpiderJ Bmx.jpg

4) 19.677 - FXXS
5) 16.881 - Löwe
6) 14.236 - Werner
7) 2.007 - Camailleon
8) 1.891 - Colt Seavers
9) 780 - Gangsterkater

Flying disk 1.700 - Roland
CG Roland Flyingdisk.png
1.680 - Werner
CG Werner Flyingdisk.png
1.640 - FXXS
CG FXXS Flyingdisk.png

4) 1.540 - Starkiller
5) 1.430 - Löwe
6) 1.300 - Spider J.
7) 920 - Camailleon
8) 850 - Colt Seavers
9) 310 - Gangsterkater

Links[edit | edit source]

WP-W11.png Games Wikipedia: California Games