Last month, Enviro-Bear 2010 creator Justin Smith released his latest iOS endeavor called Justin Smith's Realistic Summer Sports Simulator [Free], or JSRSSS to lazy people like myself. Summer Sports Simulator was like a twisted take on an old Atari 2600 track and field title, with a bunch of Olympic-style events to partake in by awkwardly flinging your athletes through them. There was something strangely compelling about JSRSSS with its quirky gameplay and charm, and the mini-game nature of the events made it a perfect go-to title when I'm looking for a quick fix of fun.
Despite really liking Summer Sports Simulator, there were a few minor issues that detracted from the experience. With the game's first update, these have basically been taken care of. The most glaring problem with the initial release was that it lacked any sort of online high score tracking, which seemed like a big omission for such a high score-centric game like this. To rectify this, Game Center has been added with leaderboards for every event as well as a leaderboard for most gold medals earned during one play through. I've been having a ton of fun trading spots on the leaderboards with friends in JSRSSS.
The next major addition is a brand new event, the kayak slalom, and then the rest of the update consists of smaller tweaks and fixes. Controls have been improved on the iPhone, the AI has been balanced, and that weird cat that seemed to be stuck on the title screen has been fixed. Also, you can now choose from a list of actual flags and countries, rather than the weird mashup countries from the original release. See? I told you it got more realistic in this update, though I was pretty partial to the silly country names from before. Finally, you can turn on a "turbo" mode from the help screen at the main menu, which makes the entire game run at double speed. This makes an already difficult game that much more so, but it is kind of a fun feature to check out.
Another big change for Summer Sports Simulator is that the initial game is now free. Previously, it cost 99ยข which gave you 4 events and the option to unlock an additional 10 events with a $1.99 in-app purchase. It's something that we took issue with in our review, not so much because the game wasn't worth the money but more because it just seemed confusing and possibly off-putting for those who were thinking they were getting the whole game for their initial $.99 purchase. Now, the game basically functions as a free demo with five events and the remaining 10 still available from within the game for $1.99.
Justin Smith's Realistic Summer Sports Simulator is the type of game that won't be for everyone. Now that the barrier of entry has been lowered to free, there's no reason not to give it a spin. It's a really fun game made even better with this latest update, especially Game Center integration.
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