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Daley Thompson’s Decathlon (1984): Is A Classic Sports Game for the ZX Spectrum

Retro gaming has made a comeback in recent years, with gamers rediscovering classic titles from the past. One of the most popular retro gaming systems is the ZX Spectrum, which was released in 1982.

Among the numerous titles available for the ZX Spectrum, one of the most iconic games is Daley Thompson’s Decathlon, released in 1984. In this article, we will take a look at the game and its significance in the history of video gaming.

Daley Thompson’s Decathlon Gameplay

Daley Thompson’s Decathlon is a sports game that features ten different track and field events. The player controls an athlete named Daley Thompson, who is a British decathlete.

The ten events included in the game are 100-meter dash, long jump, shot put, high jump, 400-meter dash, 110-meter hurdles, discus, pole vault, javelin, and 1500-meter run. The game can be played by one or two players, and the objective is to score as many points as possible by achieving the best results in each event.

Daley Thompson’s Decathlon Gameplay


The controls for the game are relatively simple, using only the keyboard. The player must use a combination of keys to run, jump, and throw. The controls can take some time to master, but they are intuitive and easy to understand.

Graphics and Sound

The graphics for Daley Thompson’s Decathlon are simple and pixelated, typical of the ZX Spectrum’s graphics capabilities. However, the game’s graphics are still impressive for its time and add to the game’s charm.

The sound effects are also basic but effective, with crowd cheers and the sound of athletes running and jumping.

Daley Thompson’s Decathlon was a critical and commercial success


Daley Thompson’s Decathlon was a critical and commercial success, selling over a million copies worldwide. The game was widely regarded as one of the best sports games of its time and helped to popularize the genre.

The game also helped to cement the popularity of the ZX Spectrum as a gaming system, and it remains a beloved title among retro gaming enthusiasts today.


Daley Thompson’s Decathlon is a classic retro game that holds a special place in the history of video gaming. Its gameplay, controls, graphics, and sound were all groundbreaking for their time, and the game remains popular among retro gaming enthusiasts today.

Its legacy as one of the best sports games of all time and its contribution to the popularity of the ZX Spectrum make it a must-play for anyone interested in retro gaming.

FAQ About The Daley Thompson’s Decathlon

Daley Thompson’s Decathlon


Daley Thompson’s Decathlon is a classic game that has stood the test of time. While some aspects of the game may feel outdated, its innovative gameplay, simple controls, and enduring legacy make it a must-play for retro gaming enthusiasts.

  • Innovative gameplay - Daley Thompson’s Decathlon introduced a new level of realism to sports games by allowing players to control a character in multiple events
  • Addictive and challenging - The game requires practice and skill to master, making it a challenging and rewarding experience for players
  • Legacy and influence - The game's success and popularity helped to popularize sports games and the ZX Spectrum as a gaming system, cementing its place in video game history
  • Simple controls - Despite the complexity of the events, the controls are easy to understand and intuitive to use
  • Timeless charm - The game's retro graphics and sound effects give it a unique charm that continues to attract retro gaming enthusiasts
  • Repetitive gameplay - Some players may find the repetitive nature of performing the same events over and over to be monotonous
  • Limited replayability - Once the player has mastered the game, there may be little incentive to keep playing
  • Limited multiplayer - The multiplayer mode only allows two players to compete against each other, which may limit its appeal to groups of friends
  • Outdated graphics - While the retro graphics add to the game's charm, they may not be appealing to modern gamers used to more advanced graphics
  • Limited event variety - While there are ten events in the game, some players may wish for more variety or additional events to keep the game fresh

Game Review

Gameplay: The gameplay mechanics, controls, and overall enjoyment factor 8
Graphics and Sound: The quality of the game's visuals and audio 9
Replayability: The game's ability to keep players coming back for more 7
Storyline: The quality of the game's plot and storytelling 7
Innovation: The game's ability to introduce new ideas to the genre 10

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