California Games

Platforms: Amiga, Amstrad CPC, Apple II, Apple IIgs, Atari 2600, Atari Lynx, Atari ST, Commodore 64, IBM PC/Compatibles, MSX, NES / Famicom, Sega Genesis / Mega Drive, Sega Master System, ZX Spectrum


Main Genre:
Side View
Visual Presentation:
Scrolling (Horizontal or Vertical) , Fixed / Flip Screen
Skateboarding , Surfing


IBM MCGA/VGA version of California Games
IBM MCGA/VGA version of California Games

California Games is an “extreme sports” game by Epyx originally released for the Apple II and Commodore 64 in 1987 and shortly after ported to numerous other platforms. Similar to other entries in Epyx's Games Series, California Games allows up to eight players to compete in a series of outdoor sporting events popular in California. The game was one of Epyx's most successful products and led to a sequel, California Games II.


California Games includes six different events; players can choose a corporate sponsor from a number of options available and then can choose to compete in all of the events, select a subset of events, or practice an individual event. Events included in the game are the following:

  • Half Pipe: Players skateboard on a half-pipe and attempt to earn as many points as possible by performing tricks. Players are given 90 seconds to compete, and points are awarded for each stunt performed. Point values are based on the difficulty of the tricks.
  • Foot Bag: Players need to juggle a foot bag for 90 seconds and attempt to earn as many points as possible. Points are awarded for each kick or hit that keeps the bag in the air, and bonus points are awarded for performing tricks between hits. Point values are based on the difficulty of the tricks.
  • Surfing: Players are given 90 seconds or a limited number of wipeouts to earn the best score by surfing. Players can perform a variety of tricks and at the end of the event a panel of judges awards a final score based on how impressive the surfing performance was.
  • Skating: Players need to earn points by rollerskating on a sidewalk near the ocean. The sidewalk contains various hazards including cracks, weeds, objects such as bottles, shoes, puddles, bouncing balls and more are in the way. Hitting any objects or skating off the sidewalk causes the player to fall down. Players can jump over obstacles and are awarded bonus points for performing various tricks.
  • BMX: Players need to ride a BMX bike through a track in the shortest time possible. Numerous jumps and obstacles are in the way, and bonus points can also be earned by performing tricks. There are seven sections to the track, and each need to be completed in 30 seconds or less.
  • Flying Disk: The goal for this game is to throw a Frisbie and successfully catch it. Players control both the person throwing the Frisbie as well as the catcher; points are awarded for the throw accuracy and the difficulty of the catch.
At the end of the events, the final winners are selected based on total points earned and shown in an awards ceremony. Due to system limitations, some versions of the game (most notably the Atari 2600 version) may not include all events and/or have some minor changes to the gameplay.


Platform: Atari 2600
Programmed by: Peter Engelbrite, Steve Baker


Instruction Manual
Atari 2600


Product catalogs, magazines, flyers, or other documentation California Games has appeared in.
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