Winter Olympics, released in the United States as Winter Olympic Games, is the official video game of the XVII Olympic Winter Games in Lillehammer, Norway. All versions were published by U.S. Gold, the rightsholder; home computer versions (Amiga and PC) were developed by ID Software (not to be confused with id Software) and console versions (GG, MD/Gen, Master System, Super NES) were developed by Tiertex. The game featured 10 winter sporting events. There are also major differences between platforms. Players can represent countries from all over the world.
The player can train freely and compete in both full or mini (events selected by the player) Olympics. During competition, there are both medals and points tables. While in Olympic Gold points were awarded according to the medals table, in Winter Olympics they were given according to the best results, like decathlon. Doing so, it was perfectly possible to someone win the gold medal in short track, and get few more points than other skaters (even not finalists) that got better qualifying times. This scoring method also meant that someone who won gold medals in six or seven events might fall outside the top 10 if is disqualified on the remaining three.
There are many differences between the versions released for each system. Although that could be explained by different hardware, as of 1993 it was possible to make a sprite-based video game on a 16 bit console using the PC version as a base. In this case, differences were due to US Gold's choice to use two companies developing different versions of the game separately and also to the development methodology of Tiertex, who used a different game programmer for each platform – each one programming in a different assembly language (no porting). Amongst major differences, freestyle moguls are different on the 16-bit versions, and overall the Super NES version is much more unforgiving than the Mega Drive/Genesis version, while the Master System version is the one allowing better control on alpine skiing events.
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