I am not going to talk about the rarity and value of this game. I think I’ll have a more detailed post about NES collecting and value later down the road.
What I do want to talk about is how badly this game translates what it is trying to simulate into gaming form. I love running. I love Track and Field. I love the idea of video games that try to simulate the fun and thrill of racing . Stadium Events fails hard because it takes an incredibly lazy approach to solving the racing problem. The Family Fun Fitness Pad (later Power Pad) is required to play this game. The incorporation of that is simple: Run in place, run in the game. Jump in the air, jump in the game.
What actually winds up happening is very unlike actual running. In order to win, you’ll find it a lot better to shuffle your feet in place to simulate the triggers on the pad. Running requires momentum and running in place won’t let you really build up speed. There are also 6 buttons on the pad for each runner, in rows of 2. The difference between each row is how fast you move. Why would you ever not choose the fastest row to run? It doesn’t FEEL different.
This problem is amplified worse when it comes to the long jump and triple jump. You still “cheat” the running portion, but since jumping in those events requires forward motion to simulate a long jump, you can only actually jump as high as you can hold yourself in the air (RE: Physics for more on this problem). So you can’t really jump very far unless you jump quickly off and back on the mat so that the pad doesn’t really know when you land. Follow that up for the triple jump where you are actually able to store your momentum in place until you jump again. In real life, holding your jump in place would kill all forward momentum you had.
The final product is a low effort workout that hardly achieves the feeling of racing and events.