Sega's Vancouver 2010 game makes tracks on Facebook

sega vancouver 2010 game on FacebookIf you love the Olympics, but not enough to pay the exorbitant fees to watch them live in Vancouver, try getting a little closer to the action -- virtually -- with the Vancouver 2010 Official Minigame on Facebook.

This Olympic game is a stripped-down version of Sega's video game with the same name, allowing virtual athletes to play mini-games based on four popular events -- ski jumping, short track speed skating, snowboard cross and giant slalom. Just like the real-life Olympics, players are rewarded gold, silver or bronze medals depending on their performance.

The social aspects of Vancouver 2010 seem standard for a Facebook game -- invite friends to play (and build up your 'team score') and post high scores on your Facebook wall for bragging rights. There's also a series of leaderboards, so players can see how their skills stack up against others in your country and across the globe.
sega vancouver 2010 on facebook -- giant slalom

The four mini-games have a distinct retro vibe with simple (but not pixelated) graphics and controls that generally involve some combination of the arrow keys, space bar and mouse. The events can be played on normal, hard and expert, and considering we had a difficult time playing on normal, we can't imagine what kind of joystick jock you'd have to be to survive on expert. Out of the foursome, ski jumping was easily the best -- mostly due to a few creative timed clicking and mousing mechanics required to pull off (and land) the perfect jump.

This collection of Olympic games don't have that 'addictive' quality, like, say, Bejeweled Blitz. They're more like a five-minute fix, that you'll play and then forget about 15 minutes later. At the time of this write-up, Vancouver 2010 had some problems loading, so it required continual refreshing to actually play the darn thing.

vancouver 2010 ski jump on facebook

Granted, our expectations were low, especially since this Facebook app also serves an advertising vehicle for its big brother -- Vancouver 2010 for Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 (made evident by the ample 'buy now' messaging throughout the experience). This follows a recent trend of big-name video game companies using Facebook as a way to market big-budget games, as we saw with the recent Dante's Inferno application, and we expect to see other games following along as the year continues.

Play Vancouver 2010 on Facebook Now >
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