Above par simulation
Golf is another of those popular spectator sports which occupy vast amounts of television time and it's a game which you either love or hate. This simulation, brought to you by Blue Ribbon, is one of the better attempts I have seen at converting this fascinating game of skill to the micro.
The loading screen is - in typical Blue Ribbon fashion - simple and the game loads reasonably soon after. The first thing you see is the leaderboard with the top five rounds and a six-note ditty introduces the game.
The current hole is graphically depicted from overhead giving you a bird's eye view of the action. The fairway, rough, green, trees, bunkers and water hazards are all shown. A flag marks the hole and the tee. Additional information provided is the distance to the green, the par for the hole and the wind direction.
First you select your club from a bag containing four woods, nine irons and a sand wedge. There's no indication given of how far these will carry the ball, so for the first few holes it will be down to trial and error.
After selecting your club you are required to enter the direction and power of the shot. The direction is shown as a pointer which you can rotate left and right using Z and X, while the power is increased and decreased with the up and down cursor keys. Return hits the ball with your chosen direction and power.
You are told where the ball landed - on the fairway, in the rough, in the water and so on. You are prompted for more shots until you are on the green.
The screen then clears and you are presented with a magnified view of the green showing the hole and your ball. Additionally you are told whether the green is fast or slow so you can adjust the power of your shot accordingly. The club - a putter - is chosen automatically.
When you've finally holed the putt your score card is shown. Here you can see each hole played, how many shots you took, the par for the hole and distance. Also your overall score is displayed. Then it's on to the next hole, and so it continues for the rest of the course. The graphics are reasonably good and the gameplay is interesting enough to prevent the game from becoming too tedious. The only feature I would have liked to see is a multi-player option, or a two player facility at least.
I quite liked this simulation, though if you're not a golf fanatic it may not hold the same appeal. As a budget buy it can't be bad.