Title           Hole-In-One Miniature Golf
Publisher       Digitek Software (1989)
Game Type       Sport
Players         1-4
HD Installable  Yes (assign "Hole-In-One:" to the directory)
Compatibility   All: use "jst EXECUTE"
Game data/utils Course disks originally sold direct from publisher
Submission      Dennis Smith Profiled Reviewer

Miniature Golf is one of those games that is guaranteed to fascinate those
people who get their kicks out of bouncing balls around angles. I should
know, I'm one of them. More like a mad billiards game than golf, it's the
sort of game that should transfer easily to the computer medium.

Hole-In-One takes the standard approach of using the overhead view for
play; you place your ball on a starting area then proceed to aim a series
of shots using the mouse to guide a simple targetting bar - the distance
from the ball represents the power, the angle represents chosen direction.
Nothing novel, but as they say, if it ain't broke, don't fix it.

The game is flawed for all sorts of reasons. Firstly, the ball doesn't
always bounce especially convincingly, though it does get it right
sufficiently often that it's not a big turn-off. The graphics are
marginally better then childish. This wouldn't be a problem if the
programmer had chosen to stick to spartan combinations of walls, slopes and
holes. Unfortunately, most of the holes are decorated to some extent and
they are visually unappealing, to be polite. Additionally, there's a whole
course based around public holidays of one sort or another in which you
must bounce the ball around these amateurish drawings. The fact that they
are in perspective while the ball continues in nonchalant two-dimensional
manner isn't so bad as the fact that you can never be certain which bits
of unimpressive scenery the ball will bounce from and which it will pass

The course design is uninspired, with a prevalence of holes that are either
extremely difficult to complete in par, or dependent on a lot of luck - so
much that you can finish 30 above or below par depending on how fortunate
you have been. Add to this the fact that two out of the three courses are
genuinely uninteresting and that there's no incentive to perform well
except personal betterment, and you'll see that there's not a lot of reason
to play the game.

But... I'm a sucker for miniature golf games and it does have some novelty
for a little while. The one interesting course, labelled "Out Of This
World", uses computer tricks that would be impossible on a real course,
with teleports and a lot of messing around with gravity. Unfortunately
this one is the one which requires most luck, and it's a shame because some
of the ideas are great, like the black-hole level. The game plays like a
freeware offering that someone has thrown together - it's hard to believe
that they asked for money for this, once upon a time - and 30 dollars for
five extra courses! I picked this up for a fairly minimal cost and I
recommend you avoid it unless it's going for next-to-nothing.

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