MicroProse Golf

Title	        MicroProse Golf
Game Type       Sport
Players	        1-4
Compatibility   All Amigas 1 Mb,
HD Installable  Yes
Company	        MicroProse (The Thought Train)
Submission      Seppo Typpö (groucho@pp.inet.fi) Profiled Reviewer

Ever since the famous Leaderboard games on 8-bit computers there has been
a steady flow of golf simulations on various computers, including  the
Amiga. Most famous of them are the Links and PGA Tour Golf series.
Simulation experts MicroProse also wanted to enter this game genre - their
answer was a serious golf simulation using a 3D vector graphics engine
usually found only on their flight sims - the game was called MicroProse
Golf (or Greens in some countries).

The package
As usual in MicroProse games the package is luxurious - 108 page manual,
Amiga technical supplement, some course cards and three DD disks. The
manual contains lots of information about the game presented in a way only
MicroProse does - every nuance of the game gets a thorough treatment.
These guys take even their golf seriously!

MicroProse Golf is full of options. A dozen game types can be played on
six different courses by up to four human players. A handicap system is
included to allow novices and experts to play together. In one player mode
the 'ranking list' allows playesr to play head-to-head against computer
opponents of varying skill and rise in the ranks.

Courses are presented in 3D graphics allowing real undulating terrain and
almost free camera movement on course. This feature is useful also in
instant replays which can be configured individually for each player and
saved to disk.

Hitting the ball is done using same control system pioneered in
Leaderboard and used in most golf games. First click on the mouse button
starts the back swing, second sets the force and final click sets the
snap. The snap area (the area in the arc where you should stop the cursor
if you want a straight shot) changes according to the used force meaning
it is much harder to get a straight shot with a full swing.

For helping the analysis of your own game, hole-by-hole statistics are
available. This, accompanied by the excellent replay options allows the
player to better his (or her) own game skills.

Like all golf simulations MicroProse Golf is at its best when played with
friends. The single player mode is well structured too and computer
opponents present a good challenge especially when you rise higher on
the ranking list and face the tougher opponents.

Getting critical
There's very little to fault in MicroProse Golf. Better use of AGA chip
set (or ability to play it on RTG screen) would have been nice. A course
editor would have been excellent add-on too.

The signs of a classic
What sets MicroProse Golf above the other excellent golf games? Using a 3D
flight sim engine for doing a golf sim was an excellent idea. Using the
same engine to present almost television like camera and replay options
was a stroke of genius.

The learning curve is easy for novices, yet later on in the game the
challenge rises quickly as the better computer players leave very little
room for errors. When the player gets better and his alter ego rises on
the ranking list, the abilities of the character get better too, which
makes its slightly easier to beat the stronger human and computer
opponents. This RPG element adds another twist on the single player mode
and makes it an even longer lasting experience.

MicroProse Golf is a great golf simulation for the Amiga. Its system
requirements are modest meaning even A500 owners will be able to play it
properly. Like other golf sims it's appeal is limited  to fans of this
genre, but for those looking for a good, challenging sports simulation,
they could do much worse than selecting this golf game from the flight
simulation experts.

Graphics : 32 colour 3D vector gfx engine is brilliantly used in actual
           game, other graphics are ok. Intro is quite nice, too.
Sound    : Nothing special here, standard golf sim sound effects
Gameplay : Easy to learn, difficult to master.

Tested on  A500 1 Mb RAM No Hard Disk
           A1200 Hard Disk
           A1200 GVP 1230-II, HD

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