Tuesday, March 01, 2016

Leaderboard Birdie

Leaderboard Golf was released back in 1986 by Access Software and is no doubt one of the least technically impressive games to grace the Atari ST.

You are first presented with a rather crude menu system used to select the number of competitors, their names, difficulty level, and the course. Once the game begins you will notice the user interface displays the expected golf jargon along with other pieces of information, like the weather conditions and distance to the hole.

Mouse control is best and you are ready to take your first shot once you've selected a club. Taking a shot is simple - left button will move the cursor for the golfer's direction and right button selects the power and snap (i.e. keeping the ball straight). I recommend Novice difficulty for your first game, this by-passes the weather conditions to help you master the control mechanics. Leaderboard uses a third-person perspective so you can see both your golfer and the pitfalls that lie ahead, like trees, water, and bunkers. The graphics are laughable and equally side-splitting are the sounds for the golfer's movements and a rather mushy effect as the ball takes a swim. Yep, both visuals and audio are ghastly, but when did that spoil our gameplay fun?

Golfing connoisseurs may find it unrealistic and certainly minimalistic compared to the others but I personally find Leaderboard a charming sports game. I do enjoy learning each hole to ultimately try and beat its "par" rating and I keep on coming back for more. It might look and sound terribly 8-bit but never judge a book by its cover because its one of the most enjoyable and addictive games I have featured here on AtariCrypt.


 - Of course, I recorded a video for your amusements!
 - 8BitChip has developed a version which can be installed onto hard drive.
 - Those using floppies can download from Old Games Finder
 - There might be no save game feature but the box does contain a little scorecard (see this pic) and I see the previous owner had filled in his scores. A little piece of ST history is preserved - I love finding things like this! :-)