Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Microprose Golf

Another good walk spoiled?

Microprose Golf is a bit of a show-off if truth be told. It's like the rich and successful younger brother of that poor old Leaderboard who has been left behind - green with envy! Now, I'm hardly a golfing connoisseur, but the developers have done a blinding job and created an involving game with a vast array of mind-boggling features that takes it into the realm of a serious sim. But, don't panic, that doesn't make it boring!! Oh no, not at all so read on.

Golf fans are going to shriek with happiness as several game types are on offer with each affected by an array of realistic variables that can alter every aspect. Like the things that real golfers have to think about: are the type of ground, your stance, weather conditions, and so on. I'm sure experienced golfers will be drooling over the intricate settings long before they even consider teeing off? Heck, even as a novice, I was mightily impressed and blown away in equal measure.

One of the things I loved was seeing each hole before playing it. Just like in this screenshot...

Take a look at the course to get a brilliant perspective of what lies ahead.

Whack that ball!!

All control is made using the mouse, of course. The game's GUI is very well designed and intuitive which drastically reduces any learning curve so setting up a shot isn't a chore when perfecting control and direction.

In fact, any similarity abruptly ends once you've struck the ball because Microprose has taken 16-bit golfing to a whole new level by introducing their camera-angled viewpoints. They follow the ball along its airborne path and I sat in utter amazement as I watched my first shot in action. It's a gob-smacking moment!! There is also a selection of other cool camera angles and, interestingly, all benefit smoother framerates on faster computers - like my 16MHz Mega STe.

Don't run away jealous with envy! Stop and read some more. Here is a screenshot to make you happy...

Take the shot and let's see how good you really are. Whoosh... SPLOSH!!! :D


Graphically, this is one game that easily stands head and shoulders above anything else I have seen on any 16-Bit computer. The artwork is great throughout and is also very nicely detailed with bold colours and designs we've come to admire from Microprose. However, it's the 3D aspect that absolutely blows the competition away. Jaw-dropping.

Sounds are also excellent but I do feel a little more ambient effects would have been nice during the times you're setting up a shot? Perhaps an extra floppy for a chirp from the birds, a little breeze or background crowd chatter?

There's always something isn't there? Nevermind, it's now time for another cool screenshot...

This is superb how I can get a feel for how my shot might go with a little practice...

The CryptO'pinion?

Microprose has done what they always did and released an Atari ST game that blows your socks off. At every level, it's beautiful and comes with a perfect blend of strategy and arcade to lose yourself in. Whether you're a casual fan or an addicted golfing expert, I am positive you will love playing what is truly a superb game.

You can grab the floppies but this game is best run from a hard drive/Ultrasatan. Wasabim has recorded a fantastic video and AtariMania has neat scans of the manual.

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