Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Microprose Golf


Microprose Golf is a bit of a show-off if truth be told because it's like the rich and successful younger brother of 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 title with a vast array of mind-boggling features to take it into the realm of a serious sim. But don't panic, that doesn't make it a boring game. Oh no, not at all...

Several interesting game types are on offer with each affected by an array of realistic variables that will alter your performance - the type of ground, your stance, weather conditions, and much more. I'm sure experienced golfers will be drooling over the intricate settings long before they even consider teeing off and, even as a novice, I was mightily impressed and blown away in equal measure. Controlled with the mouse, menus are well designed and intuitive so setting up your shot isn't a chore. When you do get around to smacking the little white ball, it feels precise and quite similar to the previously mentioned game, drastically reducing the already tiny learning curve.

However, that 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 that follow the ball along its airborne path. I sat here in utter amazement as I watched the first-person perspective of my shot in action, it's a gob-smacker! There is also a selection of other cool cameras angles and, interestingly, all benefit smoother framerates on faster computers. Graphically, this is one golf game which stands head and shoulders above anything else I've seen and is a total jaw-dropper. Sound effects 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 a chirp from the birds, a little breeze or background chatter from the crowd?

Microprose has done what they always did so well on the Atari ST and released a game that blows your socks off at every level. It's technically beautiful and comes with a perfect blend of strategy and arcade fun to loose yourself in. Whether you're a casual fan or an addicted expert, I am positive you will love playing. Totally and utterly superb.

LINKS

 - A video recording by Wasabim shows the game running on a stock 8MHz Atari ST.
 - 8BitChip have a hard drive installable version which also supports faster Atari computers!
 - For those that love floppy disks, Old Games Finder can help ya out.
 - AtariMania features Microprose Gold within their ST database website (with manual scans too!)