The sun has got his hat on, the birds are merrily flying around doing birdie type things and there's nothing like the taste of fresh air - so what is there left to do? Yes, that's right, ring your mates up 'cause the scene is perfect for a lovely leisurely round of golf.
Konami's Golf, as the name suggests, is a golf simulation that can be played by one or two players, either in a stroke or matchplay game. The stroke game s probably preferable for newcomers, as the scoring system is based on the total number of shots taken to complete the nine-hole course, instead of the traditional par system of scoring. In the matchplay format each hole is contested separately, and the winner is the first player to win five holes.
The playing screen is split into three separate sections, the largest of which is used to give the golfer's view of the hole to be played. At the bottom right a birdseye-view of the entire course is provided which also shows the flight of the ball after it has been struck. Above that, an information window gives an indication of the wind speed and direction, which hole you are attempting and its par, and the number of strokes already played.
First things first: you must choose the appropriate club for the length of the stroke you intend to play. A guide to the different uses for the clubs available is given in the inlay - choose from a selection of 13. Once a club is firmly in your grip, you must then decide whether to hook, slice or simply thwack the ball straight down the middle. Hook makes it swing to the left and Slice to the right. Once all that has been sorted out it's time to decide the power of the shot.
A horizontal bar at the base of the screen contracts and expands. The strength of shot is proportional to the length of the bar when the fire button is pressed. Relax and watch the flight of the ball in the overhead window . . . until it's time to start the process all over again.
Control keys: Q up, A down, 0 left, P right, SPACE fire
Joystick: Kempston, Interface 2
Use of colour: black players on green field
Graphics: not very detailed - functional rather than decorative
Sound: a little tune at the start
Skill levels: one
'Aagh! Another golf simulation; I can't stand It. Nobody In their right mind should want to produce Golf as an arcade game - it's like doing a fishing game (Okay - I know one's been done, that was boring too), or going to the library to see if they've got the latest Mills 'n' Boon - totally pointless. IMAGINE'S version of Konami's Golf is the most appealing golf game around on the Spectrum at the moment, but it still isn't worth more than three quid - and even at that price I wouldn't like it. Graphically it has to be said that this is quite good - a little green perhaps, but generally fairly well done.'
'Two golf games in one issue, at least one of them must be good - but alas no. Konami's Golf is certainly one of the most playable golf simulations around. It's very easy to get into. The graphics are well drawn, but in some places seem out of perspective. Sound is a bit scarce, but it doesn't matter in a game of this type. Konami's Golf contains stacks of little features that enhance it and make it much more than a 'hit and hope' program. One of the best golf simulations on the Spectrum.'
'Well, it's not all that bad. At first I was going to be really cruel to it, but, after a bit of perseverance it turned out to be almost enjoyable. The two-player mode is much more interesting, but boredom still sets in after a short while. The graphics aren't particularly good, and the whole thing seems to lack that certain something which would make it into a really fun game. If it was a cheapie, then maybe it'd be passable, but it's not, so it's not. Not incredibly amazing, but there ya go.'
|Value for Money||58%|
Useful game, golf. Deadly dull to play, of course, unless you actually enjoy hunting around in marshes and woodland for lost golf balls while your partner returns triumphantly to the clubhouse for a swift G'n'T. No, as a way of passing the time I can think of many things Id rather do than play golf, like being stung by killer bees or getting trapped in a lift with a party of drunk photocopier salesmen from Scunthorpe.
It's still a useful game to know about, though, especially if you've set your sights on being a bank manager, accountant or a high class solicitor. Fortunately, you can now find out all there is to know about the ancient game for less than the price of 40 Walnut Whips. With Konami's Golf you'll be able to talk all about slices, hooks, fairways and bunkers without even having to watch Around With Alliss. Everyone will be fooled.
The game covers nine holes of Japanese parkland, on which you swipe your ball towards its eventual target anywhere between 160 and 470 yards away. Allowing for distance and wind speed, you choose your club and set your aim. You then decide whether to hit the ball straight, hook it or slice it. and then you club it to kingdom come, or in my case into a clump of trees!
It's all great fun, if not very taxing, and the graphics are lovely to look at. Putting is probably the game's major weakness - the "borrow" on each green can only be worked out by trial and error, by which time you've played about 27 shots. But let's not get too technical - Konami's Golf certainty doesn't. As a game it's more likely to appeal to non-golfers, though as a form of computerized cribsheet it's a godsend to anyone sensible enough to avoid golf itself.
|Value For Money||7/10|
It's been a while since I've donned the plus fours and strolled out on to the greens of my Spectrum, but here comes Imagine, determined to prove that there's life in an old genre yet.
Golf simulations have been around since the start of home computing, but today's programs push their predecessors into the pitch-and-putt league.
Whereas once a round of ball-bashing consisted of nothing more than guessing the angle needed to connect Point A (the ball) to Point B (the hole), now you even get an animated golfer taking a swing.
As you might expect from a Konami conversion, Golf is strong on these graphic touches. Before you even leave the clubhouse you'd better realise that you're going to spend half an hour choosing all the variables before you can drive off into the undergrowth.
Everything is very smoothly run around the Konami course.
First thing to do is decide what sort of game you're going to play if you're on your own you're restricted to stroke play. That means that you'll try to beat the number of strokes that it should take to complete a hole - the par.
None of the hole ratings are impossible, but you'll need to play well to complete the course without at least a stroke or two too many.
Add an opponent and you have an alternative to taking on the course. Match play is a simple fight to the finish, with the player who takes fewest strokes winning the hole. Five holes give you the game.
First, take notice of the wind speed and direction. When you place the direction of your shot with the cross-hair cursor, you may need to compensate for the force nine gale that's blowing across the scene. At this stage you also choose whether to slice, swinging to the right, hook, curve to the left, or send the ball straight down the middle.
Pressing Fire takes you on to club selection. One advantage that micro golfers have over their real-life counterparts is an accurate measure of how far they are from the hole. Using the inlay card's guide to the average length of shot given by each club, you can ask your caddy for a number nine iron without fear of fits of laughter.
Finally, you have to make the shot, and its strength is controlled by the time honoured method of a bar, which expands and shrinks just fast enough to make selecting the right moment that bit tricky. Hit Fire and shout 'Fore!' it's the moment of truth as you watch your shot in 3D on the left and in a plan on the right When you finally make the green, the picture changes.
Instead of the scene you get an overview of the area, complete with grass to help you judge which way a stroke is likely to roll. Too weak and the result will be a puny embarrassment, but too much and you'll overshoot the hole.
There you have it in a nutshell. This is one of the smoothest golf games I've seen and it's ideal if you fancy a nice relaxing round of non-exercise from your armchair.
But I can't help wondering if the limited number of holes won't also limit its life.
Joystick: Kempston, Sinclair, Plus 2
Reviewer: Jerry Muir
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