Nick Faldo Plays the Open
by Concept Software Ltd
Mind Games
Crash Issue 20, September 1985   (1985-08-29)   page(s) 113,114

Golf certainly seems to be gaining in popularity these days, at least in the silicon if not actually on the green. Nick Faldo Plays The Open is based entirely on the Royal St. Georges golf course, where the famous annual Open Championship was hosted for the tenth time this century a few weeks ago. This simulation brings you all the hazards of this very difficult 18 hole golf course, and comes with a guide to the St. Georges course giving a detailed map of each hole, together with hints and tips (but no pokes).

One of the drawbacks with golf games has always been telling the computer just what it is that you want to do. This game tackles that problem with icons. The screen is split into two: the upper half gives a bird's eye view of your ball's position on the course, while the lower half is divided up into seven more sections, four of which allow you to input information.

Once you've selected the hole you want to play, you are told the distance between the hole and the tee, the par for that hole, the number of strokes you've played on that hole, and the total number of shots taken for the contest so far.

Underneath the hole number there are two white triangles, one pointing up the other pointing down. To select a hole number, move the little hand over a triangle: pressing the fire button increments or decrements the hole number, depending on which triangle you've selected. The strength bar indicates the amount of thump you intend to give the ball, and this is adjusted the same way. Selecting the angle of shot is equally as cunning you move a little ball around the perimeter of the circle. When you play the stroke, the ball will fly off in the direction given by the imaginary line drawn through the centre of the circle and the ball on its perimeter.

Selecting a club is simply a matter of moving the list of available clubs until the one you want appears in the window. Before you make your shot you might just like to check where the hole is in relation to the tee, and this can be done by moving the hand over the map change icon. The map remains visible while you hold down fire. A moving bar graph indicates wind strength, while wind direction is shown by an arrow.

When you've decided how to play your shot, moving the cursor over to the little picture in the bottom centre initiates play. The plump chap on the left is your caddie, and you are the fellow in plus fours. Press fire and a speech bubble appears from the golfer specifying the required club. The caddie replies 'OK' unless he thinks you are making a mistake, in which case he asks 'are you sure'. Either rethink the matter or say 'yes' by pressing the fire button again.

The caddie will then turn and pass you the club of your choice. Your golfer then goes through the swing and makes the shot at this point you can make final adjustments to your shot using the joystick. Although the caddie appears a nice chap, he's quick to make snide remarks after you finally manage to put the ball away after only 253 shots. All that's missing is a 'bash the caddie on the head' icon.

Control keys: definable
Joystick: any
Keyboard play: very good
Use of colour: average
Graphics: clever
Sound: hardly any
Skill levels: one
Lives: N/A
Screens: N/A

'The Open endorsed by Nick Faldo is of course a golf game, no wait! this one is different and is a significant improvement on most golf games. For a start the graphics are colourful, smooth and fairly detailed. The course is shown well on the map. The icons make setting up a shot a doddle and your stroke can be 'fine tuned' with a joystick. The best golf game to date, but with a bit of a price draw back.'

'This is a very fine golf simulation. Being anything but a golf fan I quite enjoyed this game in its own right. The icons are a pleasure to use. My only reservations concern the ball. In most cases it's pretty easy to follow but every now and then you have to study the screen very hard indeed to find where the ball has got to. I dare say that most golfers spend a great deal of time looking for their balls so perhaps this adds to the realism. However, this should not be the case when it comes to the putting green, where clash caused by the ball and the pole obscures the ball's position, making that all important putt nearly impossible. On the whole this is a great simulation and suitable for non golfers.'

'I've always enjoyed golf, both the real game and as a computer simulation. The Spectrum has been rich in such games, some of them quite good, but no one has yet provided us with such a fluent, enjoyable or realistic simulation as this one. Even non-golf loving players might find Nick Faldo a source of fun. For the first time, I feel playing skill has really been allowed to have a direct effect on the way the game develops. And by using icons, club selection, angle and strength of hit becomes the natural thing it should be rather than the more usual tedium of countless button hitting. This is an excellent simulation and well worth investigating.'

Use of Computer85%
Getting Started89%
Addictive Qualities76%
Value for Money69%
Summary: General Rating: The best gold simulation yet.

Transcript by Chris Bourne

Your Sinclair Issue 22, October 1987   page(s) 75

Golf sim that predated Leaderboard, and as you might expect, it doesn't come close to that nifty little number, neither in graphics, gameplay or general design. That said, it's by no means a heap of biggies. You have the standard choice of clubs, and you can regulate direction and strength. You'll have wind to contend with (That's your problem! Ed), but your only real difficulty is putting - there's no close-up facility so it's virtually impossible to be at all accurate. Nice try, but rendered obsolete by games that have followed.

Transcript by Chris Bourne

Your Spectrum Issue 18, September 1985   page(s) 41

Ross: How can you fit the whole of the Royal St George's golf course into a Speccy. Here's how, but it takes over nine hundred screens. You'll also get a hole-by- hole account of the course plus maps and history lesson.

Load up and then choose your joystick option. The Protek didn't seem to work too well for me but you can use the redefinable keyboard option to set this up.

If you take a look at the screen shot you'll be able to see the game layout. The top half shows a section of the course drawn in isometric perspective with your ball slap bang in the middle. Below this are seven windows giving you control over the golfer and how well he goes to it. You can increase or decrease the strength of your shots, adjust the angle through 360 degrees and choose the club you want to use. You can only make a shot when you've chosen a club and the caddy approves of it.

It's got to be said that I'm pretty crazy on the golf course, well, OK, the crazy golf course but the real thing's never appealed. So, this must have had me hooked as I really enjoyed knocking a ball about the screen. 3/5 HIT

Roger: Dennis Thatcher might like it but I didn't. I'd never use any club that'd have me as a member! 2/5 MISS

Rick: Any ol' iron, any ol' iron. Well, that didn't go down too well with my caddy who soon got very cheesed off with me. All good fun. 3/5 HIT

Transcript by Chris Bourne

Sinclair User Issue 42, September 1985   page(s) 22

WITH remarkable originality Argus has produced a golf game. Not just any golf game, you understand, but Nick Faldo's absolutely faithful Open with stunning 900 screen map.

The screens show the Royal St George's golf course, venue for the 1985 British Open. A close-up of your position is given, with controls for selection of club, direction of shot and strength. There's a picture of the golfer and a portly caddy who hands him the clubs and makes sarcastic comments on your lack of prowess.

All these selections are icon-driven, with a little hand which you move round the screen until it points at the option you want.

The map shows the familiar mildewed carpet of golf simulations, with black fairways and smooth greens.

Approach shots are OK, but when you reach the green, even the magnified view cannot show what is happening. The closer you get to the hole the more difficult it is to judge direction, which is ridiculous.

All your brilliance at gauging wind 22 and whatnot to reach the green in two on a par five hole goes for nothing as you miss five two-foot putts on the trot. It also seems weird that a full-strength putt may not carry to the hole.

It is certainly one of the prettiest and friendly Golf games we have seen, though a real test of player and programmer would be the inclusion of contours and sloping greens.

If you must buy a Golf simulation for ten quid then Argus has a very pleasant game it would love to flog you.

Chris Bourne

Publisher: Argus
Price: £9.99
Memory: 48K
Joystick: Kempton, Cursor, Sinclair. Fuller


Transcript by Chris Bourne

Sinclair User Issue 68, November 1987   page(s) 80

What would you do if you had a golf game called Nick Faldo Plays The Open and Nick Faldo had just won the open? That's right you'd re-release it. And that's just what Bug Byte has done putting Nick Faldo Plays The Open out at a budget price. Opportunism, sure, but it so happens that NFPTO is one of the better golf games. It ain't Leaderboard, but it ain't bad either.

The game is played over a 900-screen scrolling map based loosely on the Sandwich course. Ifs this detail plus the nice icon graphic system illustrating golfer and (sometimes abusive) caddie that makes the game. Easy to understand, nice to look at and as difficult as you want.

Criticism? Only one - when it comes to putting there is no close-up of the green around the flag and the scaling therefore makes it at least partly a matter of luck whether you finally hole the ball. Never mind. It was good at £6 or so. At £2.99 it's an absolute steal.

Label: Bug Byte
Author: In-house
Price: £2.99
Memory: 48K/128K
Joystick: various
Reviewer: Graham Taylor

Summary: Excellent golf simulation, spoilt slightly by no 'close-up' of the flag section. Great value on budget.

Transcript by Chris Bourne

Computer & Videogames Issue 47, September 1985   page(s) 32

MACHINE: Spectrum
SUPPLIER: Mind Games
PRICE: £9.99

Fore! And Nick Faldo Plays the Open swings into action on the Royal St George's Golf Course for the 114th Open.

Using keyboard or joystick, you control a fully-animated golfer, his club choice, swing strength and direction over 900 fully-scrolling screens of this famous course.

A plan view of the course lets you see the outcome of every shot.

To help plan your next shot, a wider view of the course can be had. Or you can ask your caddy's advice. "Driver,' you demand. "Are you sure?" replies the caddy. "Yes," you say. "OK" he relents.

Power and direction of the shot are chosen by an icon-driven command system. The shot is controlled by the joystick - moving it forward and left, for example, will slice the ball to the left.

Wind, weather and deep bunkers all conspire to destroy your chances in the Open.

Nick Faldo Plays the Open is also available for the Commodore 64.

Transcript by Chris Bourne

Sinclair Programs Issue 35, September 1985   page(s) 19

PRICE: £9.95

Icons are this year's success story. Mind Games have put them to unusual use in their latest game, Nick Faldo Plays the Open.

The screen is divided into several sections. The top shows a section of the golf course, centering on the position of your ball. Below is your range of options shown in pictorial form. Each can be selected easily.

Havin!iJ selected the hole you are to play you can flip to a larger map to check where you are going. That done you can choose the power and angle of your shot, ask your caddy for the correct golf club, and away you go.

Your caddy is an obstreperous bloke, who is stoically unimpressed by all but superhuman golf playing. What is more, he is very doubtful about handing you a club he feels to be wrong for the job.

Play is quick and easy but the graphics let the program down. When grass is represented as black dots on green it is difficult to distinguish the situation of the small black cross which represents your ball. On the green your ball becomes indistinguishable from the marker flag, making final putts unnecessarily protracted.

Produced by Mind Games, Liberty House, 222 Regent Street, London W1.

Transcript by Chris Bourne

Your Computer Issue September 1985   page(s) 34


Icons are all the rage these days and are well to the fore in what is probably one of the best golf simulations around.

The icons at the base of the screen allow you to choose clubs and control, force and direction of shot. You have a caddy who doesn't tell you what to do, but says things like "OK" in a little speech bubble if you're making sensible decisions. Not a golfer myself, but the accompanying booklet is informative end should appeal to learners of the ancient game.

Transcript by Chris Bourne

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