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Greg Normanís ultimate golf logo

GREMLIN £24.95 * Mouse, joystick and keyboard

D Greg Normanís ultimate golf etractors of the game claim that golf is not so much a sport as an insult to lawms. So if you are the kind of person who, adding injury to insult, can turn the local pocket of greenery into something resembling The Somme, playing from home could well be the perfect solution. Gremlin have come suddenly to the fore with what is claimed to be "The most accurate Golf simulation" to date. With the help of the (still) World Number One-ranked Greg Norman and a posse of Sheffield programmers the firm have conjured up what is set to be the most intriguing golf simulation since the wholly magnificent Leader Board.

For the first time you are required not simply to make a few mathematical calculations, aim and fire but to master and utilise the variety of tricks which make the likes of Norman such a marvel. Gremlin have provided the player with a myriad of useful options designed to aid the wee ballís progress from tee to hole. Fortunately for those of us who like a challenge this can have the opposite effect. For one you can change the angle of spin to a finite degree. This can result in a shot which will turn your pitching pals green with envy or can make you look like a complete bark. There is the chance to give your ball detailed top and spin which can make the dimpled object of frustration stop dead as soon as it hits the ground. This brand of jiggery-pokery could take you months to perfect.

Ensuring accuracy of stroke is no breeze either. The Gremlins have designed an extremely fast swingometer which will surely test your nerve. If you do not hit your button at the crucial moment the result will be somewhere betweem the lacklustre and the diabolical.

There are rakes of playing options. You can take a stroll around one of two courses on your own or with some opposition and you can play Fourball, Foursome, Greenball or Skins. At every turn pretty windows offer extra options to give you a clear picture of variables such as weather, wind, speed and turf.
Each individual club head is pictured in one window so you make the best choice. The usual map is also to hand, but you have the option to view the hole from any part of the course. And there are many fiendish obstacles as well as putting greens which will make your blood boil. Gremlin have taken a small eternity to get this game out, but it has turned out to be an absolute corker.
Colin Campbell

Amiga Format, Issue 12, July 1990, p.51

GRAPHICS AND SOUND
The landscape has been drawn in a squarial style which, while not always appropriate, manages to give you a good picture of the terrain. On the whole the affair is pretty and bright although sometimes a tad fuzzy. The worst aspect of this game is the sound which you would do well to dispense with. Clearly golf is not a noisy affair, but audio simulations of balls dropping into holes or magnificent one wood swings are, on this occasion, awful.

LASTING INTEREST
For one player or four there is plenty to do and the more you get the swing of it the more you will enjoy this game. It is excellent fun. Gremlin have provided only two courses but we are promised extra fairways, lawns and greens in the near future.

JUDGEMENT
Despite the number of options available this is not an excessively fancy game. It is accurate, intelligent and challenging and will prove to be one of the most popular sports sims of the year.

GRAPHICS 8
SOUND 2
INTELLECT 6
ADDICTION 9
OVERALL 88%



Greg Normanís ultimate golf logo

Gremlin, C64 £9.99 cassette, £14.99 disk; Amiga £24.99

Greg Normanís ultimate golf íT he Great White Shark (Normanís obligatory silly golfing nickname) has only recently been knocked off his number one spot by Nick Faldo Ė maybe he should practise a bit more on his own golfing sim! Ultimate Golf is also ideal for those armchair sports fans whose favourite hole is the nineteenth, but cannot be bothered to walk round the first eighteen!

Up to four human or computer players can participate, in Strokepay or Matchplay, with the option of playing Singles, Fourball, Foursome, or Greensome (the last three being various types of four-player, two-against-two games). The skill level of each computer player is determined by setting five factors: Experience, Stance, Grip, Swing, and Fitness. These can also be altered for human players to set handicap levels. Up to fifty created players can be stored in a database.

After leaving three of your 17 clubs behind (you are only allowed 14), it is out onto either of two in-built courses (or others from planned course disks). From the first tee you are greeted by a 3-D view, a grid of squares raised and sunk at different angles to form hills and bunkers. Additional hazards are posed by trees and water pools. As the flag is often hidden, a map allows you to view the whole hole Ė you can even walk to any spot and get a 3-D view from that position.

An info box indicates the distance to the pin, along with weather conditions and wind speed/direction. If you are playing with a caddy he will automatically select the appropriate club. He will also aim the shot, shown on the swing screen. Here, as well as fine-tuning the shot direction, you can select the amount of top or backspin, and sidespin (hook or slice).

When you are ready to play the shot, a power meter appears. A power bar rises, stopped by pressing fire. Then, before another falling bar reaches the bottom, you must press fire to stop a swaying direction needle in the middle for a straight shot, or on the marker indicating the amount of sidespin selected on the swing screen. Putting is achieved by aiming an on-screen cursor and selecting power.

Zzap, Issue 67, November 1990, p.20

Stuart Wynne Aargh! Golf games. Usually I am doing really well, then make a 20 shot cock-up on the last hole to lose. Then when Phil takes 30 shots on a hole he tells me he has selected the Matchplay option so it does not matter how many shots are used, just who finishes a hole first. What a cheat! Still, there is no denying the masses of options in this latest golf game. Fanatics could take ages fine-tuning their shots, while dummies like me can just cross their fingers and hold down fire as long as possible. This makes it well worth a look: the sheer sophistication elevates it above any other golf game I can think of and is especially impressive on the C64.

Phil king The ultimate golf sim? Not quite. It does boast quite a few novel features such as the two-against-two player options, the helpful map, and an elaborate method of playing shots which allows you to put all sorts of spin on the ball. I also appreciated the way that you can set computer playersí five ability ratings and your own handicap.
However, the real problem lies with the 3-D display. Although it looks very good (apart from a few brown Ďbareí patches on the C64), the view is stupidly redrawn every time you select any of the option screens Ė even for the little info box. This is especially annoying on the C64 as the landscape takes a few seconds to build up. Ironically, the delay is a deterrent to using the gameís sophisticated options. The much speedier Amiga game is less frustrating but, apart from a not very useful map zoom option, has no extra features.

64

PRESENTATION 78%
Plenty of options, neat screen layout, short multiload for each hole.
GRAPHICS 76%
The 3-D grid landscape works fairly well.
SOUND 45%
Mediocre title tune, minimal FX.
HOOKABILITY 79%
Easy to pick up, marred only by unnecessary redrawing of landscape.
LASTABILITY 70%
Only two courses, but varying skill/handicap levels and game types.

OVERALL
75%
A sophisticated, playable golf sim.

AMIGA

PRESENTATION 76%
Loads of options.
GRAPHICS 79%
Good 3-D, okay golfer animation.
SOUND 40%
Mediocre title tune, minimal FX.
HOOKABILITY 78%
The sophisticated shot selection system is easy to use.
LASTABILITY 68%
Only two courses, but extensive options add variety.

OVERALL
76%
An enjoyable game of golf.