Time to don the brightly-
Until now only three simulations of this great sport have been available to satisfy the appetites of Amiga links addicts. Accolade's Mean 18 was a worthy attempt but was let down by rather weedy graphics, while Gamestar's Championship Golf, although technically a clever simulation, features only one course and was far too complicated and fussy for its own good. Leaderboard, is perhaps the best: a massive selling golf game on other micros, it hasn't made the same impact on the Amiga.
Electronic Arts' World Tour Golf seems to have got the mix just about right. The game is a pretty fair reflection of the intricacies and challenges of golf yet at the same time manages to be addictively playable.
It can be played using either mouse or keyboard, by up to four players. The main playing screen is divided vertically. The left half gives you a detailed overhead view of the entire hole while the right is from just behind and a few feet above the golfer, starting from a point where the player's ball currently rests and looking towards the green, or hole, if on the green. The line of aim can be adjusted and any club selected for the shot - on request and as a guide, the club's range is indicated by a circle radiating out from your ball on the overhead view.
A small dial - the swing meter - allows you to gauge the strength of the shot and whether it will go straight or otherwise.
It's simply a matter of being quick with your trigger finger to stop the two hand of the dial at the right points (well, maybe not so simple judging by some violently sliced shots).
Displayed in a continuously updated panel at the top of the right-hand picture are such relevant items of information such as the name of the course, the number of the hole and its par, and your name and score for the round so far.
Some of the panel data is particularly vital - distance to the green, strength and direction of the wind, and the lie of your ball, ranging from perfect to plugged. All these factors must be taken into account when deciding what club to choose and in playing your shot.
The game has generous customised options, allowing you to tailor players' skills - tendency to hook or slice, driving distance and accuracy, and recovery from bad lies - amend names and adjust handicaps.
There are over a dozen courses to play on, some simulating the real thing like St Andrews and Augusta, some imaginary like the devilish Par 3 course. World Tour Golf has its own easy-to-
The animation of the small golfer as he swings and hits the ball for you is realistic, although the flight of the ball is less so, particularly when chipping from near the edge of a green. I know my ability to put backspin on the ball is world renowned, but even I couldn't make the ball as suddenly as this one does at times.
The graphics are slightly more stylised than I would have hoped, given the Amiga's capability, but are certainly effective enough. Digitised sound effects - swish and thwack of club, splat or splash of ball in bunker or water, cries of congratulation or commiseration as your ball finally disappears into the cup - all enhance one's enjoyment. Small, novel touches like the spurt of sand as your ball buries itself in the bunker or balloon messages coming from the golfer's mouth add to the fun.
This is a first rate golf simulation. Even compared against the standard-