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Zany Golf



1988 Electronic Arts (now EA games)




Back in the late 80s there were several brands of computers available to the general public, not all of which had compatible software. Unlike today where one can walk into a Best Buy and pretty much assume that any game in the main section of the store would be compatible with their machine, back then dedicated computer stores had different sections, i.e. the Atari section, the Apple section, the IBM/PC section, etc. This particular game started out on the 16 bit Apple IIgs (which stood for "Graphics & Sound") and was one of the few that managed to cross over onto other platforms.

The concept here is of a miniature golf game with obstacles that would be impossible in real life, hence the "Zany" in the title. There are nine holes, each with increasingly more impossible obstacles (and increasing difficulty.) It starts off pretty simple, a small windmill, a few bank shots, the hole under a bouncing hamburger, etc. By the end you're maneuvering over magic carpets, shooting blindly into pipes, avoiding warping checkerboards, holes that move, and so on. The last level titled "Energy" is like this evil mad scientist lab filled with force fields, Tesla coils, teleporters, and archs of lightning, and is of course incredibly hard.

Control in the game is spot on easy. Shooting your ball is accomplished by dragging back the mouse with an elastic band, pinball shooter type effect, as in the farther you drag the harder the ball is shot - which works extremely well. This simple scheme is very intuitive and gives you precise control over the ball. This is one of those games where when you make a mistake there is no way whatsoever you can blame the game at all.

The game is very easy to get into, albeit a bit short and extremely hard towards the end. There is an extra hidden track if all the boards are completed under par, however ten holes still leave you wanting more. An excellent, fun, and funny game which is begging for a modern sequel.

Good stuff: Very precise, intuitive control scheme. Decent graphics don't look too ghetto even today. Very imaginative (and sometimes very funny) level design which have a good difficulty progression.

Bad stuff: The game is too short - we want more!

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