Archived Pages from 20th Century!!
|Reviewed by: Tim Chown|
|Author:||Corel CD Home series||Price:||Street: Unknown|
|Category:||Mini/crazy golf putting.||Released:||December 1996|
|Platform:||Windows 95||Version:||Dec'96 release|
|Multiplayer:||4-player hotseat/modem/network||Under Win95:||Runs satisfactorily.|
|Graphic modes:||SVGA 800x600, 8 or 16-bit colour|
|Sound devices:||8-bit Soundblaster or 100% compatible|
|Computer||Memory||HD space||CD speed||Reviewer's hardware:|
|Minimum||P60||8M||4M||2x||Windows 95, Sound Blaster 16, 1Mb Diamond Stealth 64 DRAM, Panasonic 563 double speed CD|
|Reviewed on||Pentium 100||32M||4M||2x|
Crazy golf is the breed of golf that even your 4 year old daughter or your 80 year old grandad can play. Crazy golf courses are a feature of rainswept British seaside resorts, and have spread like a virus around the globe. One of the best ever Simpsons episodes features mini golf - the one where Homer pitches Bart into a life and death game against Flander's son. The real thing is fun enough to play but until now I'd never seen a computer version, so it's interesting to see what Corel have made of the "sport" with their Super Putt game.
The first thing that hits you are the computer-generated views of the three 9-hole courses included with the game. Each course has a theme - the Traditional course has the more usual bumps and windmill-type obstructions, while Classic has marble-effect surfaces and holes shaped like Roman numerals. The Water Park course has water-related obstacles such as rotating ducks. Thing is, each course looks too artificial, at least from the 3D view, as Corel have gone overboard with the computer art somewhat. This would be more impressive if the 3D view were the one you played from, with rotating views and zoom, but you can only play from a fixed direct overhead view.
Thwo hole views, but you can only play from overhead.
The courses have some imagination, but rather too many of the holes are too easy to work out - once you master these holes (which doesn't take too long) you can soon go round 9 holes in about 5 minutes with a very low score. The "Top 10" low-score listing for each course gives you something to aim at to beat, but the longevity is rather suspect, particularly with only 27 holes in all to play.
The actual putting is easy enough - click the mouse button and drag out a line from your ball in the direction you want to putt, and lengthen the line for a harder hit - release the button and you hit the ball. But because the aiming marker can't be moved off-screen there are some instances where you simply can't get enough power on the shot. The ball physics are good though, and you can knock into and move other players' balls which adds some fun. Putting close to the hole is easy, the only danger being hitting too hard and going over the hole; there are precious few tricky slopes.
Holes from the Traditional and Classic courses.
There are a handful of tricky obstacles - ducks, beach balls, elephant trunks, skeleton skulls, reverse ramps, propellors and rotating bottles are all interesting, but never as big an annoyance as they should be. A little more thought and/or imagination in course design would have been worthwhile. An ideal mini-golf game would, naturally, include a course designer option ...
Scores are kept as you go along, and you can view them at any time. It would be better were all scores and totals displayed on screen all the time, rather than having to click to get another score card screen, especially as the running total scores are not shown between holes.
The score card
There isn't a lot of substance to Super Putt, but it would probably appeal to younger players in the 7-12 year age bracket. As an educational tool it would teach some basics of ball physics, angles, and the like, and the bright colours would help hold younger childrens' attention. I don't know the release price, but for $15 or less it might well be a good buy for kids.
There is clearly an opening for a really good fully 3D mini-golf game. Allow full 3D movement around the course, put all the required info on screen all the time, and include a course designer and there'd be a fun sports game a lot of people would probably buy. Sadly Super Putt is too limited and basic to appeal to most people, but the idea was at least a good one ...
If you want a *real* golf game, go for Links LS.
|Originality & Storyline:||Very few other minigolf putting games around.|
|Graphics & Video:||Looks like a computer artist's playground.|
|Audio:||Music appropriate, sound effects as expected.|
|Longevity:||Questionable; younger players should enjoy it more.|
|Presentation:||No real "meat" to the game.|
|Packaging & Docs:||Manual in CD cover; game controls very simple.|
|Bugs & Problems:||No crashes.|