The original Leaderboard was developed by Bruce and Roger Carver for the Commodore 64 and was published by Access Software in North America and US Gold in Europe. Leaderboard was the best-selling C64 game of 1986 in the UK.
As a series of golf games, Leaderboard demonstrated that a simple, easy-to-use control system was key to an enjoyable experience.
Players use a joystick to aim where they hit the ball, and two button-presses to decide power and snap on a shot. A wind indicator shows cross winds on the course.
On the lowest of the three available skill settings the wind doesn’t affect the ball, and shots fly more or less straight when hit. On the higher skill settings wind and slice have much more of an effect on the flight of the ball.
Putting is also a fairly simple process. A pole in the ground indicates the lie of a green and – when attempting a putt – the player simply aims and then holds down the fire button; letting go of it when they’ve applied the desired amount of power.
In the very first Leaderboard there are four water-based courses to play. There are no trees and no bunkers (they came later in the Executive Edition and World Class Leaderboard), but hitting the ball between islands is still a serious challenge.
Leaderboard is a beautifully-designed and simple game with superb animation on the players themselves. When moving to a new view it does take a few seconds for the course to draw in, but that is acceptable under the circumstances (this is, after all, an 8-bit Commodore 64 and not a modern PC, so anyone moaning about the “slow draw rate” should get in the sea).
Leaderboard is a timeless classic that still plays great to this day and if you like golf, or golf games, then it’s certainly a title to check out.
There are four games in the Leaderboard series in total: this game; Leaderboard Tournament (an expansion with four new courses), Leaderboard: Executive Edition (which introduced trees and bunkers), and World Class Leaderboard (with four new courses, and which is considered by many to be the best in the series) . All four are Commodore 64 classics and were converted to other popular systems of the time, to varying degrees of success.
More: Leaderboard on Wikipedia