Although it’s not quite Leaderboard, Chip Shot Super Pro Golf is a decent enough golf game on the Intellivision console. Arguably even the best.
Graphically it’s quite nice, with the golfer represented as a sprite in a black box and the various courses shown from an overhead view.
Making shots is easy enough; you rotate a direction cross; choose your club, then make a double press on the fire button to decide shot strength and amount of ball slice/hook. That said: there does seem to be an element of luck involved as wild shots are the norm when first playing. Eventually (if you practise enough) you’ll get the hang of it and start getting the ball onto the green.
On the putting green the view switches to a closer overhead view of the hole; markings on the ground indicate whether there are any slopes on the green. Sand bunkers and water traps must obviously be avoided.
Chip Shot Super Pro Golf can be played solo, or with one other human opponent, and there are plenty of courses available to play, and even a built-in course designer. It’s very simple stuff, though, so don’t expect too much and you won’t be disappointed.
Zany Golf was released by Electronic Arts in 1988. It originated on the Apple IIGS but was quickly ported to 16-bit computers, including this fine Atari ST version.
Zany Golf is a crazy golf simulator, with simple controls and complex courses. Up to four players can compete at once.
You make a shot by left clicking and dragging on the ball, then letting go of the button. If you’re skilled (and lucky) the ball will go where you want it to go. Invariably, though, things do go astray…
There are nine holes – plus a bonus hole – in total. Some holes have weird animated objects on them (like the iconic giant hamburger) which you have to deal with, and some have special abilities (like the magic carpet, which allows some control of the ball with the mouse). You have a limited number of strokes per hole, but can pick up extra by touching fairies or hitting certain other targets. Getting to the ninth hole can be quite an achievement.
Zany Golf is a classic physics-based golf/maze game. I have fond memories of playing it back in the day, and still find it fun to play now.
For a while, in the mid Eighties, Access Software‘s Leaderboard hung on to the title of ‘best golf game’ on the planet. Starting on the Commodore 64 and ending here on the Atari ST (and Amiga) in 1986.
Bruce and Roger Carver‘s golf sim was tight, fair, and compulsive on 8-bit machines. On the 16-bit Atari ST it remains an excellent game.
I’ve seen reviews panning this version, but I see nothing wrong with it. The screen draw wait is much shorter than the original version. The extra colours are a godsend. The golfer animations are just as good as the Commodore 64 animations. The trees look a bit rubbish, but it doesn’t really matter.
The swingometer; club selection, wind indicator and ball physics all match the original. There are extra courses to play too, outside of those supplied with the original game.
Leaderboard on the Atari ST is a worthy upgrade of the original and well worth a play in my book. Is it better than the original C64 version? Nah. It’s not quite that good. The original Commodore 64 version is pretty much perfection and has an unbeatable ‘feel’ and precision to it that this version unfortunately doesn’t quite have.
A notch above “Monkey Tennis” in terms of great ideas, Ninja Golf was dreamt-up and released for the Atari 7800, way back in 1990.
As an idea: Ninja Golf is not a bad one. Mixing golf with beat ’em up elements sounds like it could be fun.
Where this game falls down, though, is in the playability stakes. Ninja Golf is too repetitive and not really playable enough for my liking. Little actual skill is required – outside of the golf segments. The fighting sections are slow and uninteresting. The golf sections are basic at best.
Atari should have given us a decent game with Ninja Golf, but in the end we only got a mediocre one. As far as I’m aware: Ninja Golf didn’t appear anywhere other than the Atari 7800 either. Surprise, surprise.
Simply called Golf, this 1989 Game Boy title is a conversion of Nintendo‘s classic 1984 Nintendo Entertainment System game and gives a fantastic round of putting and driving on Nintendo‘s humble little handheld.
Nintendo‘s Golf started a trend that saw them develop a multitude of “chibi” (miniature/cute) type sports sims across all of its platforms, over the space of a couple of decades. Golf, baseball, tennis, soccer – you name it. Heck, Nintendo could still be producing cutesy sports sims for the Switch and I wouldn’t even know it…
Nintendo Game Boy Golf is still more than good enough to warrant a play nowadays though, so go seek it out if you fancy a round of ‘chibi’ golf.
Relatively obscure follow-up to Sensible Soccer and Cannon Fodder.
Sensible Golf was first released in 1994 for the PC and Amiga, and didn’t really make much of an impact on the market, although it’s not a bad game at all.
Sensible Software‘s trademark ‘titchy’ characters are appealing, and the swing system works okay. The courses are also quite challenging.
Sensible Golf doesn’t play a bad round of golf at all and the colours are quite vivid for a golf game. Worth a look if you’ve never played it.
World Class Leaderboard on the Commodore 64 is one of my favourite games of all time, but I’m not really much of a golf fan. This goes some way to demonstrating just how GOOD this game is.
Playing Leaderboard is so simple and subtle, and extremely entertaining and really quite addictive. Two-player, Leaderboard is an unbeatable sports simulation.
Even though it is old: Leaderboard remains an incredible game, even to this day.
World Class Leaderboard Commodore 64 title screen.
Paul tees up on the opening fairway.
Eric successfully uses a Pitching Wedge to get the ball onto the green.
Mastering the use of Power and Snap is the key to success.
Chipping over the bunker with the Pitching Wedge.
Now there’s water to avoid!