Sid Meier's SimGolf

Sid Meier's SimGolf On PC - Reviewed @ www.contactmusic.com
Sid Meier's SimGolf On PC - Reviewed
Sid Meier's SimGolf is brought to you by two of the most accomplished developers, Firaxis, the creators of Alpha Centuri and Civilisation III and Maxis who are the developers of SimCity and The Sims.

With such pedigree behind this game it should be pretty good and believe it or not it is, even if you don't like golf.

Starting a new game of SimGolf is very easy, all you need to do is pick a plot of land and you're off. The plots of land are themed in various different ways, for example you may build a course in the middle of the dessert or in a sea resort in Jamaica or if you wish you can even build a course in the UK.

You will then start to build your holes in your newly purchased plot of land. Eventually you will end up with a course that is bustling with greens, fairways, pubs, trees, water hazards, buildings and hopefully some happy golfers. Building holes can be as easy or as difficult as you like, you may simply lay down a tee with a straight stretch of fairway with a green at the end or design holes that will suit a whole range of different golfers and their styles of play. The freedom you have to make your course is nice, you start with the tee off and then the green, then in between its all up to you, there are two types of fairway, loads of different obstacles including sand traps, water hazards, potholes, trees, buildings, streams and marsh ground to mention a few. You may also raise or lower the land in order to make a hole harder or easier, depending on how you feel. As mentioned above to make a good course you must accommodate all different golfers and their playing styles. If your course has holes that require length, accuracy and imagination it would make for a good course. If some holes meet two of these skills, golfers would enjoy the course even more. A classic hole is complete perfection; this would require a golfer to use all three skills.

Building your golf course is enjoyable and very rewarding when you have carefully planned you course. When everything is sweet and your golfers are happy you have one other trick up you sleeve, you may sell plots of land on your course for real estate, after not very long you will have TV, sports and film stars living on your course. This makes your golfers even happier when the see famous people on their course.

In addition to this you have to develop your own golf pro by placing him in practice matches and later in serious tournaments for some well needed cash. You can only play a tournament on your course if you have nine holes, once this criteria is met you may have to qualify to some other criteria before the golf circus comes to town. The next level of tournament is met when you have eighteen holes on your course and then the stakes are much higher.

The best thing is you don't just watch your golf pro play your course you have to take part in the action. This is much easier than it sounds, you choose from a few different types of strokes and the amount of power you want to put behind your swing.

Sid Meier's SimGolf On PC - Reviewed @ www.contactmusic.com
Sid Meier's SimGolf On PC - Reviewed @ www.contactmusic.com
Sid Meier's SimGolf On PC - Reviewed @ www.contactmusic.com
Sid Meier's SimGolf On PC - Reviewed @ www.contactmusic.com
Sid Meier's SimGolf On PC - Reviewed @ www.contactmusic.com

You use a targeting system that shows the trajectory that your ball should take. Although it might sound easy, which it is to start with when the prize money goes up so does the competition. To increase your golfers skills you have to play the course, if you pull off a blinding hook shot to land at the pin you will be rewarded skill points for that specific skill. If you do the same shot and it lands in the sand trap you will have points deducted from that skill. When you really get into SimGolf you will realise that it is wise to concentrate on a few skills at one time, so you might want to build your course around the skills you wish to develop. When playing the tournaments you will earn much more cash than you will by selling your memberships and drinks until your course becomes extremely busy.

On first impressions SimGolf doesn't look much, it is locked in 800x600 resolution and although everything is colourful the courses are rather plain to look at. The golfers who play the course are reminiscent of the characters in Roller Coaster Tycoon but slightly cruder. A slight moan I have is that when you are building your fantastic golf course things can get very cluttered as you make additions. This can get better if the mayor decides to sell you some more land to expand your course. (Should he like it)?

As you play SimGolf you will come across a few bugs / glitches in both the interface (Which is the same as The Sims) and in the game. These will not hinder your progress much but they are there all the same.

Although SimGolf does have some bugs it is incredible fun to play and you probably will not notice these problems until after playing the game, which could be a long time. I personally don't play golf and I don't even like the idea of hitting a ball and walking after it but you should give it a go as you won't be able to leave it alone for a month or two after your purchase.

8.5 out of 10

 

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