By Al Giovetti, 05/23/97
Maxis has some of the best games around, including SimCity and other simulations like SimEarth and SimAnt that continue with the tradition. SimCity is one game that has the distinction of being used for educational purposes, but which is one of the greatest pure entertainement games of all time.
SimGolf is an attempt to apply the same craft for games to the Golf game genre.
Company LineIntroducing the game that turns blueprints into greens: SimGolf, with the comprehensive Course Architect. Choose from over 100 course elements, including bunkers, lakes and trees, to create and play your one-of-a-kind courses. Get design tips from legendary course architect Robert Trent Jones, Jr., and tee off on two Jones masterpieces, Rancho La Quinta and The Prince Course. You can even round up a virtual foursome to play your custom courses on the Internet.
A really nice new idea has replaced the older click and click mouse interface for golf that so many people complain about because it is so un-golf-like. The new swing model is also controlled by the mouse, but you pull the mouse down the table top to simulate the back swing and move it forward to simulate the forward swing.
This swing model has a chance to become a really good one. The Maxis version of the model was very difficult to use properly, but we would like to see it in the upcoming Sierra Front Page Sports Golf, which used to be known as Headgate's The Golf Club.
Play on either the Princeville and Rancho La Quinta courses, and play to win with some interesting unique features, including a course editor, the new mouse swing interface, angled views, and fuzzy visuals.
AnimationGolfer animations of swing are herky jerky affairs without the smoothness of other simulations and certainly not the player after shot reactions of one notable game. Video Tips on golfing are done by Robert Trent Jones.
UtilitiesAnother unusual feature of the game is the included golf editor which is a simple course creation routine with no facility to make hills, valleys, and trees in your own image.
Multi-player FeaturesYou can play the game over the internet, and well over one hundred players have signed up on the maxis site in their player sign-up area.
Cheats, Hints, WalkthroughPlease send us your cheats, hints, and walkthroughs for SimGolf.
SummaryAs a good simulation, SimGolf is no better or worse than other Maxis fare. When compared to the other golf games that are available, SimGolf comes up with the short end of the club.
JournalistsIts always nice to see Liam doing his research and driving to the tee with a few names to drop. The graphics are "as sharp as Fuzzy Zeller after a few six packs," is an interesting pun.
ReferencesMaxis SimGolf Web Site
Download the SimGolf Demo from Maxis
T. Liam McDonald, PC Gamer, volume 4, number 4, April, 1997, pg. 107, 52%.
Please send us your comments and suggestions.