Mini-Putt
Copyright/Publisher: Accolade, Code, Design and Programming By: Martin Edwards & Lise
Mendoza, Graphics By: Grant Campbell, Ross O'Connor & Steve Goodman, Sound By: Paul
Butler, Tech.Help: Stuart Easterbrook, Release Year: 1987, Genre: Golf, Number Of Players: 1-4

Accolade's latest sports simulation takes a less serious view of golf, and is vased on miniature 'craxy' golf courses.

The game starts with a selection screen, where the player chooses to practice a hole or play a course. There are four to choose from: Deluxe, Classic, Traditional and Challenge. Each course has nine holes which are attempted in any order in practice mode, but played in sequence during course play.

When all selections are completed, the playing area appears, accompanied by power/accuracy meters, an overview map of the 'hole' and an update of the present score.

Shots are direcated by placing a cursor in the desired position. The swing is initiated by pressing the fire button, whereupon the power bar rises. A further press of the firebutton causes the bar to drop, and the accuracy meter grows along the bottom. The bar is stopped in a similar manner and the nearer the centre line it halts, the straighter the ball rolls. Pressing fire when the bar is either to left or right of the centre line causes the shot to veer accordingly.

There are many obstacles to negotiate, from mundane objects such as bridges, walls, water and slopes to unusual barriers like elephants, windmills, space shuttles and even the Taj Mahal! Patches of colour containing arrows signify slopes and cause the ball to roll in the direction indicated.

Completing a hole prompts the next to be loaded, and at the end of each course the final score is displayed together with its par rating.

S.J.
After the barrage of golfing simulations of late, Mini-Putt comes as a welcome relief to the less-serious golfer. All the courses are very enjoyable, but are quite simple to complete. However, since there are only a total of 36 different holes, I feel that interest could soon wane (a course designer would have been a welcome addition in this case).

Movement of the ball is fairly realistic, although a little inconsistent at times. The cassette version is marred by an intrusive multiload which takes ages to set up and must be endured every time a new game is started. I find it difficult to believe that Accolade couldn't have put several holes - or even a whole course - in at once. Mini-Putt is a fun game that's worth a look - especially on disk.

Julian Rignall
Mini-Puu takes golf's little brother and converts it into a very enjoyable game. The graphics are bright and colourful, although some of the more normal courses are a little on the bland size, and the sound is merely functional.

However, these aspects are less important than the playability, which in this case is brilliant! All four courses have something different to offer - difficulty level, graphics or 'novelty' items - and once you get the hang of the control method, the pull is irresistible.

All the course are well designed and presented, but I really don't think there are enough of them. The cassette multiload is a drawback, and the action is constantly interrupted as each hole is loaded separately. If you like golfing games and want to try something a little different, play a round of Mini-Putt.

P.S.
Ever since I was a kid I've loved miniature golf, and now Accolade have released Mini-Putt I can play the game from the comfort of mu armchair without having to stand around on a rainy, windswept golf course.

Control is a little tricky to master at first, although after a bit of practice many seemingly improbable shots become possible. Graphically the game is good: the obstacles and backdrops all look very solid. Sound is a bit of letdown though, merely consisting of a couple of short jingles and the odss sound effect.

My worst gripe, however, is the slow and almost terminally boring multiload, which on several occasions marred my enjoyment, since each hole is loaded separately. Despite this, Mini-Putt is an unusual and often pleasantly frustrating game.


INTRO SCREEN

PRESENTATION 64%
Useful instructions, multiple player options, but naff multiload.
GRAPHICS 71%
Colourful obstacles and backgrounds, although there's not much variety.
SOUND 55%
Adequate spot effects and a couple of twee jingles.
HOOKABILITY 82%
Straightforward and addictive from the start.
LASTABILITY 70%
Although there are a limited number of courses, the action remains enjoyable.
OVERALL 78%
An offbeat golfing game that's different enough to warrant purchase.


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