Putting on the ST
If you like miniature golf, take a look at the wild game of Putt-Putt that Electronic Arts (1820 Gateway Drive, San Mateo, California 94404: 415-571-7171) has brought to the ST. Zany Golf ($39.95) brings nine unusual holes to the screen.
Each hole opens with an overall view of the layout plus some hints. When you're ready to play, simply click the mouse button, and the hole appears on the screen. The high-resolution, simulated 3-D graphics are extremely detailed. Only a portion of the hole is visible on the screen, but you can scroll other parts into view.
To take a shot, place the mouse cursor on the ball, hold down the left button, and drag the cursor away from the ball as though you were taking a backswing. The direction and speed of the shot are determined by the distance and direction of your backswing. The physics of ball movement are very realistic.
The holes themselves are delightful. One hole works like a two-layered pinball machine: Your golf ball bounces off bumpers and drop targets, and you control flippers by clicking the mouse button. Another hole challenges you with fans that influence the path of your ball. The mouse controls the fans. Still another hole features magic carpets and a whole host of other surprises. Originality is this game's strong suit.
You start the game with some extra strokes, and each time you beat par the unused strokes are added to your reserve. Alternatively, if you go over par, the number of reserve strokes decreases. The game ends when you run out of strokes.
As many as four people can play. The only downside to Zany Golf is the long pause between holes as they load from disk. Otherwise, this is a superb game.