Some games look good – very good. Stunning high-resolution graphics, 24-bit colour, the lot. Some games have good gameplay, the kind that keeps you coming back for more. But few games have both, especially at less than £20. Goofy Golf Deluxe does – in spades.
Goofy Golf is the successor to GopherGolf, which never quite delivered in terms of looks or gameplay. Squeegee Software has taken the idea of crazy golf, added a lavish spoonful of plasticine-like imagery that would be more at home in a Wallace & Gromit animation, some great sounds and has come up with a real gem.
Each of the three standard courses – Blue Monster, Forest Badlands and Pebbley Beach – boasts 18 holes, and is viewed from a top-down perspective. If you’ve tried the demo (on this months CD), you’ll know the standard course elements. Some help guide the ball, such as pipes, wooden bridges and plastic slides. Others may help, but are equally likely to hinder. For instance, most holes have sloping parts, shown by differing shades of green, that may angle the ball around corners, or be so steep as to make a decent shot pretty well impossible. Hitting pinball bumpers places thefinal position of your ball in the lap of the gods.
Of course, some elements exist with only one intention – to make life difficult. Frogs with sticky tongues that stop your ball dead in its tracks, or pull it to one side, windmills that require spot-on timing, water traps with a one-shot penalty, sand traps, spring-loaded boxing gloves, and the ultimate – a fire-breathing dragon that fries your ball to a crisp and has you starting the hole again.
The laws of science don’t hold either. Go down a green hole and your ball may emerge randomly from one of three green pipes elsewhere.
Included as standard is a course editor with a basic HTML-format manual. It’s easy to work with – even my 12-year-old son has created an 18-hole course – and the resulting custom courses can be loaded up. Unfortunately, some of the holes tend to crash the game or lead to impossible situations, such as balls flying over walls rather than bouncing off them. Still, connect to www.squeegeesoftware.com/pages/files/ggdcourses.shtml and you’ll findover 50, 18-hole courses that are freely downloadable.
Goofy Golf Deluxe is one slick game, from the mouse-driven user interface, through to the highly colourful 16-bit graphics. It’s fun to play for up to four Goofy Golfers and is highly addictive.