Back when I first started playing flash games, I came across a little series called GROW.
I don’t know how popular they were, but they were pretty cool games. You were basically given a landscape (such as a field or a little planet) and between eight and ten items. All you had to do was decide which order you were going to use those items in.
You would then watch as things grew and changed and the final results could vary wildly.
Say, for example, you have two items – a seed and some water. Use the water first and you get a puddle that the seed floats in. Use the seed first and you plant it, then the water helps it grow.
Now imagine you have to decide what order you’re going to use ten items in – needless to say there was a lot of trial and error involved in getting the best ending, but the whole process felt organic and the landscape evolved naturally.
Why am I bringing this up in a review of a golf game? Because the landscape changes in much the same way as GROW.
This is what you start off with. Pretty, eh?
The gameplay is very basic but perfectly balanced. Hover your mouse over the ball, then pull back to decide the amount of strength you want to hit it with. The less strokes you use to get the ball in the hole, the more points you score.
Every time you finish a hole, the ball is transported to a new area with a nice transitional animation. Sometimes the area you just played will transform into a new hole – this is most obvious at the start. The second hole is a field of grass that gets devoured by cows (who promptly get abducted by aliens). It then becomes covered in snow, which promptly turns into a frozen pond and then you go inside… you know what, I’m not going to spoil any more.
A lot of thought has gone into not just how each hole plays, but what they look like and how the scenery changes to create each new challenge.
All of this goes a long way towards creating the first golf computer game I’ve ever played that is actually… fun.
What? Golf, fun? Surely not!
It is apparently possible to get a hole in one (possibly two in same cases, I’m not good enough to have found out yet) on every course. That’s one hell of a challenge but luckily the animation never loses its charm. There are a few holes that will frustrate (curse you, lilypads) but practice will make perfect.
Not only that, after you’ve completed the game once then bonus points become available. These come in the form of rainbow chunks that are scattered around each course, in the same line you’ll need to take to get the hole in one. This adds another challenge, as if you needed it – can you get the maximum points on every hole? Hell, can you get maximum points on just one? Don’t try to run before you can walk.
This is a game you can come back to over and over again, and just to make sure you don’t lose interest the game will keep track of your best scores. Want to know how well you did last time? Now you can find out.
Even if the idea of computer golf leaves you cold, it’s worth playing through this once just to see the animation. Be careful though, you may get addicted.
Get a hole in one: Wonderputt
Written by: Richard Wilson
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