User review spotlight: Carmageddon (DOS). Released in 1997.

Links: The Challenge of Golf (DOS)

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MobyRank
100 point score based on reviews from various critics.
3.6
MobyScore
5 point score based on user ratings.
Written by  :  Paul Varley (13)
Written on  :  Mar 14, 2006
Platform  :  DOS
Rating  :  4.25 Stars4.25 Stars4.25 Stars4.25 Stars4.25 Stars

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Summary

"Looks like I hit the tree, Jim"

The Good

Well, the original Links. What to say? I think this game has a strong case for being the first computer game I ever played (Tetris might just pip it), back when my dad's work first got Amstrad 386s and this game came bundled with them. As soon as I'd made my golfer, and whacked my first ball into the trees, I was hooked. Great graphics for its era, and brilliant sound ranging from the birdsong to the comments the golfer made after his shots ("Looks like I hit the tree, Jim" being the most famous). Sure, it may only be a golf game, but if you like golf, and you like virtual scenery, then this was a great game.

Another useful aspect was that my parents liked playing it. This is handy when you have no siblings, as it allows you to actually play multiplayer games without needing to go and check if your friends are in.

The Bad

Getting expansion courses beyond the default Torrey Pines South was difficult. By the time I started thinking about it, Links 386 was already the standard and expansion packs were hard to find. I eventually got one, but the redraw speed was like a drunk snail (it wasn't exactly fast with TPS, either).

The customisability was also somewhat limited: you had your golfer, in his yellow shirt and single voice bank. It got slightly surreal when my mum played as him. When I bought Microsoft Golf 2, with its rapid redraws and more customisable golfers, I quickly forgot about Links, except from a nostalgia point of view. But I would still say that Links is the foundation of the modern golf game.

The Bottom Line

A classic game, and one of the defining games of my early computer years. Probably not worth buying it now, but still generates some wonderful memories. The first time you land in the water, the first time you chip-in, puzzling your way out of a forest...