Leaderboard (US Gold) Review | Computer Gamer - Everygamegoing

Computer Gamer

By U. S. Gold
Amstrad CPC464

Published in Computer Gamer #16


Hold the front page! A new game from Access that doesn't involve shooting everything that moves! Instead, the blood-curdling screams of gunned down soldiers is replaced by the gentle sound of your ball landing in a water trap.

Leaderboard is a 3D golf simulation in which four players can compete at three different skill levels on four different courses.

All four courses have one thing in common - water. There's so much that the fairways look more like a string of islands than a golf course. At least there aren't any trees.

The object of the game is, of course, to get the ball into the hole in as few shots as possible. Unfortunately, to do this you will have to develop the technique of hitting the ball in the right direction, the correct distance with the appropriate club. This isn't easy as there are three woods, nine irons, a pitching wedge and a putter to choose from. You aim the ball with a cursor and gauge the strength of the shot by hitting the fire button when a moving scale is at the required level. The rest is up to the gods. If you're lucky, you'll then take another shot, and another until you sink the putt.

When you get to within 60 feet of the hole, the flag is removed and the display changes. The cursor is accompanied by a marker which shows the direction and degree of slope of the green which you have to compensate for in your shot.

When you've completed the hole it's on to the next with the leaderboard keeping the score.

Once you've mastered the basic game you can introduce the ability to hook and slice the ball to curve it around obstacles. Then if you're feeling very brave you can go for the professional game and include the hideous effects of wind. This varies from a slight breeze to a gale force wind all of which must be compensated for in the shot.

Comparisons will be made between this and Ariolasoft's Golf Construction Set which was reviewed in depth in last months' Gamer. Both feature superb 3D views of the course ahead of you with GCS being the more detailed game. GCS also has more depth and complexity with the addition of more hazards (trees, roads, etc), a construction set to build your own holes more factors to affect the travel of the ball (skill of player, temperature, hardness of ground, loft of ball) and the ability to save and improve your handicap.

Leaderboard is easier to play (you can have a good attempt without reading the instructions) and will appeal more to non-golfers. It's a bit like comparing golf to pitch and putt. They're both good games but one's easier for beginners. Finally, if you own a Spectrum or Amstrad then there's no comparison as Leaderboard is literally the only game in town.