Concept compilations seem to be all the rage in budgetland at the moment, what with the Codemasters Quattro packs and now this Multimixx series from Kixx. The Kikkies are asking a quid more than Codies for one game less, though, so what have they got to offer?
Well, the 'concept' as far as Multimixx 1 is concerned is the sport of millionaire playboys and showbiz celebs. Yep, golf, and a package that bears an uncanny resemblance to 1988 compilation Leaderboard Par 3 minus course maps, scorecards and two-thirds of the price.
Fans of the world of bunker and green, who don't already own these games, are well advised to hare off down the shops without reading any further. Use the £10 you've saved, through waiting three years, to buy some of those stupid striped trousers.
But what about the rest of us, who don't know our wedges from our hedges or our putters from our shutters. What Multimixx 1 offers the average games player is three almost identical games, each consisting of four different courses.
You are presented with a view of your back and the course ahead. Check the distance to the green, and then select your club (with reference to the range chart on the inlay card). Move the cursor to select a direction, and then use the Fire button to control the power and snap (whatever that is) of your swing. Oh, and try and get the ball in the hole.
The first of the Leaderboard games actually comes last in the running order of this tape, contrary to the assertions of the inlay card.
This game, like the outdoor version, is best played against a friend. If you're playing on your own, there is no computer opponent. You simply have to try and "come in under par" as they say. This is easier said than done, even on the complete imbecile level. Whilst getting onto the green isn't really that hard, judging the slopes when using your putter certainly is. It's well annoying to hit the green with your first shot, only to spend a further ten strokes trying to get into the hole.
The graphics are pretty terrible, but then this is a very old game. It'll certainly keep you entertained for hours at a time though, whether competing against a friend or just your own ineptitude. As with all games of this kind, it's best to practise a lot before inviting a pal round for a two-player game. You know. The old trick.
This is just Leaderboard again, but with another four different courses. As with its predecessor, you can choose how many holes you want to play - 18, 36, 54 or just forgot about going to sleep tonight and do the 72. You can also select the order in which you want to play the four courses (ungeniously called Course 1, Course 2, Course 3 and Course 4).
These games do lose a little in not having the original course maps packaged with them any more. But, then again, unless you have a worrying desire to get really serious with a ruler and protractor, you can judge distances and angles quite admirably from the screen view.
World Class Leaderboard
This, on the other hand, is something different. Leaderboard with go-faster stripes. Each hole is individually loaded (don't worry, they only take a couple of seconds). What you then get is bunkers that look like bunkers, water that looks like water, a fairway to play down, and an at times mega-daunting forest of trees to play over, under or round ("through" doesn't work).
Throw in an overhead view option, a 'punch shot' feature and much slicker general gameplay, and you've got a classic simulation.
In the best possible sense of the word, World Class Leaderboard is worth the admission price on its own.
A tape full of golfing games might not be everyone's bag of clubs, but at this price it might be well worth getting just for that occasional relaxing round or two. It's certainly cheaper than joining a golf club.
Love it or loathe it, there's enough computer golf here to last a lifetime.