Coder: Will Harvey
Publisher: Electronic Arts (1988)
Platform: Amiga 500
Anyone for golf? No? Then how about Zany Golf? Still no? Ah well, luckily for me this is a 1 to 4 player game. It’s the only golf game I ever owned or played back in the day, so its high on my nostalgic feeling list, although I was also never very good at it (I couldn’t get past hole 5 ‘Fans’). Now I’ve returned to Zany Golf to see how I fair, spurred on by the fact I’ve recently beaten Tom in Jimmy White’s Whirlwind Snooker for the first ever time.
The game starts you off gently with a relatively easy first hole (no real surprises or manic mouse wiggling required), but with each level beyond that they become progressively harder and more challenging. There are 9 holes in total, each with their own par and unique game mechanics, a score card helps the players keep a tally on who’s winning. Hole 2 ‘Hamburger’ eases the player further in by demonstrating how the game is slightly different to a normal crazy golf course; a giant hamburger covers the hole, the player has to click the left mouse button to bounce the burger up and down, and then time their shot so the burger is in the air for the ball to roll into the hole, timing is crucial.
From ‘Hamburger’ onward the player is required to either activate something, time their shots, or in one case use fans to blow the ball around the entire course. Despite these extra game play mechanics in each course the controls are some of the most basic I’ve ever come across in any golf game, relying purely on the mouse to line up your shot, pull the cursor back for power, and releasing to take the shot. It is easy to follow and see what’s happening as the graphics are simple and fun, and kind of what you’d expect a crazy golf course to look like (I’ve not been to many, once on Jersey I think…). I like the effort that’s gone into each hole to make it look as colourful as possible, including the excellent title graphics introducing each one.
What I most enjoy about Zany Golf is that each level is unique, challenging and fun to play. It’s easy to pick a favourite and a least favourite. One of my favourites is the ‘Pinball’ course (literally a mini pinball game before putting the ball), followed closely by an earlier course ‘Hamburger’, mentioned above. My least favourite is the course ‘Ant Hill’, a disappointing one given the clever design of the other holes, and the final level ‘Energy’, looks pretty but I still have no idea what’s going on or how I even finished it.
Zany Golf is still a great little game, and by that I mean I wish it offered slightly more holes, as it comes across as quite short. However, in this case quality wins out over quantity, the course design is superb and in some cases very inventive and each course provides a decent enough challenge that you don’t whizz through the game too quickly, and there’s always a small amount of replay value to try to best your own scores, or compete against other players.
I’m glad to say on this occasion I made it past hole 5 ‘Fans’, in fact, I finished the game. I’ve definitely noticed when revisiting some of these old games I have more patience these days, I’m assuming back in the day I was rage quitting every 5 seconds. Zany Golf is fun and inventive but a little short, purely from a selfish point of view I wanted to keep playing, it’s a fun game! It also has the most manic (and a little annoying) title music since Rolling Ronny. Despite the latter I’d highly recommend giving it a try.
Just in case you wanted to know, my score card is below!
More info and links!
Lemon Amiga page for Zany Golf
Amiga Computing Vol 1 No 12 (May 1989) Zany Golf review (95%)
CU Commodore User Amiga-64 (Apr 1989) Zany Golf review (80%)
Amiga Action 16 (Jan 1991) Zany Golf (Budget) review (81%)