This post is written by Jake Parr.
Sports games are usually pretty boring. Nintendo tends to crank out some gems, though, and Golf for the Game Boy is one of them. With lovely sounds and music and easy controls, this retro game is a definite hole-in-one. It won’t keep players away fore long (but puns like that probably will).
The game offers a Japan course for beginners, or the considerably tougher USA course which offers higher hills and stronger winds to influence the ball’s movement. Each course hosts eighteen levels, and the controls are as simple as moving the DPad left and right to aim and pressing A to swing the club. A wide selection of clubs are available for whatever the terrain. Just try and avoid hitting it into the sand bunker, or worse, the water!
Fret not if the Game Boy loses power or is accidentally turned off, for it includes a very useful autosave feature that saves the game data and the score after each swing. Other handy features include a large map which monitors the position and location of the ball. The heads-up display will also point out helpful information like the surface of the ground and the strength of the player’s swings. Sprites are detailed and the terrain is easily distinguishable.
The game comes with some nice, relaxing music and sounds, often playing some quirky jingles when good things happen (i.e. completing a course), a calm tune when you’re ready to take the swing, and some nice electronic beeps and buzzes when the ball is going or landing. Admittedly, such simple sounds do add a little bit of tension of the game, but not much.
A multiplayer mode is available for those who have a buddy with a Game Boy, a copy of the game and a system link cable to connect the two. It makes for a fun time, and the animations that play when one of the golfers lose are always satisfying to watch.
Golf is a wonderfully simple game of bogeys and birdies, and a great one at that. It looks and sounds good, sporting some very easy controls and an increasingly difficult set of courses to play on. If you still have a Game Boy, be sure to give this retro gem a swing. Eat your heart out, Tiger Woods, Mario is the true king of golf.