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Publisher: MacSoft    Genre: Sports
Min OS X: Any Version

Links Championship Edition
August 19, 2002 | Eddie Park

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Ah, golf. For many, golf is just a sport for fat old men, where fools attempt to hit a tiny ball into a slightly-less-tiny hole from several hundred yards away using a variety of weighted sticks. Those who look deeper into it, however, discover the intrinsic strategy, planning, and huge amount of skill it actually takes to play this sport well, and ultimately fall in love with a pastime that leaves little margin for error, can be played without too much fear of bodily harm, and usually defines one person as the clear winner.

As much as I would like to include myself as one of those golfing elites, my scorecards, which roughly resemble a soccer momís bowling score card, tell a different tale. Thankfully, I can still live out my dreams of having pro golf skills in Links 2002 Championship Edition. Why bother making reservations, waiting in line at the golf range, or risk getting run over by a golf cart when I can LAN it up on Links with my golf-obsessed roommates?

Links, for those unfamiliar with the title, is a golfing game recently brought over to the Mac under the Bold by Destineer label. Among its features are a wealth of championship courses, a cadre of real-life pro golfers to choose from and play against, and the Arnold Palmer Course Designer, which lets gamers design their own private paradises or hells, depending on their preference.

Why play when you can install?
When I first received Links, it came with 4 CDs. The box and the instruction booklet note that the whole package includes the game itself, the Links Expansion Pack, 4 additional courses, and the Arnold Palmer Course Designer. Installation itself proved to be a bit of a puzzle. Starting off with the first disk was fine, as it contained an installer that installed Links just fine. Figuring out how to install the expansion pack and the additional courses, however, proved to be a bit of a frustration, as the CDs themselves arenít labeled with anything more than a number. The instruction booklet (which Iím sure most of you never bother to read anyway) was very vague on the subject, though I finally found a line that said something about consulting the in-game help. Doing that, I eventually uncovered instructions regarding how to install the extras, but even then there was still a bit of guesswork involved, and even the actual process itself took some time, as there are separate options for adding both additional golfers and courses.

Installing the Course Designer, thankfully, was as easy as installing the game itself, as it also came with its own installer. So, while not impossible, it should be pointed out that doing a full install of the entire package can be an exercise in patience Ė something that doesnít exactly endear gamers anxious to get their game on.


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