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Publisher: Amju Games    Genre: Sports
Min OS X: Any Version

Amju Super Golf
February 2, 2005 | Christopher Martinez

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Amju Supergolf's funky soundtrack is nostalgic for anyone who grew up in the 80's at the local video arcade. The gameplay is rather simplistic, and like other golf games, the object is to sink the ball in the hole. But herein lies the rub, Amju Supergolf is not only about getting the ball in the hole, but also picking up extras along the way, and helping Amju the farmgirl (the main character of the game) *bonk* some animals in the process. Most hardcore gamers will find the game a little slow, but for those that are still young at heart (or just young) and enjoy a game that does not interfere with your social life, Amju Supergolf makes a fine addition.

There is one or two player available for play. If you choose the 2 player, Amju's little sister Marin joins in the fun. Half the size of her sister with pigtails and a seemingly caffeinated personality, she bee-bops around waiting for her turn to swing the club. The beginning of the game starts with variables for the characters, including Power, Drive and Accuracy. After completing the hole, the winner receives a little boost in some of the fields, so the longer you play (and the more holes you win if in 2 player mode) the better the player becomes. There is also a chance of knocking your ball off the field of play and into the eternal blue sky below, so some careful aiming and choice of power will keep the player on the "green" and out of trouble. The player starts with 3 turns, and once all of them are lost, the game is over.

3D-ville and the Physics effect
The game uses a 3D landscape, with the ability to zoom in, out and rotate around. Although the graphics are not something to write home about, they work well for the game. Most of the graphics are simplistic in nature using polygons. There is very little detail, and the skins are rather rudimentary. Still, for the the author Jason Colman's 2nd attempt at a game, it is very well done.

Checkered patterns are used to cover most of the landscape which gives the player an idea of distance and angle of walls. Moving the camera angle around helps alleviate some of the sight problems, and the ability to use the arrow keys for this purpose makes it much easier than having to click on the camera mode every-time. I did manage a few peeves about the game, one being the fact that after every shot, the player is lined up directly facing the hole, even if there is a wall in the way or the course meanders off in some other direction. If your ball falls close to an object like a tree or a wall, it is very hard to see where you are aiming. The controls seemed to hang every so often, nothing dramatic, just a slight pause, of course the game was only tested on 2 machines, one, a dual 1.33ghz G4 QS with a Radeon 8500, and the other a 1ghz G4 iBook with a Radeon 9200, so the experience could be attributed to slower graphics cards.

The physics of the game engine are not for those seeking realistic ball movement, and you are limited to only one club, so if you are a sand wedge junkie, you're out of luck. With 36 playable holes on 2 different courses, each with its own unique spin, the game will keep you entertained for a few hours. This reviewer managed to complete the game in about 4 hours with little effort, but some holes took a few tries to pass, while others were just a lot of fun to try over and over again

There are a few ways to gain more balls during game play. One is to collect all the hearts on the course. The other, which was my favorite, was to hit the animals with the golf ball. This is done by first hitting the pen, located somewhere on the course, with the ball which in return releases the animals and then the fun begins! After you manage to hit the animals, a star appears and you must then manage to hit the star with the ball to pick up the extra turn. The animals can also be frozen by finding the small blue banana shaped icon usually within striking distance of the pen. Some obstacles on the course do make things harder. Hit a tree and your ball careens off course, and speaking from experience, it usually ends up disappearing into the vast blue below. Rotating and moving landscapes make it harder to hit what you are aiming for, and the different level heights of the course are probably the hardest to compensate for (with the use of only one club and a specific allowable trajectory height), making me wish for that darn sand wedge.

My suggestion for the game, if you have kids in the house, is that they will love it! The simplicity of the game and easy to grasp controls will have them feeling like Tiger in a matter of minutes. If you are a hardcore gamer, you will probably bore of the game after a few holes and turn to a more formidable game for a quick pick-me-up.

Amju Super Golf
Publisher: Amju Games
Download Amju Super Golf Demo

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