Monday 14 December 2015

Putt & Putter (Game Gear review)

Developer: SIMS
Publisher: Sega
Released: 1991

Putt & Putter is a miniature golf game that was also released on the Sega Master System in 1992.

There's two modes (Beginner and Master) that have 16 courses each and the objective is to continually finish under par to receive additional balls that basically act as lives; fail to reach par and you'll lose balls. Before you take a shot you can move your cursor to view the entire course which is handy. When you're ready to take a shot an indicator line shows you a partial view of the ball's path, as well as how it will careen off an obstacle. It's extremely useful and works great for trying out trick shots. The Beginner stages are varied and are all generally fun to play, especially when you manage to hit a ball off several walls for a hole-in-one. The courses are also compact with new obstacles being slowly brought into the mix such as hills, bumpers, rocks, water hazards and moving travelators. The controls work fine although they are oversensitive when trying to place the ball for your first shot on each course. Unfortunately the Master difficulty doesn't add anything new and most courses rely far too heavily on the travelator gimmick; this makes for some poor level design and frustrating trial and error style gameplay. Also, as the courses become more expansive it causes problems with lining up your shots as once the power metre is displayed you can only see a small amount of the play area; this makes it hard to accurately predict where your ball will travel in relation to the many obstacles. Overall, the game is very short with only 32 total holes but you're still given plenty of passwords to continue your progress. There's only one music track and while it fits the action it does get irritating!
Putt & Putter is a moderately entertaining golf game that's perfect for pick-up-and-play sessions. Although it starts off well it eventually runs out of ideas and the great momentum it has in the Beginner mode doesn't carry forward to the lacklustre and overly frustrating Master mode.
Random trivia: The game was released under the name Mini-Golf in Brazil.

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