Golden Tee Golf

Plug & Play

Review by Matt Paprocki



Graphics: 5

Sound: 5

Gameplay: 6

Overall: 6


An arcade hit since the early 90s, the Golden Tee series has rarely found its way home in general consumer form. A few PC translations and a Playstation release cannot capture what this series is famous for: the trackball. That's the key feature this Radica plug & play console sells itself on. Unfortunately, it misses the features from the PC and Playstation in the process.

ptvgoldentee_plugplay.jpg (19482 bytes)The first notable is that this is not the arcade version. In fact, this is a brand new version of the game. There are no 3-D graphics here. This looks like something that came from the Super NES era. Your golfer is stuck in a small box in the top right of the screen, and while animated well, it's hard to get the full feel of the swing.

There is only one eighteen-hole course to play, in addition to a basic driving range. A few different modes allow for up to four players (match, stroke, and tournament), though multiple units can't be linked together. You'll need to pass it around to the next in line each time.

Construction is sturdy plastic, especially the face that holds the buttons and trackball. The bottom has a battery compartment and is nicely rounded to fit neatly on your lap. There is also a port for an AC adapter instead of four AA batteries, though one is not included. As with the slew of plug & plays available, the video cord is hard wired to console. It's a thin composite cable and supports mono audio only.

With all of the complaints though, this still plays a great game of golf. For the slight disappointment with the plastic build, no money was wasted on the trackball. It's solid, heavy, and feels great. To swing, you'll pull back and push it forward as quickly as possible to achieve maximum power. You can also hook it in either direction, though the course design doesn't provide a lot of need for it.

Backspin is achieved through a simple button press, while topspin is not a feature included. Aiming your shot is easy. The four total face buttons have a fantastic feel with great "pop." Using two of them will adjust your shot as needed. Moving the trackball swaps clubs.

Physics follow the typical rules of Golden Tee Golf. The ball bounces and rolls unnaturally, though that's part of the games charm. Even without the standard audio and video expectations, this is definitely the same game once you begin slapping the trackball with full power.

Retail price on the unit is high at $40. An extra course or some form of career/season play would have made a huge difference and made up for the look. It's also worth noting that some online sites have a picture that shows the arcade version playing on the TV, which is definitely not correct.

If you're a fan and love the feel of Golden Tee though, you'll still get that here. It's definitely cheaper than the money-sucking arcade version, and competition can be just as fierce once you get into the play. This is unquestionably fun, but be on the lookout for a sale, as $40 doesn't seem right for the overall product.


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Last updated: Sunday, December 31, 2006 08:14 PM