Zany Golf

a game by Sandcastle

Platform: Sega GenesisGenesis

Genre: Sports

See also:Golf Games

  • Manufacturer: ELECTRONIC ARTS
  • Machine: Sega Genesis

I'll have ketchup on my golf ball, with some lettuce and tomato. Yes, and maybe...no, wait a minute! I must be on the second hole of Zany Golf - the hamburger hole. I'd better start at the beginning. Zany Golf is miniature golf like you've never seen before (unless you played it on a computer somewhere). This Genesis version is almost exactly like the computer version, with a few minor exceptions, which is both good and bad. It's good because Zany Golf is fun, funny and, well, zany. It's bad because the Genesis version is slow, slower and, well, clunkier.

It's too bad EA didn't take a little more time to reprogram this game for the Genesis system. The graphics are good, but not as great as those of the computer versions. The sound is okay, though not mind- blowing, and the game play - well the game play is slow. The screen scrolls slowly, the ball putters (sorry, pun intended) to a stop ever so gradually and the excitement tends to diminish, since everything seems to move in slow motion.

That's not to say this is a terrible game. It's still fun to play, just disappointing that it isn't better. Also, the game is pretty easy; you'll probably beat it the first day you get it.

As in any golf game, your goal is to sink the ball in the hole using as few strokes as possible. However, in this game, you must be careful. You start with five strokes, and you gain strokes for completing a hole. Run out of strokes and it's back to square...l mean, hole one. And with all the various obstacles, it's tough!

The fun of this game is to try for extra strokes. There are several ways to get them. Random fairies appear and will award you three strokes if you hit them. A random timer bonus may appear, which allows you to gain extra strokes for completing the hole quickly. Finally, some holes award extra strokes for completing difficult maneuvers (like getting the ball into the moving gate of the castle on hole six). Of course, getting a hole-in-one, possible on several holes, is a good way to score extra strokes, as well as save your remaining strokes.

The holes themselves are great. One is a pinball game, another is a game similar to Breakout (which was the secret tenth hole on the computer version, but was moved when they dropped the Magic Carpet hole from the Genesis version).

The most difficult hole is the ninth - the energy hole. This par-five hole is a double-decker, futuristic nightmare. In addition to the laser beams and other electrical phenomena that populate this hole, you'll have to hit two buttons to activate the vacuum, get sucked up to the upper level then get past the numerous traps that send you back down to the lower level.

To make things worse, there are orbs that either attract or repel the ball as it goes by. If you're clever, you can use these orbs to your advantage and curve around the trap holes. If you're merely human, you'll watch the ball go down, down, down, back to the lower deck.

All this is indicative of the Zany Golf experience. Zany Golf, for all its flaws, does offer some challenge. Completing the game isn't too hard, but getting better and better scores is the real test. If it were only a little faster....

Zany Golf Downloads

Sega Genesis Zany Golf download
  • Manufacturer: Electronic Arts

Wow. Zany Golf by Will Harvey and his Sandcastle design team is not only the early lock for Computer Game of the Year, it is a masterpiece - the finest product Electronic Arts has published in years.

What does Zany Golf have that earlier miniature - golf simulations lacked? Stunning graphics, a brilliant interface and internal consistency, all reprocessed through a filter of wild imagination. Imagine Rube Goldberg, Walt Disney, Rod Serling and Timothy Leary collaborating on the construction of a putt-putt course, and the result would probably look a lot like Will Harvey's Zany Golf.

Successful simulations duplicate the romance and excitement of an experience, while smoothing out its rougher edges. Zany Golf perfectly captures the ambiance of miniature golf, from the texture of the artificial turf to the varnished gleam of the hardwood floor, while eliminating awkward or physically impossible shots. Unlike real courses, you'll never have to put through your legs here, shoot one-handed or wedge the dub against the perimeter board. To strike the ball, the player positions a cursor on it, clicks, then draws back an invisible club-head to determine the impact of the stroke.

Each of the course's nine holes is seen from the same perspective, a two-thirds viewpoint so realistic it almost feels like you're standing there. Every hole is preceded by a slick-looking title card and a single-screen drawing of its layout. The actual greens extend over several screens, but the golfer can access the entire hole by scrolling in the desired direction.

The course presents a catalog of layouts, from the traditional (Windmill, Walls) to the exotic (Fans, Magic Carpet, Pinball, Castle) to the weird (Hamburger, Anthill, Energy). Several of these holes include elements not possible in the "real" world, like the moving hole in the Anthill layout and the Marble Madness-like Magic Carpet.

Even among so many virtues, Zany Golfs visuals stand out as its most impressive feature. The color, texture and style of the drawings perfectly invoke a technicolor miniature-golf course from somebody's wildest dreams. From the introductory screen - a downward scan of the course's signpost - to the final hole - a complete mad scientist's lab full of puzzles, mazes and dangerous equipment - Zany Golf's graphics project a pastel neon cool that is irresistible.

Will Harvey and his Sandcastles have created a fantastic game in Zany Golf, a perfect blend of the classical and the innovative that begs for future course disks.

reggie posted a review
  • Manufacturer: Lee H. Pappas and Andy Eddy
  • Version: Zany Colt Is available tram Electronit Arts tar Atari ST, IBM PC and compatibles, Amiga and Apple IICS

Take a nice sunny day, a couple of friends and an inventive miniature-golf course, and you've got good times lined up. Though pitch-'n'-putt has lost some popularity in recent years, Electronic Arts has paid tribute to the game with a computer version called Zany Golf that is taking the nation by storm. VG&CE will have a review of Zany Golf in the July issue.

In Zany Golf you don't have to worry about rain storms, cold weather or a trash-filled green affecting your play. Ten holes are provided for your entertainment, each hole containing a different layout of obstacles; for example, the opening hole has the typical mini-golf windmill as the primary hazard. All of the holes have standard angle boards (for redirecting the ball around corners), bevels and hills, as well as two-tiered action where the first hole only leads to a secondary green.

Being a computerized game, though, Zany Golf also has its share of situations not possible for "normal" mini-golf construction. Ant Hill, for instance, has added difficulty because the flag and hole wander around the course as you shoot. Another innovative hole lets you blow the ball around the green with fans that you control.

The next few pages will give some helpful advice for lowering your Zany Golf score. We've even discovered an easier way to get to the elusive tenth hole, which can normally only be seen if you play out the course under par.

Hole #1 - Windmill

Obviously you are shooting for the best score, so use the first couple of easier holes to build up your stroke count for later in the game.

Your opening shot should hit the brick bevel just before the ramp leading towards the windmill. The windmill not only gives you a one-stroke bonus, but also puts the ball right near, if not in, the hole.

If you find that you've missed the doorway, don't despair. It's still easy to make par with a bank shot, if you aren't in the clear to get to the hole on a straight shot.

General Hints

Hints:

Take your time. Rushing the shot will always result in a lousy score. Take advantage of the ability to place your ball on a different tee-off spot. Some spots give you a better angle for your opening shot than others. Learn to judge how hard you need to "pull back" to place the ball where you want it. As in real golf, overhitting or underhitting a shot may put you in a worse position or in a hazard. Putting too hard towards the hole may result in the ball jumping the cup. Also learn the art of bouncing the ball off walls. Many of the holes require accurate "bank shots", as in billiards. Occasionally a fairy will appear on the course. Hitting it results in you receiving bonus strokes on your score - though you won't know beforehand how many you're going to get. The fairy isn't usually on your intended route to the hole, so you have to decide whether it's worth it to go for the bonus. Most times it is worth the chance of getting a decent bonus to work with. On the other hand, the second bonus you can get - the timer bonus - is not worth trying for, except on the easier holes. The timer bonus will likely only get you one or two strokes, but usually at an equivalent cost. If you rush your game, you'll make poor shots. Be very careful when you are putting close to the hole. This "short line putt" is hard to judge for the correct angle. It's best to pull all the way back to fully extend the white line, line up the shot at the right angle, then shorten the line to the desired stroke strength. There's nothing more frustrating than missing a "tap in."

Hole #2 - Hamburger

Start off by scanning the layout. If you aren't careful in lining up your shot, you may hit either the right side of the ketchup pile or miss the ketchup pile altogether - both result in the ball ending up back near the tee.

The speed of the shot must be carefully judged. Hitting the tee - off shot at full bore will land the ball in the valley surrounding the hole. If you have to chip from here, you'll have to compensate for the angle of the bevel that leads back to the hole.

Hole #3 - Walls

As you can see, the third wall here will steer the ball into the chamber with the hole, but the walls pop in and out of the ground to add to the difficulty. Also, if you hit the third wall at full speed, you'll end up in the right chamber, but far from the hole. You'll need to counter the speed of the swing with proper timing to get in the proper position for the hole. You'll find this one a hard hole to par!

Hole #4 - Pinball

We said the last hole was tough to par, but Pinball is hard to get through at all! You'll find that it's not as hard to get the targets, but then you have the task of getting it back to the top and into the hole because the flippers aren't the strongest. To make it even more difficult, the ball often goes "down the tubes" on either side.

The best piece of advice is to play a multiplayer game because whatever progress the first player makes is passed on to the next player, and so on.

Hole #5 - Fans

This layout is a lot of fun, especially considering you wouldn't be able to have a "real" course operate like this. Just the same, it's also one of the more challenging holes.

As a general tip for this hole, only fan when necessary. There are some occasions where bad fanning will put you in a worse position. Also, you should make your fanning motion smooth or it will react on the ball inconsistently.

Teeing off is also an important part of your success here. If you tee off too hard, the ball may pass by some of the fan stations with no effect on the path the ball takes. No matter what path you take, though, you can get to the hole. Find the best path for you and practice, practice, practice.

Hole #6 - Magic Carpet

This is a frustrating hole. You'll find yourself wildly trying to steer the ball over the carpet, but overcontrol will result in poor positioning. Try to keep the ball on the carpet and slowly guide it.

The loops that raise and lower are also a pain in the neck. In most cases you can keep moving the ball on the carpet while you wait for the loop to open.

Hole #7 - Castle

I guess it's obvious to say that you should try to get your shot in the castle door. If you do, you get a stroke bonus and land in better position to get in the cup. The door opens when the trumpets play, but sometimes it gets washed out by the background music. Turning off the music will help.

Like Windmill, not getting it in the doorway will put you on the secondary green in worse position for the hole. Unlike Windmill, getting to the hole from this position isn't easy at all. Employ a bank shot to get past the series of walls, but be careful not to catch a wall edge, or the ball may end up farther away. At this point in the game, you're likely trying to salvage every possible stroke to get through all nine holes.

Hole #8 - Anthill

This hole is a surprisingly easy hole-in-one candidate. Give up trying to get this shot right into the hole on the tee shot; besides, the flag wanders thus wrecking any thought of clearing this hole right away. We've found that if you hit the ball at full speed, you can play pinball with it using the "power bumpers". If your timing is good - which comes quickly with practice - you'll be able to keep it rolling back and forth until you get it in the cup. As long as the ball is moving, the stroke doesn't end.

Hole #9 - Energy

Here we are at the last hole - well, not really when you consider the bonus tenth hole. To keep some mystique about the game, we'll leave you in the dark on the bonus hole, except to say that it mixes a few different types of obstacles on your way to the hole. At the end of this, we'll give you a hint to get quickly through the ninth hole and on to the tenth, but you'd be wise to avoid it if you don't want the easy way out.

Energy is one tough cookie. It is cluttered with various hazards, posing all sorts of danger to your little golf ball. You'll need a lot of strokes in reserve to get around the whole layout and into the hole safely. Start off by striking the two buttons on the face of the machine (the blue rectangular one and the lighter blue oval one). These will activate the transporter - the silver plate behind the tee-off area -enabling you to jump across to the upper part of the layout. Bouncing the ball off the blue barrier will ricochet it up the ramp, but don't overhit it or you'll end up in one of the hazard holes before the flag.

Even more annoying are the electrical globes that act like magnets and put your golf ball out of control. Believe me, this hole will drive you loony - but persevere and you'll get through.

Secret method for finishing Energy: There is a small mouse hole at the right side of the course with two blinking, white eyes. If you hit the ball into the mouse hole, the ball will bounce right out again (thanks to Josho Mandel for passing this one along).

What's the benefit to this, you say? Well, for a second or two after the ball exits the hole, the eyes will blink red. Quickly shoot the ball right back in the mouse hole and you'll automatically be taken from Energy to the tenth hole called ????? Voila!

reggie posted a review
  • Theme: Sports
  • Players: 1-2
  • Difficulty: Easy

E.A. brings the well known PC version of the same name to the Genesis. Knock your ball through a mini-putt course filled with unusual features and landscapes.

reggie posted a review

The new kid on the block, Zany Golf, has got 11 holes of goofy golfin' guaranteed to keep you in stitches of frustrated laughter. Modeled after the Pee Wee golf concept, Zany Golf has got some unusual space age twists. Picture this, a split-level hole where the only way you can possibly get to the second level is to aim your ball towards two very inconspicuous buttons that activate a transporter and take you to the second level. Now that's "zany!"

reggie posted a review
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