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Atari 2600 Golf: World's Finest Sport Video Game Simulation

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#1 Albert ONLINE  

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Posted Wed Jul 5, 2017 9:51 AM

Golf Digest's Jeff Vrabel makes the argument that to this day, "Atari 2600 Golf remains the finest sport video game simulation". Through humor, the author describes the graphics, gameboard, gameplay, and difficulty of the original 1980 Atari 2600 Golf.  What games have made a similar impression to you after all these years? 

 

2600_Golf_box.jpg

 

Here's a video review of Atari 2600 Golf in case you need a refresher: 

 

 

Thanks to Gray Defender for submitting this article. 



#2 tschak909 OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Jul 5, 2017 10:48 AM

Honestly, I'm amazed that it was even attempted. At least Miniature Golf was "Golf Pong" ..but working out something that could...do a passable game of golf on the VCS is kind of amazing.

 

-Thom



#3 Waggie OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Jul 5, 2017 11:39 AM

I have several of the modern Tiger Woods golf simulations and I find the Atari version more fun. 



#4 BassGuitari OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Jul 5, 2017 11:44 AM

Serendipitous timing, ha. The recent U.S. Open (practically in my own backyard this year, about a half-hour drive away) and a viewing of Caddyshack prompted me a week or two back to put Golf into my current rotation of cartridges I'd been playing on my Video Arcade II. IIRC the game is a par 36 course, and during one playthrough I shot a 37--personal best! :P :-D

I used to think of Golf as sort of a knockoff of Computer Golf! for Odyssey 2, which I'd actually played first (the Odyssey was my first retro system, and Computer Golf! was one of the games it came with) and also enjoyed. I'm not sure which game actually came out first (the Odyssey game is copyrighted '78 or '79 IIRC, but sometimes copyright dates are specious), but I like them both anyway. Golf for non-golfers.

That said, Chip Shot: Super Pro Golf for Intellivision is probably my favorite golf game overall (although Microsoft Golf was pretty dope back in the day, too). But I have a soft spot for Golf and Computer Golf!'s blocky graphics and arcadiness.


Edited by BassGuitari, Wed Jul 5, 2017 11:46 AM.


#5 Zoyx OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Jul 5, 2017 11:49 AM

Someone should make a run at either Birdie King or Microsoft Golf for the 2600.


Edited by Zoyx, Wed Jul 5, 2017 11:49 AM.


#6 carlsson OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Jul 5, 2017 11:52 AM

In the early years, most golf games tended to either look that way, or (on home computers) be more like a text adventure with typing in all the strokes.

 

Regarding Computer Golf! on the Odyssey^2 that BassGuitari mentions, one of my favorite reviewer quotes relate to that game:

"Those of you who suffer from bad vision and like to play Golf using a croquet club and a ping-pong ball will probably like this game."



#7 Flojomojo OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Jul 5, 2017 12:03 PM

That was breathtakingly snarky. 

 

I'll bet a 3D golf game could be done on the VCS.

 

I'm somewhat surprised no one has been crazy enough to try. 



#8 Northcoastgamer ONLINE  

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Posted Wed Jul 5, 2017 12:07 PM

Bowling is another early Atari game that's still fun today as well. We use to have tournaments on Friday evenings with some alcoholic beverages. Good Times!



#9 tschak909 OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Jul 5, 2017 12:16 PM

VCS bowling, the one bowling game that can literally be won by going all the way to one side, and doing a curve to the opposite side. never ending strikes.. :)

 

-Thom



#10 toiletunes OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Jul 5, 2017 12:25 PM

Please, let there be a future followup for Ninja Golf



#11 StanJr OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Jul 5, 2017 12:47 PM

I still enjoy playing Golf.  It's not terrible, certainly not the embarrassment that is Miniature Golf.  Sure, it lacks the features of later golf games, but the essence of golf is there and for the most part you can play without incident.  I strongly recommend turning off the hard OB lines, though.



#12 BassGuitari OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Jul 5, 2017 2:03 PM

I still enjoy playing Golf.  It's not terrible, certainly not the embarrassment that is Miniature Golf.  Sure, it lacks the features of later golf games, but the essence of golf is there and for the most part you can play without incident.  I strongly recommend turning off the hard OB lines, though.

You know, for some reason it never occurred to me to mess with the difficulty switches--somehow, somewhere along the way, I got it into my head that Golf didn't use them. I will definitely have to give it a shot on Difficulty A now. I've been finding that quite a few of the first and second crops of VCS games are better on A, anyway--dunno why I didn't think to try A on Golf! :?

And Miniature Golf is awesome. :twisted: :P



#13 Butt_Rogers OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Jul 5, 2017 2:25 PM

I haven't played a great deal of Golf 2600, but I had a lot of fun the times I did play.

According to my txt file of high scores the best I've done is a 47. On a par 36 course.

So clearly I'm not very good at the game, but it's still a lot of fun.

The only thing that's baffling at first is how to aim. It's a little wonky, but a quick read of the manual remedies that.

I don't like the real life game of golf. If I want to play a dexterity game I'll play Darts or Crokinole. Crokinole is an amazing game. Party favorite. Everyone who has ever played it loves it. And it takes up a small part of the dining room table. Not a hundred acres of prime real estate and millions of gallons of water.

But I do enjoy arcade style golf games like Golf 2600 and Golf on the Game Boy, stuff like that. It's a good casual, fun, laid back time.

I think an updated Golf 2600 would make a great choice for a homebrew project. I mean, there's only two moving objects on the screen, the player, and the ball. A programmer could focus on having many different courses to choose from, a refined aiming mechanic, better graphics, etc. Golf was a 2K game. Imagine the possibilities with a 32K game.

It seems like it would be one of the easier projects to undertake, and one that would provide a tremendous amount of game play and replayability, assuming one could pack in a ton of courses. Golf has 9 holes. What if an updated version had 45 holes in 5 courses, each course selectable from the start menu (like a SpiceWare game).

It's too easy for me to start fantasizing about this sort of thing...



#14 Zoyx OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Jul 5, 2017 2:39 PM

I played a lot of this back in the day.

 


Edited by Zoyx, Wed Jul 5, 2017 2:39 PM.


#15 tschak909 OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Jul 5, 2017 4:27 PM

I actually LIKE Miniature Golf. Especially once you realize that you can place the putter ANYWHERE, and the ball operates via pong physics with a friction (decay) element! :)

 

-Thom



#16 Video OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Jul 5, 2017 4:47 PM

Loved golf back in the day, still play it regularly. Its definitely its own style and charm. Unlike a lot of sports games its very playable.

3d style golf, that would be cool, I was going to say no way in hell, but there was an enjoyable 3d football game so why not?

#17 Tombstone OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Jul 5, 2017 7:29 PM

I was inspired to try this again due to this thread. First time since, oh i dunno, 1985? Shot a 65. Enjoyed the game!



#18 swlovinist OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Jul 5, 2017 7:57 PM

Inspired me too.  I am sure I am going to be terrible at the the game.  



#19 KaeruYojimbo OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Jul 5, 2017 8:03 PM

I don't play a lot of golf video games, but I say with confidence that baseball games became considerably less fun around the end of the 16-bit era when they all stopped being games and started being "simulations."



#20 iesposta OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Jul 5, 2017 8:10 PM

There is a more traditional computer golf for the 2600, but it is an obscure PAL title.
It was hacked to NTSC.
"My Golf"
IMG_0495.JPG

#21 FifthPlayer OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Jul 6, 2017 12:55 AM

I owned 2600 Golf way back when and really enjoyed it, and I still like playing it today.  It's really easy for modern day "critics" to pick on the 2600.

 

I agree an updated Golf for the 2600 would be really cool.  (But I also appreciate Chip Shot Golf on the Intellivision, which I didn't experience until I got the Intellivision Flashback.)



#22 tdp OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Jul 6, 2017 7:16 AM

There is a more traditional computer golf for the 2600, but it is an obscure PAL title.
It was hacked to NTSC.
"My Golf"
attachicon.gifIMG_0495.JPG

 

THIS is the best golf game for the 2600. Mygolf features:-

 

1 or 2 player

16 clubs to choose from

Wind in 4 directions

Hazards - rivers sand traps, ponds, trees, rough and out of bounds

Selectable direction and distance with sliding bar

Hooking and slicing shots

18 holes (multiscreen)

Stats on screen

Different view for putting


Edited by tdp, Thu Jul 6, 2017 7:17 AM.


#23 save2600 OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Jul 6, 2017 12:10 PM

Nice to see some love for Golf. Was a game I purchased at Sears BITD with my own money. The kind of deal where I had a little money burning a hole in my pocket and Golf was about the only game I could afford at the time. Think it was $10-15. Anyway, played the heck out of it and still like it to this day. Definitely has its own personality and charm, a great early VCS title IMO.

#24 JeremiahK OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Jul 10, 2017 9:54 AM

My brother and I used to line up for a shot, swing the club all the way back, and then move the golfer so that the club would hit the ball at the beginning of the swing, making the ball fly in the wrong direction.  Good memories.






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