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The Golden Tee Golf : Home Edition TV Game from Radica Games

119 This thing has gotten a LOT of flack. I don’t think I’ve ever actually read anything good about it, but it’s mostly from people who are familiar with the arcade game. And it’s totally understandable, because though I’ve only actually played the arcade arcade version of it a couple of times … I know how fanatical people are about this. The arcade game is a GORGEOUS game that obviously plays extremely well with it’s unique and damned innovative trackball control scheme. It’s definitely a hard core game for video game golf nuts.

This is NOT that arcade game. Flat out. As an arcade translation, it’s pathetic. The only thing it has in relation to the arcade game is the name, the fact it’s a golf game and the trackball … which I’ll get to in a minute. This honestly shouldn’t have even been called Golden Tee Golf purely because of the hardware. A TV game setup is NOT capable of doing a good reproduction of it. And that’s how I’m going to review it, completely ignoring the Golden Tee name and just going on it’s own merits. Which it DOES have.

Let me start off by saying, I only play golf games casually. I’m not super hardcore into them, which is probably why this game appeals to me. I hop in, I play and I leave. And that’s with any of them. Right now I tend to jump into Tiger Woods Online and Tiger Woods PGA Tour 2005 on the Playstation 2.

Let’s start off with the unit itself. It has the typical hookups for a game like this with the yellow RCA for video, and the white for mono sound. It takes 4 AA batteries, or you can plug it in if you have an adapter that’ll fit seeing as how it doesn’t come with one. But I’ve never had a problem with the battery life in this thing, they seem to last forever. And I just have cheapie Rayovac batteries in it. There are 4 arcade style buttons and the trackball. Now the buttons themselves feel really good with a nice tight click to them when you hit them. The buttons control things like aiming left and right and your backswing. The big red button is your Start button. The trackball itself feels just as stiff as the buttons though. It doesn’t seem to really move freely like one would expect, you’ve really got to put some oomph on this thing to get it spinning, but it’s not that huge of a deal. It’s really easy to pull off the different type of shots that you can do in the game all the same with it. The size of the unit is pretty good with a nice little indention at the bottom to easily set it in your lap, or rubber feet in each of the corners for sitting on it a table or something. Overall, I think the build quality of this thing is pretty good for a TV game.

Since I couldn’t find any screenshots for the game, here’s a gameplay video. Although, for whatever reason the sound doesn’t work, it’ll give you a good idea as to how the game plays. Even though the person playing it doesn’t seem to be doing worth a crap, it’s all good.

Now onto the game itself. Graphically, it sort of comes off like a mix of a Sega Genesis game and an original Nintendo game. The colors are flat and washed out, but on the same note they do their job and they do it decently. The entire game is played from an overhead perspective with the exception of the tee shot. The sound is pretty pathetic though, and it definitely won’t help someone who thinks golf is boring think otherwise. All the sound is a low quality garbled mess. The music, while fitting for a golf game like this … just the quality is absolutely atrocious. The cheers from the crowd and whatnot are just little 1 second samples that sound like they’re cut off before they finish.

But in the end, it does PLAY well with all kinds of different shot types, and chipping it in for an Eagle feels pretty good. You can have 1 to 4 players playing, obviously passing the unit along. There’s Stroke Play, Match Play and a Tournament. But they all seem to pretty much play the exact same way on the exact same single course. And of course it has a driving range. Another course or two would’ve helped out a lot, and being able to name your golfer would’ve been another nice little touch. All you get is “Golfer 1” “Golfer 2” etc etc and seeing as how it doesn’t save any settings I don’t think it would’ve been that much of an issue to let you enter your own name in.

6.0 - This game is definitely NOT going to appeal to everyone. But seeing as how there is a shortage of games like this on that particular platform (TV Plug and Play games) that attempts to take it seriously, it’s definitely not a bad game. On my grandmother’s 91st birthday, a lot of the family was around, and I just brought this up, hooked it up to the TV and played a 4 player game and had a blast. That’s the kind of environment this lends itself to. And, surprisingly enough, my 8 year old daughter loves to play it.

If you can find this in the 10 to 20 dollar price range, go ahead and snag it up. It’s definitely well worth it. Just ignore the fact that it’s had the gall to call itself “Golden Tee Golf”.

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Comments (2) Trackbacks (0)
  1. I need the instruction manual for Golden Tee. We plug in the game and get to the first greens shot but can’t make it do anything after that. There is sound and flashing numbers, can move the crosshairs for the shot but can’t make the shot. Need help for my frustrated son who wants to play this game!

    • Well, to make a shot, you just pull that trackball in the middle back, then shove forward to swing. If that doesn’t work, then there’s something wrong with it. Shots are pretty straight-forward.

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