PGA Tour ’96

PGA Tour was a well established golf game series that followed the tried-and-tested formula of releasing yearly re-makes with minor (and sometimes major) tinkerings to keep it competitive. New to this version are fly-bys of each hole and a live overhead view. Those are welcome additions, but the real upgrade here is the game’s performance and the level of difficulty.

There are three skill levels, marked by increasingly faster swings and smaller hitting zones. You can hit the ball with almost unerring accuracy at the easier settings, but the shot distances are much shorter. At the Amateur setting, the hitting zone is fat and the swing moves like molasses. Miss the sweet spot at the Pro level, and you’re likely to take a detour into the woods. Accuracy requires precise timing, but that’s the way it should be.

5The play-by-play commentary is cleverly done and on target. The announcer, speaking in an appropriately hushed tone, provides the usual commentary and tips on which way the putt will break. Don’t listen to him, though, because he’s often wrong about the putt. Still, the audio’s a nice touch. Other sound effects add a great deal of atmosphere to the game, from the crowd’s roars and groans to the sound of the crashing surf at Spyglass Hill. PGA Tour 96 marks a new generation of golf games. It’s more robust than Links 386, offers better gameplay and is ultimately the rightful heir to the golfing throne.

System Requirements: 486 33 MHz, 8MB RAM, DOS 5.0

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