Enjoyable but limited golfing sim
In an unusual move for publishers Ocean, a company better known for their licensed and arcade games, this golf sim provides an enjoyable, if slightly limited, take on the sport. Adopting a fairly traditional approach to golf, the game uses a behind-the-player perspective for the majority of the time, while allowing players to switch angles to check out the course in more detail. In terms of interface too, things are fairly standard, utilising a swing meter to control the strength of your shots, with details like wind speed and direction also handily displayed on-screen, while you can of course also change your clubs to suit the situation. Visually, the game is quite appealing, with smoothly animated sprites, vibrant backgrounds and plenty of little details like gently rustling trees to add to the atmosphere. Sound is fairly limited but undeniably appropriate and to be honest, a game like this doesn't really need lots of intrusive music or effects. While IOGC plays a pretty decent game of golf, it is somewhat let down by its lack of options, with only practice and standard competition modes available. Although these are enough to keep hardened fans interested, a few more wouldn't have gone amiss. Courses too are fairly limited, although the ones that are present, including The Belfry, are quite varied and each present unique challenges so they should keep keen golfers playing for a while. IOGC is certainly quite enjoyable to play, relaxing and testing at the same time, but its appeal is probably limited to golfers and is unlikely to convert non-fans. Check out Zany Golf for a less serious approach to the sport or the Links series for a more in-depth experience.