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Leaderboard (1986)            

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U.S. Gold Ltd
Sport / Golf
Access Software, Bruce Carver, Roger Carver, Brent Erickson
Audio cassette or 5.25" floppy disk
UK (£9.95 cassette, £14.95 disk)
Leaderboard - Executive Edition
Leaderboard Tournament

This title also appeared on the compilations 'Leaderboard Triple Pack' and 'Leaderboard Par 4'.
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Amstrad CPC
Commodore 64
Sinclair ZX Spectrum
Commodore Amiga

A Zzap! Gold Medal

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Your Reviews

(Anonymous) (Zzap! 64)   14th Dec 2008 08:27
... and it looks to me as though Sevvy's taken out his trusty pitching wedge ... " "Er yes, Peter, I think you're right, but I wonder if Sevvy is. That's still a fair distance and his lie isn't a happy one. " "On the other hand, Arnold, that pitching wedge has traveled the world and brought the Spanish champion much luck ... nice relaxed stance, good, easy swing .. ;yep I think he's happy with that -

"indeed, Peter, and it's looking good--- "Oh my word-yes! Well, what do you think about that?! Straight in- an absolutely superb shot, hit the stick and dropped straight into the hole!" "My goodness, when was the last time we saw something like that?! Well that has given Lloyd Mangrum something to think about. "

I normally associate golf with total boredom, bad American Express adverts and highly coloured twenty-two inch bellends, and golf games with horror. So the last thing I expected when somebody mentioned the feared words 'golf simulation' was a highly and instantly playable arcade golf game which I constantly returned to 'just for another go'. Leader Board is incredibly easy to get into and no knowledge of golf is needed, and even if you do get stuck the informative manual helps you choose the right sort of clubs etc. Graphically the game is superb ---the animation on the golfer is stunning with incredible realism. The sound is great too, no music but amazingly accurate spot FX. Even if you don't like golf look at this sports simulation of the year, you'll be amazed.

However, Lloyd Mangrum (no relation) needn't have worried -- on another occasion altogether, he scored one of the most amazing holes in one ever recorded. None of which has much to do with this new golfing simulation other than the shared excitement of achieving a hole in one, for Leader Board actually lets up to four armchair golfers play a 3D game from the golfer's point of view in a manner realistic enough to have everyone inventing typical Peter Alliss style commentaries to accompany play.


Leader Board is an American program, and no self-respecting Stateside golfer would dream of perambulating round the course without a richly supportive bag of clubs. None of your municipal course six club selection here, there are no less than 14 available; woods 1, 3 and 5, irons 1, through 9, a 'pitching wedge' and the putter. Each club has it's own range and the booklet helpfully lists the minimum and maximum length in yards that each club can ideally achieve. This is useful in conjunction with the on-screen distance indicator in judging which club to select for a particular stroke. It's to be noted, too, that higher number irons tend to have a higher trajectory available and a ball landing from a more vertical angle rolls less on landing. Leaderboard reflects this quite accurately, allowing a greater flexibility in shot positioning, There can't be many people who don't have some knowledge of golf, but the wryly brief introductory paragraph in the accompanying instruction booklet is as good a description as any! Object of the game , it says, is to sink the ball into each hole by hitting the ball with a club the least number of times possible . As far as it goes this may be an accurate description, but there's a lot more to golf than that, and there's a lot more to Leader Board.

A selection of four different courses of varying difficulty (all of 18 holes) is on offer, based on the 'landscaped water course' notion more popular in America than in Britain. Thus there are no bunkers to contend with, but you find yourself coping with some very tricky drives over lakes, sometimes having to land on small mid-way islands in order to reach the green. Provision is made for difficulty levels by introducing effects such as wind and tightening up the accuracy required on club control during shots. When more than one player takes part, each player can select an individual skill level irrespective of what the other players choose, thus introducing the enact of 'handicaps'

What do you see on screen? Well for a start off, there's no 'map' option to show where you are, because there's no need for one. The booklet contains a map of each hole with its par and distance in traditional yards. This information is repeated on the screen, which is divided vertically into a full height square on the left for the action, and a quarter strip on the right with the telltales. Here we find the hole number being played, its par and the course. Below is the score indicator. The pre-entered name of the player whose turn it is heads four lines, one for each of the players. The number of strokes taken by each player on the hole so far is shown together with how much under or over par they are. Beneath this is the wind indicator, then comes the club selection line, the distance to the flag (in yards) and finally the power and 'snap' indicator (see separate panel).
Let's face it, golf simulations have mostly been more worthy in their aims then in their execution, Nick Faldo's being the best to date. Leader Board changes that dramatically end for the first time you can play a golf simulation that approaches the real thing. I'm only surprised it has taken so long fore someone to look at golf through the golfer's eyes, so to speak, rather then offer plan views. The feel you get from a shot, judging the degree of arm swing needed to send the ball on its way, and then watching its flight through the air and its shadow on the fairway, makes this not only a game of skill but also of excitement. There's a real sense of triumph when you watch the ball land just where you intended it to. The perspective views and real spatial geography of the courses are splendid. the sound, too, is tremendous because it is so spot on. I can only hope that Access and US Gold will turn their attentions soon to a 'links' style British course with bunkers!

Its qualities and its single and multi-player options make Leader Board a great game for everyone.

(Anonymous) (Zzap! 64)   14th Dec 2008 08:26

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This title was first added on 19th March 2008
This title was most recently updated on 6th March 2014

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