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Leaderboard (1986)            

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Details (Sinclair ZX Spectrum) Supported platforms Artwork and Media
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Related Titles:
U.S. Gold Ltd
Canvas, Roy Gibson, Ian Weatherburn, Chris Pink, Simon Butler
1-4 (alternating)
Kempston, Interface 2, Cursor
Audio cassette
UK (£9.95)
Leaderboard Tournament

Found on numerous compilations including: 10 Great Games 3, Leader Board Par 3, Solid Gold, Play it Again, and History in the Making. Re-released on budget Kixx label for £2.99.
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Amstrad CPC  NR
Commodore 64  9.1
Sinclair ZX Spectrum  9
Commodore Amiga  NR

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Issue 25 (January 1988)
Added: 9 Dec 2016
Review by Tony Worrall

Want to take up the ultimate golfing challenge? US Gold gives you the chance with World Class Leaderboard, the follow-up to the original Leaderboard.

Now you can revel in four totally different courses contained on two cassettes. Three of these courses exist somewhere out there in the big bad world, but the fourth, named the Gauntlet, is specially designed to be the toughest son-of-a-gun you ever laid a three wood on!

World Class Leaderboard's main departure from the original it in the graphics. Gone are the endless blue plains that made the first game a bit of a bore. In its place check out the natty woodland scenes that edge every hole. Gone too are the long, pregnant pauses between each shot. Things move along at a fair old gallop when you are playing a hole. Unfortunately each new hole, and course even, has to be loaded in from the tape (a perfect advert for a +3 version!). This can take some of the enjoyment out of the play as it means constantly getting up to mess about with the tape recorder. I couldn't see why a 128K version was ignored, surely each hole doesn't take up that much memory. Anyway, its a small price to pay for the entertainment contained in this package.

As in the original, the golfer's ability can be entered at the beginning. If you hate to see your ball constantly in the rough because of a bad hook or slice, try out the soppy kiddies' level, the professional level makes things much harder, and even gives you a touch of wind!

Tee up tor the first course - Champions Cypress Creek. This is an American mega-large set-up and contains some of the longest fairways in the world. The first thing you notice is the wood. No, not the wood in your hand, but the millions of trees dotted along the hole. Each is lovingly drawn by the old Spectrum, blue bark and all! The trees can create something of a problem if they obscure part of the hole from the tee shot. If you drive into the top of a tree, the ball falls down dead. If you hit the trunk, it rebounds off into the distance. Shots have to be thought out with a lot of care. If you play a loose shot into the trees it creates all kinds of problems! Luckily the programmers have included the 'punch shot'. This allows the golfer to hit the ball low, under the branches of any nearby tree. A very useful little inclusion.

Cypress Creek is pretty tame next to the second course in the line up - Doral Country Club. This comprises some wicked, twisty holes, plus the generous addition of our old friend the water hazard. The next course is St Andrews, with some of the largest greens in the world. You can easily take three shots just trying to reach the hole from the edge of a green! The Gauntlet is the final course, and what a course. Designed to be the ultimate golf challenge, it certainly lives up to this promise. Pixel-perfect accuracy is needed on most of the fairways to stay on the right side of par. In fact US Gold thinks this course is so difficult that it has created a competition to see who can score the lowest possible round on the Gauntlet. If you feel lucky, there may be a set of new golf clubs waiting for you.

World Class Leaderboard is a vast improvement on the already excellent original. It gives the chance to play real, and famous golf courses in authentic style, from the comfort of your own home. A first-class simulation that will take hours to complete, and even longer to master. For all you budding Faldos and Lyles out there it's a must. Just remember to drive carefully.

Excellent follow-up to the original Leaderboard. The inclusion of longer fairways and trees give it a truly authentic feel.

Graphics 8/10
Playability 9/10
Value For Money 9/10
Addictiveness 9/10
Overall 9/10

Added: 14 Dec 2008
Facts first: golf is the noble game invented by a Scotsman, where you hit a small round ball with a shaped club for miles, trying to get it into small holes placed inconveniently in the ground. It was invented near St Andrews, where the annual weather is such that this kind of exercise was the only way of keeping warm, 150 years ago. (Simply fascinating, but what about this game? -Ed.)

The Par 3 in the title refers to the three versions of Leader Board which make up the compilation. Neither World Class Leader Board nor Leader Board Tournament were reviewed in CRASH, but back in Issue 39, the original Leader Board earned a respectable 80%. Recently, World Class Leader Board won an award from a French chain-store as the best sport simulation of 1988.

Each of the three games allows up to four players to compete in one to four rounds (18-72 holes) on any of four different courses, making a total of 12 in the whole compilation. And to allow complete novices to compete (on an equal part) against those hard-hitting, Sandy Lyle types, three skill levels are available.

One of the most important decisions in golf, is the choice of club. To help the player in his decision, the instructions contain a useful diagram of all the clubs and their range. Once a club is selected, the direction of the shot is selected by aiming a cursor in front of the golfer, who is shown in front of a 3-D view of the current hole.

Then it's time to take a swing and hit the ball - power is selected via the Power Snap Indicator by releasing the fire button at the appropriate level. The snap part of the indicator determines whether the ball is hooked (to the left), sliced (to the right) or flies straight.

When you eventually manage to get the ball on the green (the smooth bit of grass surrounding the hole) (OK, Phil, so you've proved that you watched the British Open this year on TV, now get on with it... -Ed), it's time to get your putter out. (And that's enough of that, too -Editorial Director.)

A slope indicator shows the inclination of the green (the groundsman's spirit level is obviously on the blink!), this must be taken account of because it makes the ball's path curve.

The extensive instructions contain many hints and tips (so that's where Nick got them from!) to help the beginner, and the 12 courses give plenty of variety. As usual, the more players competing, the more fun It is. And for golf buffs or just normal people, Leader Board Par 3 scores a hole-in-one for value.

PHIL ... 90%

Producer: US Gold
Price: £14.99 cass £19.99 disk
Author: Bruce and Roger Carver

Choose the club which has a maximum range nearest the distance from the hole - this makes judging the power needed easier, because you can hit the ball with maximum strength.
If your ball is just off the green, use a pitching wedge to chip it toward the hole.
Try and avoid the water at all costs, as losing the ball automatically drops a stroke.
Try and relax - tense shoulders are bad for your swing.
And finally, wear a pair of shades to keep the sun (what sun? - Ed) out of your eyes!
Here is the ultimate in golf simulations. The variety of shots - all depicted in 3-D, right down to the putt - and things that can happen to your shot, is immense. Depending on which club you choose, how strongly you hit the ball and which way the wind is heading, you can either get a hole-in-one or send it flying into the water! The three games each have different hazards, from trees to pools of water and high winds, so you never get bored. A first class compilation of a sport that demands coordination and control - it's got the lot.
NICK ... 92%

The Spectrum has a long history of golfing simulations, most of them as interesting as mowing grass. Leader Board ended that, and this compilation serves to underline the point; it makes golf great fun to play, even if you are the sort who groans every time you see someone in check plus-fours getting out his Number 2 Wood. Everything that made Leader Board playable, is here and more so, wit
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This title was first added on 2nd August 2007
This title was most recently updated on 9th December 2016

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