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ZioGolf 1.06 for Palm OS
By Kevin Crossman
September 5, 2001
ZioGolf is an outstanding Golf simulation for the Palm OS Platform. Based on Zio's successful Pocket PC version, the Palm version boasts high quality graphics and gameplay, along with a unique position in the marketplace. The game also provides a unique additional "game" - that is, learning how to play the game itself (the game lacks a manual).
ZioGolf comes with two courses, the easier Sedona and more challenging Hidden Valley (additional courses are available from ZioSoft). The game also features high-quality color graphics (or, so-so quality grayscale for non-color Palms). The swings are realistic and the game features an overhead map of the hole you are playing. The sounds are minimal but may optionally be turned off.
Gameplay is quite good - on "par" with older PC-based Golf simulations. There is a three-click swing gauge that can be enabled using the stylus or hardware buttons. Changing clubs is easy though the game does an excellent job of "caddying" and choosing an appropriate club for you. Wind conditions are sometimes an issue, causing you to change your aim to stay in play. Overall, the non-putting gameplay is excellent.
Putting is more difficult. The interface is non-intuitive and extremely unforgiving. Puts which should be "gimmies" in real life and somewhat difficult to make and at times whether you make the put or not does not appear to follow any logical pattern. That said, at least one doesn't have to deal with banked or curved greens.
There are several special features. You may practice your driving or your putting - which is essential for getting up to speed at the game. You may enable Mulligans or not (a lifesaver for me!). A right hand / left hand option is available but appears to have no effect. When you play, you may play against up to three human or computer-controlled opponents. A skins option is also available.
There are few complaints with Zio's implementation. The Palm-standard menus are not enabled, forcing you to click through their Pocket PC-like interface screens. More importantly, the game comes with no in-game or electronic manual - and Zio's bloated and slow-loading website is no help either. If you have no familiarity with PC-based Golf games you will be lost. All players should be prepared for a sharp learning curve.
Thankfully, a demo version of the game is available which allows you to test the features for yourself. The game, with two courses, consumes over 630K of RAM.
We must applaud Zio for their fine ZioGolf implementation. If future titles are this good, we will forgive the support (or lack thereof) and legacy (e.g. Pocket PC) features. This game is unique in the Palm marketplace and is a fine addition to any gamer's stable of games.
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