Format reviewed: Commodore 64
Publisher: Access Software
Developer: Bruce Carver & Roger Carver
I don’t care much for golf. Watching it isn’t a great deal of fun, and I am so uncoordinated that attempting to play it would undoubtedly end in an act of unintentional self-harm, one so severe as to require my immediate hospitalisation. As such, it’s quite strange that I enjoy golf games as much as I do. Neo Turf Masters was the game that hooked me, thanks to some post-karate sessions at the local sports centre, but Leaderboard was the first one I ever got into at home. We’d acquired it along with a C64 that we were given, and looking back at the long periods I spent playing it says something about my attitude to retro games.
Given that I was a console kid first and foremost, Leaderboard did some things I hadn’t seen before and considered a bit weird. In particular, that distinctive way of drawing the 3D scenery – outlines first, then filling in the colour – will always stick in my memory. That didn’t deter me from playing because it played so well, with simple joystick controls and a shot system that was easy to figure out, even for my younger self. While the PlayStation was taking over the world, I was busy having fun with a game that was a few months older than me. I enjoy a good nostalgia trip as much as the next person, but for me retro gaming has always been about playing great games regardless of whether I caught them the first time around.