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Putt & Putter

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Format reviewed: Sega Master System

As a collector, I’ve always felt that the ability to play the game is the most important thing about owning it – having a copy in good condition is desirable but never essential. With that philosophy in mind, I picked up a copy of Putt & Putter that looked like it had been attacked by a particularly angry dog back in 2006. It was tattered and torn, but recognisable as the game I’d seen in the magazines of my youth. More importantly, it only cost me 25p.

As it turned out, that poor condition was a blessing. The miniature golf that Putt & Putter offers is well-constructed, but the course design provides a steep learning curve for new players. Apart from simple slopes and rough patches, you’ll need to contend with obstacles including switches, bumpers, barriers and portals. The difficulty ramps up quickly after a couple of gentle opening stages, particularly when multiple portals are thrown into the mix with no indication of which entrances and exits are connected.

To make matters worse, while it’s possible to gain extra lives for coming in under par, the game docks them for going over par – one for each shot over! Thankfully, the bonus stage that appears after the sixth and twelfth holes provides welcome respite and extra lives. If it weren’t for that small relief, my walls would have been a mess – if I could have ever felt comfortable chucking a game at the wall after a particularly frustrating session, my battered copy of Putt & Putter would surely have been it.

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