Putt & Putter was released on the Sega Master System in 1992 having been developed by SIMS Co. Put simply this game is a hybrid of both miniature golf and pinball and this is winning mash-up.The controls are relatively straight forward and it only takes a few moments to acclimatize to the game’s engine. For each hole you have to aim the ball to dodge certain obstacles that have been put in your path and then select an appropriate strength with which to send it on its way. Pretty standard stuff for a golfing game even today.
That’s where the golfing side of the game ends however and the pinball part begins. EVERYTHING makes your ball bounce off, even the sides of the map you are playing, and each bounce gives it a little more energy so even the gentlest touch sends the ball flying. As you progress through the game you start to encounter maps where you have to actually use this ricochet feature to get the ball as close to the hole as possible in order to reach it in as few a moves as possible (the fewer moves it takes to pot the ball the higher you score). Some of these maps are intensely frustrating to play having hills that form valleys sending your ball in all sorts of directions. When the hole is located on a raised level there are always problems if you don’t get it straight in. Here in lies the fun of this game. Mastering the power bar and the angle at which you send the ball is a hugely entertaining undertaking.
I first had this game when I was eight years old and the Master System and NES were the X-Box 360 and Playstation 3s of their day. This was the game that was always brought out at parties and attracted the fiercest competition among friends and family. Like Team 17’s famous Worms series this is really is one of those games that is infinitely better when played with someone else so you can all enjoy each others success and misfortune. Putt & Putter is really a game/format that would be well worth an update for a modern console. That being said I have recently found out that follow up was launched on the Mega Drive (Genesis) and having tried it I wasn’t sold on it. Maybe my nostalgic memories have got in the way on this one. Either way this was one of the first games I got hold of again once I started retrogaming and I regularly play it now with my brother-in-law keeping the old competition alive.
Thanks for reading…