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Subject: Fantastic Game! rss

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John Weber
United States
Ellicott City
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Glad to see this game has been added to the BGG database. I think it takes a fairly unique approach compared to prior golf games, of which there are quite a few out there. While the main focus is on playing through a tournament in a relatively short time frame, it can also be played head-to-head with 2 or more people taking real-life or fictional golfers and making key decisions for them. The game is rich in narrative and seems to flow seamlessly through a book of flip-charts that can describe what happens to a golfer on a individual hole, such as "PAR 4 -- golfer puts teeshot in rough -- confident swing, remarkable recovery, WOW! second shot comes within inches of the pin, just misses eagle, gimme putt for birdie" or -- some negative results: "Pushed shot drifts towards rough, fluffed shot to edge of fairway, two irons to green, leaving a moderate putt for bogey." Everyone should be aware that this is not just a replay game, but lots of strategy options, mainly through the use of blue (good) and red (bad) chips; blue chips can help a golfer on the green or to seize "control" of a hole at a crucial moment. On the other hand, red chips must be spent in a way that does as little harm as possible to a golfer's score, otherwise the golfer suffers a "meltdown" on the final green. Golfers also have the opportunity to gamble ("attack the green") or "play safe" on longer, difficult putts, along with other strategy options that can come into play as well.

Tournament mode allows quick play of the first two rounds, where some golfers will not make the cut, followed by a third round that narrows it down to around a dozen golfers, all of whom will be featured in a realistic leaderboard, with staggered starts, like you will see on any final round TV coverage. Lots to like about this game. I've tried other PLAAY products, notably Soccer Blast and Red White n Blue Racing, and this may be their best game to date.

Highly recommended -- note that the pre-order window closed in January (and all preorders were shipped by mid-February), but that the regular offering (along with a couple of new course packs) will be available in early April.

There are several how-to-play videos out there, plus a very active forum since the game's pre-release in February. For more information, check out the website. Current offerings include a base set with 108 great golfers from the first decade of the 2000s and two courses, including Augusta. (Note course names have been altered slightly due to copyright issues). There are three additional sets of golfers and over 30 different courses available as add-ons.
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