Actua Golf 2

(gremlin) Playstation

Another game in the Actua Sports series rolls off the production line; yes, Actua Golf 2 has arrived on the Playstation. Golf doesn't strike me as a sport which naturally lends itself to computer simulation, but I'm glad to report that Gremlin have avoided many of the obvious pitfalls and found a way to make Actua Golf 2 work extremely well.

All the real players from the American tour are there along with six different courses and several modes of play, ranging from strokeplay to a full pro tour. If you know what you're doing, you can select your clubs manually and, this being an Actua game, it also lets you watch the action from every angle imaginable.

The weakest aspect of the game is the graphics which are very average indeed, but the gameplay is extremely challenging as a split second can make the difference between finding the green and ending up in the river. If you like golf you'll enjoy Actua Golf 2, but if you don't, you probably won't.

Released: now, pounds 39.99


Lands of Lore 2

(westwood studios)

Sequels have become as commonplace in the world of computer games as they are in Hollywood, so it's no surprise that the creators of Red Alert are offering us yet another in the guise of Lands of Lore 2. The game puts you in control of the son of an evil sorceress, who is not only on the run but plagued by a curse which, from time to time, causes him to turn into a monster. So it's up to you to find a cure.

Cue lots of Doom-style adventures. But here the guns are replaced by swords and magic spells, and the emphasis is more on exploration and puzzle solving.

Lands of Lore 2 can be a frustrating game to play at times because, just when you think it's building to something big, you'll find you've completed the level and you're whisked off somewhere else. But it's got plenty of atmosphere and exploring the various locations can be genuinely exciting.

One thing is sure, however - Lands of Lore 3 can't be far away.

Released: now, pounds 39.99