Easy Golf: Course Architect

Easy Golf: Course Architect

Easy Golf: Course Architect

Hole in one or albatrocity?

With the advent of the heady homebrew Community Games on Xbox Live, the old scoring systems that we've relied on for so many years can seem inflexible and restrictive. There's not much point berating some bedroom developer for failing to match the polish of even the most basic Live Arcade game, while praising them for creating something that's almost like a real game feels horribly patronising.

Easy Golf arrives from start-up studio Barkers Crest, which is really just an umbrella for affable solo developer Matt Davis. At 800 Microsoft Points, it costs the same as most Live Arcade games - including rival golfing game Tee It Up! - which automatically puts it smack bang in the middle of the awkward scoring conundrum.

It's priced like a professional game, but clearly doesn't have the level of polish and presentation we'd usually expect for the cost. Thankfully, dig past the perfunctory menus and slightly crude graphics and there's a genuinely good golf game not too far under the surface; the sort of thing that may not look like its next-gen rivals, but with the robust charm that would have made it an enduring cult hit on, say, the original PlayStation or N64.

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Xbox Live Community Games Roundup

The best of Xbox 360's indie offerings.

When the much-trumpeted New Xbox Experience finally arrived, it didn't just bring us those oh-so-adorable Avatars and the welcome option to install games to the hard drive. No, tucked way rather unceremoniously in the Games Marketplace was the long-promised Community Games section, bearing the fruits of Microsoft's lengthy flirtation with the world of amateur, indie and homebrew coding.