Golf Resort Tycoon II Review

Golf Resort Tycoon II lets players try their hand at designing and running their own golf courses.  Those who played the original Golf Resort Tycoon will find several new things, including a mode which allows players to play their courses themselves.

Golf Resort Tycoon II can be played in either a sandbox, challenge, or course play mode.  The sandbox mode starts players off with a set amount of money based on the difficulty level selected (the higher the difficulty level, the lower the starting capital) and challenges players to turn a plot of land into a five-star golf resort.  The challenge mode provides players with 14 different scenarios, and varying conditions for winning that range from starting a resort from scratch and building it to a specified level, to taking control of an existing resort facing one kind of problem or another.  Again the selected difficulty level sets the player's starting budget.

Whether the player selects to play the sandbox or challenge modes, play proceeds in the same manner.  Players can spend their funds on new holes for their course or supporting structures.  To build a hole, players first select its par rating and then place the tee.  Players can then control the direction of each leg of the hole and the relative width of the fairway for that leg.  Once the fairways are in place, the tee is placed and the hole opens for business.  In addition to setting the hole's direction, players can add bunkers or water hazards, and can use terrain tools to add hills and other terrain features to a hole.  This provides for fairly basic control over the course layout which should suit casual players fine, but will prove to be fairly limiting to serious golfers looking to design their fantasy course.

The available structures fall into two main groups, maintenance and golfer services.  Maintenance structures include pest control, security, and groundskeeping, and building a structure will provide the course with its associated support personnel - there is no need to separately hire a groundskeeper once a groundskeeping structure is in place.  Golfer services provide for the needs of golfers while generating additional revenue streams for the resort.  These structures include lodging, food services, rentals, and the like.  As in most tycoon-type games, taking care of the course patrons' needs is critical to keeping them happy, and when they are happy they spend more money.  Each guest is rated in a number of need categories such as hunger, entertainment, and restroom, and it is up to the player to provide for these needs by making the appropriate structures available on the course.  The player can check the needs of individual golfers, or look at an average of all golfers on the course to gauge the areas in which his/her course is lacking.