Amiga cover art
Mean 18 is the name of a series of computer golf games released by Accolade in the late 1980s and early 1990s. It is also the name of the first game in the series. In the early 1990s, the series was phased out by Accolade's Jack Nicklaus series of golf games, which arrived in 1990. The game was designed by Rex Bradford with graphics by George Karalias.
Mean 18 is notable for two reasons: it was the first computer golf game to give the golfer's point of view of the course, and it was the first golf game to come with a course editor that allowed players to create their own courses.
Mean 18 featured the Augusta National and Pebble Beach and St. Andrews courses. It used the soon popular 3-click control system, whereby the first click starts the swing, the second sets the power, and the third sets draw or fade.
The game features Beginner and Expert difficulty options. The Expert mode has more pronounced draw and fade effects, making the timing of the third click more crucial. The player can also choose between regular and professional tees. For the regular mode, the tees are shorter and the computer automatically recommends the best club. Using the professional tees, the computer still recommends clubs, but not necessarily the best ones for the shot.
The course editor was also a big feature of the game, a first for many games of any genre of the day. With practice, it was very versatile and new courses could be traded freely. Many BBSs hosted scores of courses created by other players.
Released first for MS-DOS in 1986, it was quickly ported to other popular home computer platforms of the era. It was eventually ported to the Amiga, Apple IIGS, Atari 7800 and Atari ST. Despite some of the other systems superior graphics abilities (notably, the Amiga, Atari ST and Apple IIGS), the graphics for all the games were similar to the MS-DOS versions.
A port for the Atari 8-bit family of computers, graphically similar to the Atari 7800 version, was being developed by Atari Corp. in 1989, but was ultimately not published, possibly because of excessive screen drawing times.
Computer Gaming World cited the practice green, the computer caddy, and course editor as reasons for preferring the Amiga version of Mean 18 to the also-"outstanding" Leaderboard. Compute! listed it in May 1988 as one of "Our Favorite Games", praising the graphics, sound, realism, and course editor.