Review: Let's Golf!
For some reason, I love golf game. Mini golf, regular golf, they are all just fun (even though I can't golf for real worth a lick). But they need to be designed well to be enjoyable.
Let's Golf is a iPhone golfing game made by Gameloft. They have made other games for the iPhone, and in general have a pretty good track record. Like many of their games, Let's Golf starts with a video that mimics game play. When you start, you are presented with five options - instant play (to play 3 holes), mutliplayer (either via hotseat or wifi), tournament mode, free hole (play one hole from any course).
When you choose you play mode, you then get to choose your course from four options (two start off "locked"), and then the golfer. There are only four golfers to choose from with varying skills in power, accuracy,, recovery, and putting, but you can customize their look with various locked items.
When playing, you can choose an advanced mode or classic mode. In classic mode, you have limited control over the swing and hitting the ball, basically hitting the button at various points to start the swing, control the accuracy, etc. You can have limtied control on spin of the ball as it is flying through the air. In advance mode, you have more control of the swing, actually swinging the club by sliding your finger. Unfortunately in advance mode there doesn't seem any control over accuracy, but the control of the ball spin is the same.
The putting is done via a standard 3D grid placed over the putting green to show you the contours of the game.
The graphics on this game are vary nice. They are comprised of 3D vector-style graphics with limited background motion, but it all comes together very nicely. You aren't going to see the water int he stream flowing along, but the golf courses look very pretty, and the motion of the golfer is very smooth. There were a few times when the game started to stutter a little bit, but not too often.
The controls are very intuitive in either mode. You can adjust your aim, choose your club, and swing the club very easilly. The only complaint I have about the controls is that I can't find a way to guage accuracy in the advanced mode. I am sort of surprised they don't have a super advanced mode for control the swing that is based on tilting the iPhone. That seems to me that it would follow naturally and require a lot of skill...maybe that will come in another game.
The sound effects include are typical of various golf games (I am getting alot of groans from the crowd and a pointed "oh nooo...." and not enough "Great Shot!" comments from the announcer). There is some background music that isn't very noticable, but it does add to the game.
This game reminded me very much of the Hot Shots series of golf games for the Playstation and Playstation II. While there aren't as many options (golfers, courses, customization, etc) it seems to be in the same vein, albeit with a slightly less cartoony feel.
On an interesting note, there are various menu options that are locked in tournament mode, but that you can play in the free hole (regular play) mode. This enables you to play all courses even if they are not unlocked for tournament mode. The various golfer customization options are still locked, however.
Pros: Great graphics, smooth play, good quality golf game
Cons: More options (courses, golfer and skill customization) would be nice
All in all, this is a fun, enjoyable golf game. There are two styles of play allow for some variability in game play, and options of choosing from four courses and four golfers allows you to mix it up. Mutliplayer is present, which is nice to see. I wish there were more options to customize the golfers (and the equipment) but this is a great start. If you like games like Hot Shots for the playstation, you will probably enjoy this. It is currently $5.99, but I recommend it for people who like this style of golf game. Five out of five stars.
* = No redeeming qualities or features, probably not worth it even if it is free
** = Few redeeming qualities, or is simply isn't worth the price
*** = Some good features but also some clear flaws.
**** = A solid app, worth the money if interested, a few flaws or problems or slightly overpriced
***** = Top of the line app, no problems or drawbacks.
Price is factored into the ratings. Ratings are lowered if I feel the price of the app outweighs the benefits/enjoyment/features it provides. Likewise, an app that is a good value for the money will have a higher rating.