TiP Rating: 3/5
Release Date: 03/29/2011
Seller: Electronic Arts
Requirements: Compatible with iPad, requires iOS 3.2 or later.
Link to app
App Store Description: ** TEE OFF WITH TIGER FOR THE FIRST TIME ON iPAD & EXPERIENCE THE PGA TOUR LIKE A PRO! ** The #1 golf game franchise returns to the App Store with all-new features. Innovative “Closest to the Pin” challenges let you match skills with your Facebook friends. And the vivid HD-graphic-quality of your iPad brings the game to life like you’ve never seen before. For the beauty, intensity, and pure fun of golf, there’s simply no other game for iPad that’s on par with Tiger Woods PGA TOUR 12!
Summary: Pick up your golf clubs and do the Tiger swing. It’s the first time the PGA Tour game by EA has made it to the “magical” 9.7-inch tablet, but you couldn’t tell. The game has been refined from its time in the iPhone market, and successfully ported on to the larger device. Shame about the in-game menu accessibility bother, it taints the experience.
Review: Back in the day when the original Xbox was the daddy of consoles I would sit for hours on end playing each incarnation of Tiger Woods PGA Tour. It was insanely addictive, but not in the Angry Birds simple sense. The game’s career mode let you live as a pro-golfer for a few hours each day, signing sponsorship deals and improving your stats. It was, and still is a fantastic game franchise. As soon as I heard it was out for the iPad, I had to get my hands on it.
When you first launch the game you create your own player. Any who have experience of the console version may be disappointed with the lack of customizable items. You can choose male or female, but can’t edit any facial features, or height/weight stats. However, you can change clothing color and skin tone. Once you’ve done this you can select a game mode. From the first menu you can choose to play a quick game, or go in in to Game Modes and choose the PGA Tour, Tiger Challenge (a set of unlock-able challenges) or Multi-Player (local only, no online real-time matches). You can also edit your golfer or play the Facebook linked “closest to pin challenge”.
The settings menu is barely worth mentioning, it features little out of the ordinary. You can change which side of your screen the touch controls show up on, switch caddy tips on or off, enable tap ins, invert your target control and change difficulty. Teeing off for the first time the game helps you with a few easy to follow tutorials, which can be accessed any time through the settings menu.
The gameplay is pretty decent, graphics are as good as you’d expect them to be. Sure, there’s clearly no Unreal 3D engine behind it, but it’s comparable to console games from before the era of HD gaming. To play you simply tap the golf ball icon and a touch control appears. You swing down and then back up again to control your player’s swing. Be careful, even the slightest twitch to the left or right can drastically alter the course of the ball. This does help you work on your accuracy, and focus. I did find however that even in ‘EASY’ mode, the game definitely isn’t simple to play. Don’t expect to be an expert first time round. It’s certainly no Paper Toss.
There is more than just swinging to this game though, as it also lets you choose from a selection of clubs for each shot. You can also choose which type of shot you want to play. You can also choose to have your own music playing in the background. Personally I prefer the native birds and trees sounds.
Unfortunately this game isn’t perfect. Although the actual gameplay is great, the menu system around it isn’t. It took me some time to figure out that there wasn’t a pause menu as such. There’s no easy access “pause-restart”. It can be pretty frustrating. There have been some crashing and lagging frames issues to boot, so the experience isn’t a completely pleasant one. It needs some work, that’s for sure. I have somehow managed to quite during a game once, and am still not 100% certain how to do it. It seems you press the top info bar, and wait as it slowly shows the menu for changing settings, or quitting. Seriously, it’s a bad head. What’s more, when playing in landscape mode – which is necessary – if you select the music option, your music list appears in portrait which is a huge oversight by the developers. It’s this lack of attention to detail that puts me off a little.
Despite the frustrating accessibility issues, the actual game in itself is great. It feels as hard work as a golf game should be. It doesn’t patronize the golf game expert by being cartoony and simple. It shows respect, is generally brilliant, but needs some refinement. Not sure it’s worth the ten dollar price tag, but that’s the default for iPad games by EA.