A fantastic and sophisticated golf game. It's just a shame about the lack of online options.
Tiger Woods PGA Tour 12 Review
by on July 15, 2011
So it’s time for the annual update of EA’s Tiger Woods franchise, and while it’s true to say that this is still not quite the full golfing monty, it is far and away the most sophisticated golf game on iOS and the best Tiger Woods game on Apple’s touchscreen devices yet, and as such is a must for any golfing enthusiast.
Console owners who are hoping to have a miniature version of the latest PS3 or Xbox game to play on the move might be a little disappointed. This years’ iPad iteration concentrates on the PGA Tour clashes rather than being the comprehensive Masters Edition that people are enjoying at home. The most obvious difference is in the number of available courses (there are roughly a gazillion in the console versions, just eight here). But even so, this is a tremendously enjoyable and technically impressive golf game.
There are two main play modes. The first is the full PGA Tour. Presented as a golfing calendar, you can play through any of the major competitions throughout 12 months of the year, including the respected Players Championship at Sawgrass (which offers a winner’s purse of a whopping $9.5 million… FOR A GAME OF GOLF!). Playing through this mode, let alone coming out on top, is quite an achievement, because there are several full four-day tournaments each and every month. It’s a task of such magnitude it makes the game’s £3.99 price point look like exceptional value for money.
In addition, there’s a Tiger Challenge mode, which offers up a series of individual tasks, such as finishing three random holes at one under par. The aim of these challenges is quite simple, but success is hard won, so again this mode adds a huge amount of value to the package.
And the golf itself is pretty spot-on this time around. As well as the club selection options before teeing off, you can also choose a range of shot options – including punch, pitch, flop and chip shots – take a flyby of the course and examine the probable target area of your coming shot.
Taking your shot brings up a swing meter. Drag your finger down to determine the power, swipe it back up to perform the shot. Get it smooth and straight and you’ll pull off a perfect shot. However, you can swipe in a curve to draw and fade your shots. In addition you can hold your finger at the top of your swing to add an extra bit of power to your shot, although this will exaggerate any mistake you might make.
You can add spin to the ball in-flight, allowing for those extra few yards when needed, or for furious back-swiping to bring the ball up sharply on the green.
Putting is extremely well implemented, too. The grid features moving beads that indicate the speed and direction of the green, which gives you an immediate and instinctive feel for what needs to be done and how the shot should be played.
Unfortunately, there’s one other slight shortcoming, and that’s the multiplayer offering. First of all, there are no complaints about the local wireless head-to-head option. Players on iPad, iPhone or iPod touch can link up effortlessly and play a game, and whatever’s happening on the active player’s screen also occurs in real time on their opponent’s device. That much is extremely satisfying. In addition, there’s a simple online Closest to the Pin challenge that you can play against friends through Facebook. But apart from that, the ability to play against others online is entirely absent.
It’s a very odd omission given that we know what great online gaming devices the iOS machines are turning out to be, so fingers crossed EA will get on this and such a feature will make an appearance next time around.
Otherwise, PGA Tour 12 is superb. If serious golfing that offers a challenge isn’t to your tastes, then Gameloft’s Let’s Golf! games are a better option.
Download this app: Tiger Woods PGA Tour 12 for iPad
Best iPad apps | Apple iPad 2 review
Review courtest of Tap!