Tiger Woods PGA Tour 12

Apologies in advance: I’m really not a golf person. But if you’ll bear with me, I should be able to paint you a picture of Tiger Woods PGA Tour 12 for the iPad. Is it worth the $6.49 asking price? Read on!

Naturally, the PGA Tour is where it’s at in this game. Eight different courses are on offer, including Pebble Beach, St. Andrews, Greenbrier, and the fictional (and very difficult) Predator. Eight pro golfers are on hand to choose from, including (obviously) Tiger Woods. You can also make your own golfer, although customisation options are pretty disappointing compared to the console versions.

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The most important question, of course, is how it all plays. You’ve certainly got more than your fair share of on-screen buttons, but the key thing is how you aim and power your shots. Going into swing mode brings up an hourglass-shaped indicator over half the screen. The idea is to draw your finger back down the indicator to decide on power, then flick your finger back up to aim your shot. It’s always going to be pretty abstract, but it does a good job of balancing control with unpredictability. Frantically rubbing the screen while the ball’s in the air will bring up an indicator that lets you control your spin before the first bounce, allowing you to fine tune where your shot will land.

As with every golf game I’ve ever played, a lot of practice was needed to master the interface and actually shoot with any degree of accuracy. It didn’t help having a tutorial prompt tell me that I should “choose your club very carefully”. Thanks, tutorial, I’ll keep that in mind.

The multiplayer options on offer are welcome, but more limited than they should be. You can play against friends, but only locally over Bluetooth or WiFi. For an asynchronous, turn-based game like golf, you’d think adding online play wouldn’t have been that much of a leap. There is also a facebook-based Closest to the Pin mode that challenges your friends to make accurate shots. Again, it’s implemented well if you’ve got some willing friends, but isn’t all it could be.

The graphics aren’t going to blow anyone away — Infinity Blade, this is not. The audio is similarly competent yet basic. I was actually pretty disappointed by the presentation as a whole — maybe it just comes down to what sports I enjoy, but other EA Sports games do a far better job of making a game feel ‘alive’, whether you’re about to take a shot or you’re sitting at the main menu.

But if you’re into golf, into simulations, and don’t mind taking your time with a sometimes arcane set of rules and options, then there are rewards to be had here. The iPad version is pretty streamlined compared to its bigger console brothers, but there’s still a lot of meat on the bone, and the key thing — the minute to minute gameplay — is reproduced faithfully enough to actually be fun. This isn’t a game that will convince non-golfers to take up the sport, whether virtually or otherwise, but if you’re a fan and need a golfing fix on the go, you can do a lot worse than Tiger Woods PGA Tour 12 for the iPad (also available on iPhone).

Tiger Woods PGA TOUR® 12 for iPad (World) - Electronic Arts Nederland B.V.

"It’s golf on the iPad, and it’s not terrible. Do you need to know more?"
- Tiger Woods PGA Tour 12
Follow Own it? Rating: G   Difficulty: Hard   Learning Curve: 30 Min


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