Apologies in advance: Iâm really not a golf person. But if youâll 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 itâs 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.
The most important question, of course, is how it all plays. Youâve 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. Itâs always going to be pretty abstract, but it does a good job of balancing control with unpredictability. Frantically rubbing the screen while the ballâs 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 Iâve ever played, a lot of practice was needed to master the interface and actually shoot with any degree of accuracy. It didnât help having a tutorial prompt tell me that I should âchoose your club very carefullyâ. Thanks, tutorial, Iâll 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, youâd think adding online play wouldnât 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, itâs implemented well if youâve got some willing friends, but isnât all it could be.
The graphics arenât going to blow anyone away â Infinity Blade, this is not. The audio is similarly competent yet basic. I was actually pretty disappointed by the presentation as a whole â 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 âaliveâ, whether youâre about to take a shot or youâre sitting at the main menu.
But if youâre into golf, into simulations, and donât 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 thereâs still a lot of meat on the bone, and the key thing â the minute to minute gameplay â is reproduced faithfully enough to actually be fun. This isnât a game that will convince non-golfers to take up the sport, whether virtually or otherwise, but if youâre 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).