Tiger Woods PGA Tour Golf
EA's enjoyable golf game gives you the Tiger touch.
EA Sports picked up its golf bag and shifted to the iPhone, expanding the Tiger Woods franchise to a whole new audience. Tiger Woods PGA Tour Golf features 120 holes, seven championship courses, a widely varied PGA Tour mode and several golfing pros to choose from, as well as the ability to create your own. Best of all, you get all of this for $10.
Right off the bat (or is that club?), you're given the option of creating your own superstar golf pro. This includes setting up your size, strengths and attire, then hitting the links in PGA Tour or taking on an Exhibition round. If you lack confidence in your skills, you can brush up on a few practice holes or try your luck with an established PGA player like Tiger Woods and Annika Sorenstam. (Glad the female golfing community got a fair shake.)
The Tour mode comes loaded with special events scattered across seven courses and packed with an endless array of challenges. Even if you think you've got the basics figured out in the first few rounds, you'll eventually run across a rival player that'll give you a run for your money.
The only downside to this package is the lack of online interactivity. Tiger Woods PGA Tour would've been superb with the option to compete against friends, either in live play or through leaderboards.
Of course, Tiger Woods PGA Tour Golf wouldn't be an iPhone game if it didn't include touch-screen controls. You check your aim by tapping on a bullseye icon on the bottom of the screen, then adjust for club selection and wind speed. From there, it's a matter of rolling your thumb back to set up power and then gliding it upward to complete the swing. You'll need to keep it as straight as possible, or you run the risk of slicing the ball into out-of-bounds territory. It's a fun system that works great after a few practice swings, and you can also adjust for additional power (by holding your thumb on the bottom of the swing meter for a second) and ball spin (by swiping your finger across the screen in the direction you want the spin to go). We're just glad EA went with something simple instead of the circular gauge from rival golf games.
EA Sports could've easily phoned in the game's presentation, mimicking what worked on the PSP and calling it good. However, the company rebuilt the game from the ground up with outstanding 3-D graphics. You'll see the nooks and crannies of every course, and the option of having additional perspectives, like seeing where your shot's going or following a guideline on the putting surface, enhance the experience. The animation is equally impressive, although Tiger and the others repeat their victory stances.
That said, more work should've been done with the audio. While the club swings and other golf effects (the ball hitting different surfaces) sound excellent, the sleepy announce team makes us, well, sleepy. They don't talk, outside of calling a key shot or screw up. We desperately miss the team of McCord and Faherty. At least they can talk a good golf game.
Although it took a little while to get the game working on the iPhone (we were originally scheduled to review it last week), the wait was worth it. Tiger Woods PGA Tour Golf is one of the best portable spots games, with its user-friendly gameplay system, sharp visuals and loaded PGA Tour campaign. You'll definitely get a lot for your ten bucks, and you won't even pay caddy fees.
What's Hot: Well-implemented touch-screen controls, great visuals, the PGA Tour comes loaded with challenges, 120 holes to master, costs $10.
What's Not: No online compatibility, announcers sound like they're asleep.