At $9.99 USD, Tiger Woods PGA Tour's outing on the iPhone doesn't just need to prove itself as a golf game, it also has to prove itself worthy of what, on this platform, seems like a high price tag.
Is EA Sports touchscreen golf game a hole-in-one or does Tiger's iPhone debut belong in the bunker?
Swing and a Hit: The interface for actually hitting the ball is both nuanced and easy to master. To swing, you just slide your finger down a sort of grid, and then slide your finger back to the top. The grid is broken down into three vertical sections and a dozen horizontal ones. The horizontal lines represent the strength of the swing, the further down you go in the back swing the further the ball will go. The middle of the three sections is the widest, you have to try and swipe as cleanly as possible to hit the ball straight. You can also swipe in either of the outer sections to give your ball a hook or a slice.
PGA Tour: In this mode, one of two in the game, you go through a full calendar year of golfing, trying to work your way up to the top of the charts day after day. The fact that it tracks your handicap and statistics gives the game a lot more meaning.
Instructions: Increasingly, iPhone games are starting to need instruction manuals, or at least better built-in help systems. I actually bugged the EA folks about this game while I was visiting because I couldn't figure a few things out. Flashing tips on the screen briefly isn't enough and the game's help screen doesn't answer all of your questions.
I'm not a huge golf fan and I don't play it in real life, but Tiger Woods PGA Tour has really sunk its claws into me. I find myself going back to this game more than any other loaded on my iPhone. It's a bit pricey, but I still can't help evangelize the game to anyone who will listen.
Tiger Woods PGA Tour was developed by Electronic Arts for the iPhone and iPod Touch. Retails for $9.99 USD. Played three days of a tournament and multiple rounds in golf now mode.
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Update: Turns out the game does have pass the iPhone play. I've corrected the review to reflect that.