With the next Tiger Woods PGA Tour app expected to be released sometime in the middle of Spring, usually around the time of the Masters, perhaps now is a good time to take a look at the current version of the game.
This is a game that I have played a great deal on my PS3 and have got rather a dab hand at. Suffice to say that if I could shoot scores in real life like I do around Augusta in the game, then I’d fancy my chances of a green jacket this April.
As such, I was interested to compare the Android, iPhone and iPad versions of Tiger Woods PGA Tour and see if they had something different to offer.
There are a number of different ways you can play the game. You can either play a solo round on any of the eight courses included (Pebble Beach, St Andrews, Doral, Sawgrass, Hazeltine, Greenbrier, Boston and Predator), head-to-head against another player or as part of a tour professional in the PGA Tour mode. In addition to playing rounds, there is a Skills Challenge element to the game which can be completed and allow you to improve your golfer’s individual skills and abilities.
Regardless of which game mode you are playing, the art of the game comes from swinging the right club at the right speed to hit the correct shot. This is achieved by tapping the screen at critical points during the swing, the start, when the power bar has reached what you view as the correct level of power for the shot and then when the on-screen club connects with the ball in order to decide whether slice or hook (or if you are being kind, draw or fade) is applied to the ball.
As you gain proficiency in the game, you can attempt different types of shots, such as drawing the ball around obstacles, hitting a high fade and other factors, such as the wind, can play a very important part in deciding the success of your shot.
Tiger Woods PGA Tour 12 certainly has many positive aspects. The look and feel of the game is certainly familiar to players like myself who are more used to playing the game on a console. The graphics have ported over very well, loading times are not unduly excessive and the game certainly has all the main options you would expect from a quality golf game.
The fact you can play with 8 tour professionals is a nice touch as is the ability to customise your character.
The longevity of the game is improved too by the fact that you can develop a career in the game, improving your virtual golfers skills and abilities so that they can hit the more difficult shots more easily more of the time.
The swing system is intuitive and even for a novice player, it is relatively easy to pick the game up within a couple of holes and be shooting near or around par from there on in; though you can of course increase the difficulty levels if you are finding the game too easy.
That said, there are a few negatives with the game. Personally, I was disappointed that Augusta was not included in the App, this is a big selling point on the console version of the game and its omission detracted from the game for me.
Another issue was that the commentary was a bit repetitive, which is the same for most games, but I must admit to turning the volume down after a few rounds as I got tired of hearing the same stock commentary phrases repeatedly.
Bigger issues concern some users who have experienced trouble with the game after it was updated. Android and iPhone and iPad users have all said they have lost data or had the game freeze on their device following updates, though to be fair, EA’s technical support do make great efforts to resolve these issues expediently.
Another problem is that the game costs £2.99 for an iPad or iPhone yet only £2.29 for Android users. Why?
My final gripe also concerns the last update of the game, which changed a perfectly playable game into one littered with advertisements on Apple devices. During gameplay it was incredibly annoying to have these popping up while playing and I lost count of the times I accidentally clicked on an advert while trying to play. Seeing as people have paid for the game, there is no need to bombard them with additional advertising.
In my view Tiger Woods PGA Tour 12 is probably the best golf game available for Android, iPhone and iPad devices. It is a polished product with great game play and a tried and trusted formula that gamers enjoy.
It has many positive points but equally is not quite the perfect article; issues with crashing software, key course omissions, repetitive commentary and in-game advertising do ruin the experience somewhat.
It’ll be interesting to see how EA address these issues in the next update of the game but for now we’ll give it…