Back in my college days I enjoyed playing a version of EA Sports’ Tiger Woods PGA Tour series on a gaming console. The leading sports gaming company began this series in 1998 and released a version for iOS in the second half of last year. With titles like FIFA and Madden NFL, EA Sports has gained a reputation for producing excellent games in this category.
While I don’t consider myself an avid sports gamer, I was excited to try out Tiger Woods PGA Tour 12 and compare it to the older version I had played during my time in school.
Creating a Character
I consider myself fairly athletic, but I found out very quickly when playing on a couple of courses one summer that golf is not my game. This is one of the things I enjoy most about sports games. No matter how bad I am at playing golf (20 over par on a good day), I still have a chance of keeping up with the pros when I play on my iPad.
When you first load the game you’re asked to create a character. You can customize your player by changing many options like gender, skin color, and clothing. Next, you’re given some money to improve your skills. You aren’t given very much to start with, which can make it difficult to increase your stats much but I did find that you can get $25,000 more for free in the Pro Shop (you can also pay to get more items here).
You’ll need to keep $20,000 to enter your first tournament, so make sure you don’t spend it all right away.
There are a number of gameplay modes to choose from such as stroke play, match play, skins, tournament, etc. You can also play as one of the included PGA or LPGA golfers like Tiger Woods, Jim Furyk, Paula Creamer, and many more.
Each hole starts with a beautiful flyover video from the tee to the green to let you know what the terrain of each hole looks like. The flyovers look really nice and are, in my opinion, the best part of the game graphically.
When it comes to actually playing the hole there’s quite a bit to learn, but the tips and tutorials provided are pretty simple to understand. Those who have played the Tiger Woods games before should pick it up pretty quick, but others will probably need about 30 minutes to learn the majority of the gameplay.
Simply put, you swipe up and down on the swing meter to the right to hit the ball and then tap on the screen as fast as possible once the ball is in the air to control the ball’s spin. Even though I was initially disappointed with the amount of money I was given to increase stats my drives were still averaging 250 yards off the tee.
Once you tee off you’ll have some more decisions to make like which club to use, which type of shot to take, how hard to hit the ball, and so on.
Although you’re given quite a bit of information before you swing, the game’s suggestions don’t take into account your lie, the ground’s slope, or the wind so you’ll need to employ a little bit of strategy (especially if you’re in the rough).
Multiplayer Makes It
One of the best aspects of the game is the variety of multiplayer features. You can play a more traditional style of multiplayer with two people taking turns on the iPad. You also have the option of playing with one person on the iPad and the other playing from their iPad or iPhone using Bluetooth or Wi-fi.
There’s also the ability to get your Facebook friends involved in the Closest to the Pin Challenge.
Once you connect to Facebook you can invite friends to join you in a “friendly” competition to see who can get closest to the pin. You’re also encouraged to brag on Facebook when you hit a good shot and you’ll get money to help you increase your stats just by playing the challenge once; even if you choose to play without friends.
One of the nice things about Tiger Woods PGA Tour 12 is that you can easily play for as short or long as you’d like with options to play three holes at random or a full tournament. Also, you can save any progress you’ve made and pick up where you left off later on.
Overall, it’s a pretty fun game to play, but I wasn’t intrigued enough to play for long stretches. It takes about an hour to play a full 18 holes if you’re averaging four strokes per hole. There are 8 courses to choose from and while that’s probably more than enough for a game like this, that’s about half the number available on its console counterpart. Of course, the price is a lot lower than that of a console game too, which is a nice benefit. Right now you can take advantage of EA’s $0.99 sale for a limited time.
The graphics are pretty nice on the flyover videos, but other than that I was a little disappointed. While I understand that developers are still just beginning to take advantage of the updated graphic capabilities of the iPad, it seemed like this version of Tiger Woods was pretty comparable to the one I played over 6 years ago in college.
However, I am excited to see a major game developer like Electronic Arts showing a lot of interest in getting their games onto the iPad. The increasing availability of popular titles like these makes me very optimistic about the future of gaming on the iPad.
Do you enjoy sports games? Have you played Tiger Woods PGA Tour 12? What’s your lowest score?