Really Par Out
The App Store has plenty of Golf games, from the side on view of Super Stick Golf to the full 3D thrills of Tiger Woods 12. But Par Out Golf offers something new to the sport of sticks and balls.
Endless Wave Software have taken the path drawing of games like Flight Control and have added elements of memory games and traditional golf games to the mix. In throwing a bunch of different ideas together they've created something that feels unique.
The game is played by drawing a line from the tee to the hole, taking wind and obstacles into account on the way. Slopes and water hazards present an issue when trying to draw the course for the ball, as do trees and rocks which aim to make you think about choosing one path over another.
There is a catch, though, and it's a big one. Once you've placed your finger on the ball to draw the line to the hole, clouds rush over the screen and obscure pretty much everything. In addition to working out the best route and accounting for wind and various obstacles, you also need to remember the course. It's a wonderful idea which seems impossible to master at first, but after the first set of 9 holes it becomes second nature.
Each course allows you to achieve four medals; one for completing the course and another for par, eagle and Birdie. The medal count goes towards opening new courses, as well as Game Center leaderboards, it also gives you something to aim for on each course and opens the game up to replaying in order to gain all medals on all courses. For an added incentive, there is a bonus hole that is only opened once you gain 120 medals, which is no mean feat.
As with most line drawing games, the controls in Par Out Golf couldn't be easier to master. Line drawing is smooth and it's easy to make complex paths for the ball, which will certainly be needed on later courses. Simply holding the ball until the clouds cover the screen, then drawing your path and lifting off will set the whole thing in motion, making it accessible to pretty much everyone.
Additional options such as zooming in and out to make better shots and choosing clubs are there should you need them, but I found that using the clubs given and not relying on zoom was equally effective. Still, it's nice to have the options included.
Graphically, Par Out Golf is bright and cartoony, while still managing to feel like a proper golf course. Taking a top down view, the holes are laid out brilliantly and all themed, from a jaw filled mouth made of water and rocks, to an exclamation mark. The path to the hole is clear thanks to the crisp visuals, especially on the iPad, which is where I spent the most time on this game. While the iPad version scores above the iPhone for being easier to lay a path for the ball, both versions run equally well.
Multiplayer is supported both in terms of playing online and containing a Game Center leaderboard, which allows the more advanced gamer to compete for medals against their friends. Local Play for four people and Network Play for two people are both achieved through the Game Center screens, allowing you to easily find a friend to play against or just let the game pick a match.
Only the number of holes really disappoints, but even this is extended by the need to replay each hole for more medals. I'm hopeful that Endless Wave will add new levels in future updates.
Par Out Golf is the perfect answer to creating a golf game with a difference. It manages to mix genres while being easily accessible to everyone and containing enough of a challenge for long term gamers at the same time.
- Sound: 7
- Graphics: 9
- Gameplay: 9
- Longevity: 8
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