Tiger Woods PGA Tour 12, EA’s top flight golf simulation game, is back for another round and ready to be downloaded from the app store. Despite changing little other than the graphics quality and swapping out some golfers and courses for new ones, Tiger remains the iOS champ and is worth picking up if you’re a diehard golfer.
Tiger Woods PGA Tour 12 Pros:
- Best golf simulation on iOS
- Improved Retina Display graphics
- Intuitive and simple control scheme
- Variety of game modes, including multiplayer
- Closest to the Pin via Facebook
Tiger Woods PGA Tour 12 Cons:
- No GameCenter integration, must use Facebook for online challenge
- Commentary is scant to non-existent
- Can’t simulate this week’s Masters because Augusta is not included
TW PGA 12 offers several game modes, including Play Now, PGA Tour, and Multiplayer. Additionally, you can play Tiger Challenge, where you compete in mini-challenges to earn money, and Closest To The Pin, a weekly competition that uses Facebook Connect to open the contest to a wider audience. As you’ve seen from Tiger 10, Play Now lets you choose the player (from the available PGAers or a created player), the course, and the style before hitting the links. PGA Tour forces you to create a player and join the league, working through the various events just as a Tour Pro would. Multiplayer is only available via local wi-fi/Bluetooth, which was disappointing as we don’t know many people with iOS devices.
If you’re a golf fan, you’ll recognize many of the golfers (Kim, Casey, Johnson, Villegas, Furyk, Gulbis, Creamer, and Woods, naturally) and courses (Doral, Hazeltine, Greenbrier, St. Andrews, Pebble Beach, TPC Sawgrass, TPC Boston, and the Predator) that are available in the game. Customization of your golfer is pretty simple, requiring you to use sliders to select skin color and clothing colors. It would be cool to see body and facial customizations, too, but these appear only to be available on the console. Money won from course events can be used to purchase better equipment, which improves your abilities to drive farther, putt more accurately, apply greater spin, and more. Additionally, player stats are maintained and course records are available for view. There are even 3 profiles so that you can let others play without impacting your career.
Course play is very similar to the previous version, offering flybys of each hole before letting you loose. There are buttons for club selection, shot type, and advanced targeting. Indicators show you wind speed/direction, hole location, turf type, and distance to the pin. When you’re ready to swing, you’ll recognize the awesome gesture-based method from the previous iteration. Slide down to set your backswing, then up to unleash your shot, curving your line for draw or fade. While the ball is in the air, you can swipe on a virtual ball to add spin in any direction. When on the green, a caddy tip gives you an aiming clue, and the putting preview gives you a once-per-hole look at how your stroke will roll given your current aim. Putting uses the same mechanic as your normal swing. Everything is very fluid and intuitive. If you want a greater challenge, you can turn off tap-ins, caddy tips, and boost the difficult level to hard or expert.
Graphically, TW PGA 12 looks considerably better than its predecessor, taking advantage of the retina display and exhibiting nicer textures in the grass and trees. While water shows pleasing reflections, there isn’t much in the way of animation in the environment. The audio and sound effects are crisp, though mostly absent. This is easily the quietest golf game we’ve played, which was a surprise though not necessarily a bad one. With the amount of annoying and repetitive comments made in most golf games, we typically wish the announcers would shut up anyway. The controls are pretty spot on, using swipes and taps to get the job done. You often get good visual feedback from the swing meter, as a ghost image of your line shows you how close you are to tracing a perfect line. In all, the game builds nicely upon the foundation set a couple of years back without mucking things up in the process.
Replay value is great, with a variety of game modes and a weekly Facebook challenge to keep you coming back for more. Online leaderboards for the Closest to the Pin challenge are maintained via Facebook. There are no other leaderboards or achievements. Tiger Woods PGA Tour 12 is available for $6.99, earning a 4.5-Dimple mark.
Tiger Woods PGA Tour 12 Review,