As far as golfing experiences go, Let’s Golf 3 is a mixed (golf) bag. On the good side, it’s an iPhone game, so you don’t have to deal with long trudges across the green, sunstroke, heatstroke, or impatient golfers who poke you in the back with their clubs as a gesture of encouragement (“Hurry up, jerk, or let us play through!”).
Let’s Golf 3 is also packed with features, courses, extras, and great graphics. It’s unarguably one of the most complete golf games available on an iOS device.
On the bad side, the confines of Let’s Golf 3’s virtual world means a golf cart demolition derby is impossible. Also, you have to keep pumping money into the game if you want to ensure a steady, uninterrupted flow of hours on the course.
Let’s Golf 3 is a “free” game. Note the quotation marks around the word “free,” and add some more. Add two or three more sets, if you like. Because while Let’s Golf 3 utilizes a time-based system of limitations that should be familiar to fans of freemium games by now, what works well with, say, Tiny Tower simply does not work as well with a sport game.
Golf fashion has really changed lately.
It’s a shame, because at its core, Let’s Golf 3 is a lot of fun, even if you’re not a worshiper of the sport that was invented by Peter Griffin’s uncle. The game doesn’t take itself too seriously (you can unlock courses located in the Milky Way– what, since when is air and gravity necessary for playing golf?), and indicators give you a good idea of when and where you should swing your club. Let’s Golf 3 is easy enough for a beginner, but if you want to score below par, you will in fact need to master the function of every club and pay close attention to your avatar’s positioning.
Problem is, you might not want to stick around long enough to become an expert at Let’s Golf 3. You begin the game with five “Power Points,” which deplete by one every time you start a new hole, or restart a current one. If you want more Power, you have to buy it with real-world cash. In other words, by the time you find your groove, the game will tell you to pay up if you want to keep on playing.
Alternatively, you can wait an hour for one of your Power Points to recharge, but who wants to do that? Golf is slow enough without forcing players to take an hour-long break between holes (without even having the courtesy to supply free beer).
The pay-as-you-go model just doesn’t suit golf. A game as detailed as Let’s Golf 3 should simply ask for money up front at the App Store, or else it should limit real-world cash purchases to the array of costumes and items that improve your avatar’s strength, speed, and accuracy. Alternatively, we would pay good money to see our clean-cut, doe-eyed avatar characters fall on their knees and curse their mothers with filthy words every time they missed a putt.