With sport games, sometimes the most fun titles are those that opt for arcade-style gameplay instead of trying to be super realistic. That removes the need for an official license and allows far more room for creativity. Gameloft’s Let’s Golf! series shows exactly how much credence is to be given to lighthearted sporting with a sequel that soars above its competition on the App Store.
Gameplay-wise, Let’s Golf! 2 hasn’t changed much from the original. You can still put spin on the ball while it’s airborne, tap the map to enter a view of the general area where the ball will land, and switch between clubs to your liking. If you don’t want to tinker with anything, that is perfectly all right as well. The game automatically sets up great shots for you and gives you markers on where to stop the swinging power meter.
Single player is split into four different modes, two of which allow you to quickly jump into a match against AI of various difficulties or just play a couple of holes for fun. Then there is the challenge mode, which offers five tricky situations, such as having to chip the golf ball from a bunker into the hole or collect all the golden stars scattered around a course in the allotted time.
Tiger’s dirty little secret.
The real meat of single player is the career mode. This is an improved version of what is found in the previous game, bringing you about eight to ten hours of tournaments with different objectives across all six golf courses. These can vary from running through a set of holes to trying to land your ball closer to the hole than your opponent’s balls in a single shot. At any time you’ll have at least a dozen different challenges unlocked that you can move between freely.
As you complete these challenges, you’ll unlock new hairstyles, clothing, golf balls, and club sets for your golfers. The twist is that these are no longer simply aesthetic. Choosing what to equip to your character with is crucial, since each item has both a positive and negative impact on the character’s stats.
The golfers have changed in two other ways as well. Completing an event with a golfer causes him or her to gain experience points and level up, which brings with it a stat boost. Also, each of the eight characters has a unique special ability that allows them to occasionally gain an edge over the competition. A few examples of these include the ability to hit with 20% more power or stop the golf ball anywhere on the green.
It’s a sunny day in the 14th century.
Multiplayer is a double-edged sword in Let’s Golf! 2. On one hand, they took out hotseat multiplayer, which seems like an odd feature not to include. However, in its place is online multiplayer with leaderboards. Note that you must have a Wi-Fi connection to play this. There is also an option to pair up with a friend over Bluetooth and local Wi-Fi.
Lastly, Gameloft has given the graphics of this golfing gem a facelift. The characters and courses are very detailed on the small screen. Some nice touches have been added, such as elephants and giraffes trumping along in the background in Africa and looming Aztec pyramids in Mexico. The game also supports the iPhone 4’s Retina display.
If you like golf, you’ll be playing this game for hours, leveling up your characters and taking them online to play against other golfers. There is a lot to love about this approachable golfing game, and it’s nice to know that our affair with it won’t get us busted.