Game

Drawing meets golf as you landscape your way to the hole

Price: Free
Version: 1.0.6
Size: 174.2 MB
Developer: jon reid
Platform: iPhone / iPad

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Drolf is a brand new take on mini golf. Rather than avoiding obstacles, you spend much of your time creating them, in order to find the path to the hole – which is far from clear.

Across a series of levels, and sets of courses, you use your finger to draw lines and barriers that guide the ball towards the goal. Hence the name Drolf – a portmanteau of drawing golf. Each level gives you a limited pool of virtual ink, which you can use to draw whatever walls, barriers, and guides that you think will help you.

It starts simply: draw additional barriers for your ball to bounce off and reach the hole

Then, you use your finger to pull back on the ball in the chosen direction – whether that’s towards the hole, or towards an existing, or man-made barrier. You’ll then find out fairly quickly whether you’ve achieved success. If not, it’s back to the literal drawing board. You can remove obstacles you’ve drawn, or add more.

On the surface, it’s all a lot of fun. The early levels are simple fun and accessible to everyone, but it’s when extra mechanics and elements are added where the fun drains somewhat. From giant magnets to wind blowers, later levels make the challenge harder – but, and here’s the thing that irked us a little – it’s never really that clear the effect that these have and they’re added thick and fast.

Eventually, you’ll have to contest with additional, disruptive obstacles

The result is trial and error, which is generally fine, but eventually the game gets to the point that only trial and error will ever let you solve the puzzle. In this regard, a developed skillset, which is what really drives puzzle-style games, never really arrives. Instead, the easiest way to progress is to draw a barrier, take a shot, draw a new barrier, take another shot, and so on. These incremental additions make the game feel a little tedious at times.

It can get a little frenetic with the amount of trial and error involved

There are ways this could have been avoided. The ball can be hit in any direction, whereas if it only ever went in one direction you could put a little more smarts into it. Also, if the ink ran out sooner you would have to be cleverer, and not just keep adding barriers until you’ve enough to guide the ball to the hole.

Throw in a few magnets and it can throw you right off

Of course, that would require a lot more development and would require levels to have more specific designs. As it is, Drolf is just about trying anything until something works, rather than a true puzzle approach which is to use previous experience and experimentation until you find the correct solution.

Levels can become challenging as the amount of trial and error ramps up

Drolf has the potential to be a great, fun little game, but its random, scattergun approach prevents it from ever really coming into its own.

Drolf: draw your own golf course
A decent stab at a unique puzzler, but it could be much better
For
  • Easy to use
  • Unique gameplay
Against
  • Can get frustrating quickly
  • Too much trial and error
3.5Overall Score
Reader Rating: (0 Votes)