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Not keen on sand bunkers? Probably steer clear of this golf game, then

Many games merely make up the numbers. A precious few become part of history. In this entry in our series on classic iPhone games, we take a look at a sports title from 2014 that took the notion of zen and golfing to the extreme.

What was Desert Golfing?

A side-on golf game with a decidedly minimalist bent. The sparse landscape featured dunes, your ball and a hole. By dragging out an arrow, you’d whack your ball across the screen, whereupon it’d land in the hole, hit the sand with a ‘pttchhh’ or fly out of bounds and force you to start again. Complete a hole and the game would move on to the next procedurally generated single-screen challenge.

Why was it a classic?

On paper, Desert Golfing shouldn’t appeal. The visuals are rudimentary, the sound is almost non-existent, the controls are basic, and the challenge is seemingly never-ending. But each single hole rarely takes that long to complete, and there are no scores to beat – just your overall tally that racks up over time. And once you get into the game, it takes on a kind of hypnotic quality. Putting it down is hard. Also, it turns out there is an ending, but it takes many hours to get there.

Where is it now?

Desert Golfing remains available on the App Store! It remains as fresh and essential as it was back in 2014. If you fancy a sterner challenge, there’s also Golf On Mars ($2.99/£2.49), which adds hazards, scrolling, spinning, and over 25 billion holes to play through.That’ll keep you in zen-style golf games for – *checks calculator* – about 50,000 years.

Visit the Captain Games website or download Desert Golfing ($1.99/£1.79) from the App Store.

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