Relaxing golf that anyone can enjoy, even those who don’t like golf
Size: 304 MB
Platform: iPhone / iPad
The App Store is overflowing with great golf games; do we really need another one? OK Golf doesn’t have the wacky powerups of the fantastic Super Stickman Golf 3, the realistic graphics of the impressive WGT Golf, or even the simplistic longevity of indie favorite Desert Golfing. Instead, it offers a beautiful and relaxing experience that strips away the complexities of the sport to leave a pleasant, peaceful game that’s just fun.
In OK Golf, there’s no club selection to consider, no wind resistance to content with, and no way to add spin to your shot. Who wants to think about all that stuff anyway? Simply drag back on the ball to prepare your shot – a yellow line will show the expected trajectory of the ball – and let go to fire. Pull back far enough and you’ll perform a power shot, giving you extra distance in exchange for accuracy. It’s refreshingly simple.
That’s not to say there’s no skill involved; stars are awarded for scoring under par on a course, and often that’s easier said than done. Mostly this involves picking the right route through the landscape – taking a shortcut across a lake, for example, or landing perfectly on the tiniest patch of grass at the foot of a mountain. Choosing the right shots is vital if you want to earn full marks for each level, but there’s no real pressure to go for that. A leisurely approach is just as valid here. Take in the scenery, eat a sandwich. We don’t mind.
Players can swipe around the screen to rotate the camera, or pinch to zoom in for a closer look at these beautifully crafted courses. Graphically, the game has gone for a low-poly, high-color approach reminiscent of paper dioramas. It’s a bold, minimal choice but it’s well executed and looks great. The game’s four championships cover locations from Arizona to Kyoto, and there are more levels to come. There are also a handful of “hidden holes” dotted through the courses, which unlock extra difficult courses.
There’s no music in OK Golf, the game instead opting for a relaxing soundscape of crickets, gentle breezes and – on the desert levels – even the odd coyote. It’s peaceful, and it lends a bit of extra gravitas to the satisfying whooshes and thwacks heard when you take a shot.
If you simply must play something more intense, OK Golf includes a timed challenge in which you race to finish a nine-hole range against the clock. There’s no time for accuracy or counting your shots; this mode is about pure speed. You might even break a sweat, and you can pretend to your friends that you’ve done actual sport.
This is all sounding very nice so far, right? Any real downsides? Well, I’m glad you asked: it’s a bit annoying that you can’t properly pan the camera at the same time as lining up a shot; the hold still mechanic used to ensure accuracy on a power drive feels like a waste of time; sometimes the physics simulation seems a little off; and putting is laughably easy, seemingly ignoring the slope of the green. These are minor concerns, though.
If you’re looking for heart-pumping thrills or realistic golf simulation, this might not be the game for you – but for relaxation enthusiasts, it’s a dream. Mark Twain once described golf as “a good walk, spoiled” – we think he’d approve of the tranquil approach seen here. OK Golf is like a good walk. Period.
- Easy to pick up, satisfying to play
- Gorgeous environments
- Multiple levels and game modes
- May be too easy for some
- A few control quirks