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FORE! Super Stickman Golf is back for its third outing, but is it a bogey or an albatross?
Size: 92.2 MB
Developer: Noodlecake Studios
Platform: iPhone and iPad
For the uninitiated, Super Stickman Golf (SSG) is physics-based two-dimensional golf, with the dull parts of golf stripped away in favor of lighter, quicker gameplay. Instead of the rolling hills of St Andrews, imagine a mazy course of sticky walls, super-powered balls and magic portals. Possibly in space. It’s crazy golf on a grand scale, unfettered by the restraint of real-world rules – and it’s a lot of fun.
For golfing newbies, rest assured that swinging virtual clubs is much easier to pick up than the real deal: swipe to adjust the trajectory, tap a moving bar to select the power, and THWACK, you’re off. The core ball-walloping mechanic feels a lot like the grenade-tossing central to the excellent Worms franchise, and before long you’ll have a really good sense of exactly where each shot will end up. New to the series is a spin mechanic, allowing a shot to be tweaked in mid-flight to adjust its roll upon landing. It’s a smart addition, and it’s really satisfying to chip a shot onto the green with just enough backspin to reverse straight into the hole. Fun, single-use special powers make for an easy route to the goal, but the game also offers a “clean ball” bonus for completing a course sans power-ups.
The game comprises twenty themed courses – each made up of nine holes – to work through, and the quality of level design is superb throughout. Every course has a unique setting, most centered around a specific gimmick or mechanic to keep things fresh. Levels will variously see you dodging obstacles like water hazards, spinning buzzsaws and lasers – or utilizing gravity wells, sticky surfaces and magnets to reach the flag in as few shots as possible. Each course rewards bronze, silver or gold based on your total score and competitive players will feel compelled to keep practicing to get the best possible score.
Once you’ve mastered the excellent solo campaign, it’s good to know that SSG3 hasn’t skimped on it’s multiplayer experience. Like many mobile games, you can play asynchronously against a friend or stranger, taking it in turns to sink a couple of holes when you have a spare moment. But the really exciting part of the game is its four-player real-time race mode, in which the number of shots is irrelevant as you compete to reach the hole as quickly as possible. It’s an intense sprint to the finish line and really adds to the game’s challenge and replay value.
So that’s the gameplay out of the way, but what else is there to discuss? Well, for the first time, the franchise has gone free-to-play with collectibles and micro transactions galore – wait, come back! It’s actually implemented pretty well. The items found in card packs are a fun sideshow to the main game, allowing you to customize your character with new looks and gameplay-altering comedy hats. It’s a little annoying that some of the multiplayer modes have to be unlocked by random drop, but thankfully it’s very feasible to play through everything the game has to offer without worrying about buying the game’s virtual currency, bux. It’s certainly not perfect, but this is one of the better freemium pricing models we’ve seen and the fact that you can get so much out of the game without spending a dime should be applauded.
Overall this is a fantastic implementation of an already much-loved franchise. If you liked the previous SSG games, rest assured that this is a well-polished sequel that improves on many aspects of the game. For those new to the series, this is the perfect place to start.
- Great mechanics and level design
- Excellent multiplayer modes
- It's silly, but with a lot of depth
- No complaints unless you really hate freemium