Mani Golf iPhone game in need of a mulligan

Oct 25, 2010
Games

I enjoy golf. I enjoy mini-golf. I enjoy the card game golf. I even enjoy Wii Golf and other virtual iterations of the game. I do not know what the developers of Mani Golf by Sogoplay (99 cents in the iTunes App Store) were going for, but they missed it by about 30 strokes. The […]

I enjoy golf. I enjoy mini-golf. I enjoy the card game golf. I even enjoy Wii Golf and other virtual iterations of the game. I do not know what the developers of Mani Golf by Sogoplay (99 cents in the iTunes App Store) were going for, but they missed it by about 30 strokes.

The beginning is a very fine place to start. Tap the app and you’ll watch the Sogoplay splash screen, followed by the Mobobo splash screen, then the Mani Golf loading screen. You will then arrive in relatively short order on the “Start” menu. The graphics throughout this app are fairly sharp; however, I think the pictures in the iTunes App Store were rendered from the HD version on the iPad, but that’s beside the point. Here, you will have the “Play” button, which doesn’t look like a button, while under that, you have your “Game Center” gamertag, then “Achievements,” and “Leaderboards.”

The music that you’ll be listening to sounds like it was “borrowed” from Nintendo 64’s 007 and remastered with my little brother’s Casio keyboard. I cannot figure out what is going on with it, because it doesn’t match the game at all. Upon further inspection, it seems that this is some type of misdirected adventure-story game, mixed up with golf. If you tap the weird looking dude with the mustache on the right-hand side of the menu screen, a drawer will slide out, giving you a background story.

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Tap the word “play” and you’ll find yourself on the level select screen; the only level available to you is “Holeywood.” Tap that, and you will be looking at a screen that shows you your achievements for each hole on the right-hand side — and has a slew of slightly confusing buttons on the left. I discovered, after some experimentation, that they were, from top to bottom: “Go Back,” “Restart Hole,” “Help,” “Sound Toggle,” and then the small arrow to the right of those is “Continue/Start.”

Tap the “Continue/Start” arrow, and your first hole will begin. It gives you a quick three-picture description of how to hit the ball, and then it tosses you into the game. The mechanics are simple — if you have ever played Fragger or Angry Birds, it works in a similar fashion. Pull back away from the ball, set your angle by dragging, then let go to hit. I found the physics of this game to be completely off. The ball flies weirdly, bounces off of things awkwardly, and doesn’t seem to maintain a “proper” momentum; the gravity of the levels seems inconsistent at best. Overall, it was an unenjoyable experience, especially after playing some of the current greats like Cut The Rope and Angry Birds.

That’s it for the basics. You work your way through the levels to “save the world” as a character named Gaylord Mulligan. Really?! The soundtrack is awkward, the mechanics are sub-par, and the graphics are mediocre. To top it all off, they want 99 cents for it.

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If you want a real golf experience, try Let’s Golf! or its sequel by Gameloft. It’s a little pricier, but worth it. If you’re determined to try this one, download the lite version so you don’t regret wasting your hard-earned money.

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