The Old Course iPhone game is a mixed bag

Jul 13, 2010
Games

The Old Course iPhone game (99 cents) gives players the opportunity to play a round of golf at one of the world’s oldest golf courses —  St. Andrews in Scotland. Players are treated to an overhead view of the course, and are also armed with information such as wind speed, direction and yards to the […]

The Old Course iPhone game (99 cents) gives players the opportunity to play a round of golf at one of the world’s oldest golf courses —  St. Andrews in Scotland.

Players are treated to an overhead view of the course, and are also armed with information such as wind speed, direction and yards to the hole. Would-be duffers get to take their hacks using touch controls.

The touch controls are simple enough, with players swiping their finger backwards inside of the ball and then quickly forward. Shot power is determined using a mixture of how quickly you moved your finger and how far “up” the phone you moved your finger. Determining shot power is where the game hits a few snags. It becomes a trying experience to try and figure out how much speed you need while also trying to get your finger all the way across the phone for a maximum drive.

Thankfully, you can practice your swing and try to nail down how much power you’ll need, but even if you think you know what you’re doing during the practice swing, it doesn’t always translate when its time to count strokes again. In a lot of ways, I suppose, The Old Course is a lot like golf. You go in thinking you have a good idea of what to do and end up 20 over par wondering what the hell happened.

By definition, the Old Course has only one course to play. While that seems fair for the price and understandable given the name of the iPhone game, it would be nice if there was some way to add additional courses for a small price. As bad as I am at golfing on St. Andrews, I’d love to try my hand at something built for a novice.

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While you may not be able to pick another course, users are able to play their own music while they golf, and the game also features multi-player over Bluetooth, as well as the simpler “pass the phone” variety.

Ultimately, playing The Old Course takes a bit of patience. The touch controls can seem wonky and unfair, but this is otherwise a decent game of golf. Visually it’s not spectacular, but you’ll see what you need to, and hopefully that will include plenty of birdies as you dominate The Old Course.

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Dan Kricke

Dan Kricke has been playing with electronics and writing about them for years. He loved his Sega Dreamcast and now the PlayStation 3. On the iPhone, he's a fan of sports apps and anything that offers new music.

 

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