This review originally appeared within iLounge’s iOS Gems series within the compilation article, iPhone Gems: Games With Balls, and One with Blasting. Additional details may be found in the original article.
It is tempting to dismiss Finblade’s new Ernie Els Golf 2008 ($7) for a number of reasons: the game is expensive, looks mostly like a 2-D cartoon, and has some of the worst controls we’ve yet seen on a touchscreen iPhone title. It also unnecessarily crowds nearly half of iPhone’s screen with an on-screen control interface that is inefficient at producing either fun or precision, the two ways a golf game can typically succeed; you have to flick your club within a tiny box on the bottom right, while handling positioning and ball behavior through a larger interface on the bottom left. Succeed in hitting the ball, and the top screen flips to another 2-D view of the course, then another. It’s boring, and a mediocre use of the iPhone’s excellent screen.
The only saving graces of this title are the presence of champion golfer Ernie Els, who shows up to offer occasionally useful tips—and barbs—while you play, and the fact that Finblade bothered to try and create a structured gaming experience, complete with events, weather conditions, and a pro shop where you can find different Callaway clubs and balls. They don’t save the game, which also has very unfortunate tendencies to crash and take fairly long “loading” times between holes, but they illustrate how golf on this platform could become better in the future. iLounge Rating: C-.
Company and Price
Title: Ernie Els Golf 2008
Compatible: iPhones, iPod touches