This review originally appeared within iLounge’s iOS Gems series within the compilation article, iPhone Gems: Sports Games – Soccer, Golf, Air Hockey, Tennis + More. Additional details may be found in the original article.
The single biggest challenge in rating golf games for the iPhone OS is that we’ve played dozens of golf titles over the years and therefore have a good sense of what Apple’s devices are capable of doing, yet nothing we’ve seen comes close quite yet, or sells at the right price for what it offers.
It offers five different golf courses, each with 18 holes, attempts to vaguely simulate both seasons and time-of-day, and features 3-D camera motion that tracks the ball as it moves closer to the hole. You can play alone, or with up to four total players.
By comparison with most golf games released for consoles and handhelds over the last few years, there’s nothing sexy about GL Golf: the textures are mediocre, objects such as trees look completely fake, and the complete absence of pizzazz is more akin to a 1990s PC golf simulator than a modern Sony or Nintendo rendition—fun or realistic—of the sport.
But the number of courses is a major plus, and the ability to pick clubs, adjust for wind conditions, and use sliders to tweak the ball’s trajectory and spin, makes this more realistic and deep than the Click Wheel iPod Mini Golf game… and a little more fun. With a better on-screen and control interface, some small graphical tweaks, and a slightly lower price, GL Golf could be a great golf title; as-is, it has the maps and the content, but not the fun factor to keep our attention.