Super Stickman Golf Review
Super Stickman Golf ($0.99) is a 2d physics-based game by Jordan Schidlowski (don’t you love how the Appstore has brought back one-man game development?) and distributed by Noodlecake games. The description on the iTunes Appstore states “Super Stickman Golf is not just another 2D golf platformer, it is THE 2D GOLF PLATFORMER. Be Warned: VERY ADDICTIVE!” Although most Appstore descriptions devolve into hyperbole, this one is actually pretty accurate. Super Stickman Golf combines the recent trend of physics-based gameplay with the game of golf, turning the game into just what the description calls it: “The 2D Golf Platformer.”
Super Stickman Golf began with 6 courses, each with 9 holes, however Noodlecake has been constantly updating the game with new courses. There are now more courses than I can count. Each course has its own theme, ranging from “Dapper Dunes,” to “Funky Town.” These scenery changes add some much-needed variety to the environments, although the presentation in Stick Golf definitely isn’t pushing the iPhone to its processing limits. The simple, yet stylized visual theme matches the sparse, user-interface, and these aspects add up to the overall feeling that Stick Golf is easy to play (and therefore accessible to the maximum possible audience). While the game is somewhat lacking in presentation, it makes up for it by offering simple, addictive gameplay.
As mentioned, the controls in Super Stickman Golf are sparse, but work effectively. Two directional buttons allow you to modify the angle of your shot, while a button with “Go!” written on it lets you start your swing. Much like the early-generation golf games, you’ll hit the “Go” button once and the power meter starts moving. Hitting the button a second time selects the power of your shot. Aside from a “menu” button that doubles as a pause screen, these are all the controls Super Stickman Golf has to offer, and I can’t think of anything that’s missing. There’s something to be said for simplicity when it’s well-executed.
Each hole plays out like a 2d platformer, with the golfer attempting to get the ball in the hole with the least amount of shots taken. The first few holes of the first course are essentially tutorial levels, and take place on one, flat level. As you progress, the levels get much more complex. For instance, in one of the latter levels, I had to hit the ball up three vertical levels, just to be on the same plane as the hole. Each hole has a par – as you’d expect from a golf game, and your goal is to get the ball in the hole in as few strokes as possible. If you finish a course under par, you’ll unlock the next nine holes. This continues until you’ve unlocked all of the courses. You will also be unlocking “special” golf balls that allow you to cheat a little. For instance, the sticky ball will stick to whatever surface it hits, allowing you to take shortcuts. The hazard-reversal ball will change water hazards into sand traps. There are a decent amount of special golf balls to unlock, which is just another carrot to keep you interested in moving forward.
Super Stickman Golf added a multiplayer update a few months ago, and this is where I have been having a ton of fun lately. Multiplayer is essentially a race to see who can finish the hole first – par doesn’t matter here. It totally changes the gameplay, and allows for some hilarious moments, where each player is putting frantically to try to beat the other person to the hole. This game is so packed with content, it’s hard to argue with the 99 cent price tag. If you aren’t sure you could always wait for the game to go free, which it has at many points in the past. All in all, I have to say this is one of the best iOS games out there, and if you own an iOS device, you owe it to yourself to pick up Super Stickman golf.