Marco Arment recommended this game on his personal blog, so I figured I’d check it out. It’s rare to see recommendations of apps – especially games – on a blog like Marco’s, and I trust his opinions and therefore his recommendations.
Super Stickman Golf is a 2D platform-ish game based around golf. That would be my one line summary, as that’s kind of what it is. Golf games on iOS usually follow the conventions of a simulator – typically 3D – with the camera positioned behind your character. You would then select your club, pay attention to wind resistance, how many yards from the green, etc. However, Super Stickman Golf (SSG) pays no attention to any of this—it’s effectively a golf game boiled down to the nuts and bolts with a zany platform element thrown in for good measure.
I am a big fan of this game’s visuals. It has a very clean look, with bright colors and interesting textures. It’s pleasantly simple to look at. The game is clean and easy to understand due to the levels not being overbearing graphically.
I have yet to find a game that can compete with SSG on price — currently 99¢ — for the amount of content you get. There are 261 unique levels in this game. It’s unbelievable. If I enjoy a game like this, I love there to be lots of it. I’m quite the connoisseur of iOS games due to my long daily commute, so having a game that I enjoy that is seemingly never-ending is superb.
SSG is a universal game — even more bang for your buck — but I enjoy it most on the iPhone. The gameplay quality is consistently good on both platforms. I really enjoy that SSG is more of a puzzle game—the Golfing aspect really takes a back seat to allow the puzzle-platforming to shine through. And this is what I love. As I mentioned there are no ‘real factors’ of golf like wind-resistance—all I’m thinking about is how to advance to the next platform.
The game does challenge you. You have to finish below par on each course — consisting of nine holes — to unlock the next course. If you are not under par you have to replay it until you are. Your gameplay is enhanced with power-ups, further solidifying the game’s platformer routes and Game Center achievements, something I always enjoy.
SSG also includes a strong Multiplayer component. It includes both local, via Wi-Fi or Bluetooth, and online modes, which see you pitting yourself against other users in a race to complete each hole. You start off at the same point with Power-Ups that you have enabled and have to beat your opponent to the hole as quickly as possible. I have really enjoyed playing this online. Making it a race completely changes the dynamic — no longer do you care about the technicalities of your shot — you just want to finish the hole as soon as you can. This game mode really gets the heart pumping and is another superb addition to an already massive game.
The controls for this game — as you would expect — are very simple. They lend themselves to the gameplay style well. As I have mentioned in previous articles, I am a stickler for a good control scheme. I like iOS games to feel like they have been made for the device—utilising the touchscreen in new and innovative ways.
In SSG you have three buttons you would mainly use—Left, Right And Go. You use the directional buttons to choose your angle and ‘Go’ to swing. I would like it if you could drag your finger on the screen to choose your angle — like in Angry Birds — before hitting the Go button. Maybe they could even go the full way and allow dragging backwards to determine the power of the drive.
When you drag around the screen in SSG this activates a panning of the course itself, allowing you to take a look around. However, I feel that this could easily be implemented by using two-finger scrolling, still allowing for one finger to position your drive.
I am a big fan of Super Stickman Golf. I would like to see a refinement of the control scheme, but the current set-up is not enough of an issue to cause concern for me. The game is masterfully designed and quite an achievement when you consider the amount of levels included.
It feels great to play too. When you sink a superb shot or hole-in-one you feel like an absolute genius. I haven’t played many games that offer that feeling of satisfaction. It’s a real thinking-person’s game. There are multiple routes to completing some courses and finding the perfect route to remain under-par is a great challenge.
For the low price that the developers are selling this game at, you’d be foolish not to try it. There’s even a Lite version of the game, if you are so inclined.