I used to love playing golf as a kid, despite the fact that I was absolutely atrocious at actually, you know, hitting the ball with the club; which I hear is a big part of the sport I so fondly remember. For me personally, golf was a chance to relax, unwind with some friends and enjoy a calm walk around some picturesque scenery. The sad truth is I spent most of my time dishearteningly fishing my little white friend out of a nearby pond due to a series of horrendous flub shots. Yeah, I know – I suck at golf.
Fortunately for me, the realm of games has helped reconcile some of the nightmares that still haunt me about playing golf in real life; I could hold my own in Wii Sports’ wonderful Golf mode, PS Vita’s fantastic Everybody’s Golf and Xbox 360’s entertaining XBLA title 3D Ultra Minigolf Adventures. Thankfully, my virtual self didn’t need to wade ankle-deep into any muddy ponds. Hooray for videogames!
Which brings me hurtling slap bang onto Flick Golf 3D’s soft silky green, Full Fat’s latest downloadable offering on the 3DS. Flick Golf 3D is a five-year old iOS port and is thankfully priced accordingly (just £4.49 on the UK Nintendo eShop). It’s a pretty addictive, though fairly bare-bones, high-score chaser which leaves out a lot of the excessive rigmarole found in similar games of its ilk. Do you get a choice of clubs I hear you asking? Nope. A choice of balls? No. A choice of avatar? Uhh nope… What you do get is a streamlined, yet simple golfing experience on the go, which is easy to pick up but tough to master.
The core gameplay loop consists of striking your ball with the flick of your stylus on the lower touchscreen. The longer the flick, the more powerful the shot and vice versa. The ball also follows the angle of your swipe but the control of your shot doesn’t end there. Whilst airborne, you can keep swiping the ball to add top or lower spin which gives you an extra layer of control. You’ll also have to take into account the changing direction of the wind which is displayed clearly on the top screen and amend your strategy appropriately. Sadly, there are no real golf courses per se, as the game focuses on one-shot holes. Don’t worry about birdies or bogeys here, as the real emphasis of Flick Golf 3D are hole-in-ones. Full Fat should have called the game Hole-In-One Simulator 3D and be done with it.
The tee-off points do change which gives the impression of a new course but in reality there are only six courses across six distinct environments. Luckily, the environments are pretty damn gorgeous and the stereoscopic 3D works superbly to bring the picturesque vistas to life; my younger self would be more than happy to take a virtual stroll amongst Flick Golf 3D’s lush rolling hills, pretty ponds and beautiful blue skies.
All in all, Flick Golf 3D is a lovely little palate cleanser that helps get me in a chilled Zen-like place, especially after all the time I’ve spent shooting dudes in the face. It may be fairly light on modes and it would have really benefitted from some sort of offline or online multiplayer, but nevertheless Flick Golf 3D is definitely more of a birdie than a bogey, especially at such a reasonable price point. If you’re looking for a deep, complex golfing experience then Flick Golf 3D will probably not be for you. However, if you’re in the mood for a chilled arcade golf game with some attractive 3D visuals that you can dip in and out of, then Flick Golf 3D may well be the diamond in the rough you’ve been looking for.
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