Reviewed: April 15, 2011
Released: March 29, 2011
App Store Price: $9.99
Tiger Woods PGA TOUR 12 HD has teed off on the iPad. Unlike its console brethren, the Masters Tournament and the Augusta Golf Club are nowhere to be found, so if you are looking to participate in that legendary event you’ll need to play elsewhere, but for those looking for some of the best touch and swipe HD golf to hit a portable system, look no further.
PGA Tour 12, while still lacking a bit in overall precision and swipe controls, still offers one of the most comprehensive and console-like golf games you can take on the road. The presentation is amazing with breathtaking graphics, new exciting game modes, new golfers and courses – Tiger Woods PGA TOUR 12 is no doubt the definitive golf experience for the iPad.
All of the courses and golfers have been dramatically enhanced to take full advantage of the larger iPad screen. There are four game modes including multiplayer with supports for Bluetooth or local Wi-Fi. There is even a Shoot it out with Facebook friends with "Closest to the Pin" found on selected holes throughout the game. Twice a week, a new Par-3 hole will be chosen for the “Closest to the Pin” Facebook Challenge. Players can tee off and see how close they can get to the pin and where they rank amongst their Facebook friends on the leaderboards. A new “Tiger Challenge” mode includes of over 20 mini-game challenges to earn money that can be used to participate in the PGA TOUR events or upgrade a custom golfer’s attributes.
The Play Now mode is great for instant golfing gratification. Just pick your golfer, choose your course, set the skill level and tee off on the front or back 9. Those looking for a more substantial experience can create their own golfer and take on the lengthy PGA Tour mode. With skins, match play and other modes, along with new golfers such as Anthony Kim, Camilo Villegas, Paul Casey, Jim Furyk, Zach Johnson and Paula Creamer, playing golf anytime, anywhere, has never been this fun or looked this good. Tee off from 8 included courses including including Pebble Beach, St. Andrews, TPC Sawgrass, Hazeltine, Doral, TPC Boston, and the new fan-favorite Predator fantasy course and the Old White Course at Greenbrier, home of the Greenbrier Classic.
The touch screen turns out to be a surprisingly fresh and innovative way to recreate a golf swing introducing just enough human error to keep things real. Simple touch the top of the meter and swipe down then back up in the same rhythm you would a normal golf swing. You can pause at the apex of your backswing (bottom of the meter) to add a bit of boost to your follow-through, but if you hold too long you can completely flub the shot. It becomes a cool risk vs. reward situation. Putting can be a bit of a problem at least until you master the subtleties of the swipe-swing system. Everything else from game and menu navigation is perfectly suited for the touch screen.
The game looks incredible with lush environments and motion-captured golfer animations that rival anything the console can offer. The views and angles are excellent, giving you multiple way to analyze your next shot. Helping out with the visuals is a nice audio package complete with music, sound effects, and commentary.
With eight courses, multiple modes for solo and multiplayer, and the addicting Facebook challenges, Tiger Woods PGA TOUR 12 HD has plenty to offer. There are a few minor issues but those can easily be addressed in a patch or the inevitable sequel coming next year. For now, it doesn’t get any better than this when it comes to iPad golf.