iFun - Social Gaming Network, or SGN as it is better known, has built a business around popular iPhone games such as iBowl and iBaseball as we noted in our interview with Shervin Pishevar, CEO of SGN last month. Now, SGN has upped the ante with iFun, a golf game that uses the iPhone as a motion-sensing controller to control the action on your PC screen. If you're familiar with Nintendo's Wii, think Wii Golf for the iPhone and you have the right idea.
Go to SGN's iFun site and register for an account and login. Next, go to the App Store, download the iFun app, launch it and login with the same info you used to register for your account. Sync the iPhone and your PC, tap the Ready! button and swing away (the iPhone's screen must face the PC screen for proper control). Like most golf games, you have options to select the right clubs and to control your swing and ball direction.
Better make sure you have a good grip on your iPhone or you're likely to launch your phone through your PC screen (another aspect of this game that's similar to Wii Golf before Nintendo decided to add a tether to the controller). Also watch your back swing--I rapped my knuckles on a table behind me!
The concept of iFun is great and it serves to reaffirm the huge potential the iPhone has as a gaming platform.
Alas, I found iFun's execution sketchy. Sometimes it worked; sometimes it didn't. Resyncing the app and the game on the SGN Web site sometimes worked; sometimes it didn't. Once, after powering a drive down the fairway 500-plus yards (far surpassing the distance of any pro golfer) and onto the green, I couldn't get the golf club to putt a few feet.
I was happily surprised by iFun's responsiveness to input from the iPhone, which is close to instantaneous.
Some reviewers have given the iFun low marks because they couldn't figure out how to set up and use the game. The instructions are easy to follow for anyone who actually cares to read them. I give iFun higher marks than I might otherwise for its inventiveness but I think it still has a way to go before it moves into prime time.
This also happens to be one of the first iPhone adds to carry advertising from VideoEgg's newly launched ad network.
- simulation game