Developer: Electronic Arts Inc.
Price: $0.99 Download on the App Store
Tiger Woods PGA Tour by EA Sports is the first sports game I’ve played that is as close to the desktop version as an iPhone and iPod touch can get. Okay, I’m sticking my neck a bit on that one, but Tiger Woods PGA Tour is a heck of a game in nearly every way. Notice I said “nearly,” which should clue you that this game still needs some work.
First, a quick overview of Tiger Woods PGA Tour by EA Sports' many features. You can play as or against Tiger Woods and four other PGA Tour golfers such as Retief Goosen and Natalie Gulibs. If you decide to play as yourself, you can adjust your skin color, gender and polo shirt color. Later, you’ll be able to manage your profile and enhance your equipment and skills using cash you’ve earned for accomplishing different feats on the course.
One of the problems I’ve found with many golf games is that the swing controls are either not intuitive or do not allow for shaping the ball’s direction. Tiger Woods PGA Tour by EA Sports doesn’t have that problem. The swing control works very well and is adaptable to a variety of conditions so you can get your ball headed in the right direction and with just the right amount of power behind your swing.
Slide your finger down what looks like a ramp, taking it as far back as you think you’ll need for power and dragging it back up at just the right speed to complete the drive, approach or putt. You can put the swing control on either side of the screen as one of your options.
Of course, with Tiger Woods PGA Tour you can choose clubs according to each situation and if you’re stuck for ideas, you can set Caddy Tips as one of your options.
The graphics in Tiger Woods PGA Tour by EA Sports are stunning. You can switch camera angles for the golfer, course and ball. You’ll see your ball fly and land just like you see on TV. The courses at Pebble Beach, St. Andrews and the other five top courses are positively lush.
The soundtrack and special effects also are really good. There’s a play-by-play analysis by two TV narrators. I’d advise listening through headphones when you play, which makes for a better experience.
Because of its rich content, Tiger Woods PGA Tour loads slowly at start up and between courses, but there’s no overcoming that, given the platform.
There’s a tutorial that ably illuminates how to play Tiger Woods PGA Tour and how to do various golfing techniques.
Now here’s where Tiger Woods shanks it.
The narration and graphics are sometimes out of sync. After I plopped a ball into a water hazard, the narrator audibly patted me on the back with a “Well played!” In another instance, when I was in the rough, the narrator said “He shouldn’t have a problem with this sand shot.”
On the putting surface, my caddy told me the hole was 2 inches away and 2 inches to the right when it was actually behind me and the hole seemed partially covered by my right heel.
Last, it’s not immediately obvious how to return to home and menus when you're on the course. Two taps of the screen will do it and you can swipe from one screen to the next when you get there.
Although I've raved about Tiger Woods PGA Tours, I'm giving it 8/10. It would have done better without the whacked out narration and some of the game's physics. I'm still going to keep playing it though.
(Editor's Note: This article is about the first release of Tiger Woods PGA Tours, which is no longer available. For the benefit of readers, we have linked to the most current version in the App Store.)