Golf King – World Tour does a fantastic job of creating an experience that not only appeals to casual fans, but also enthusiasts looking for a simulation experience. Available on both iOS and Android, this PNIX production does a fantastic job of making golf both fun and accessible to anyone interested in teeing it up.
Creating quality experiences on mobile platforms can be a tough assignment. The capabilities of devices are limited in some respects. Couple that with varying levels of connectivity and network proximity, and creating a PvP experience can be downright terrifying. Not only did PNIX create a top-notch mobile game, the developers created a top-shelf multiplayer experience as well.
Golf King – World Tour does a fantastic job of staying with the times. Characters are fully customizable, from the hat down to the shoes. Golf club sets are built from the ground up. A little hard work and wherewithal will have your character bombing it 300 in no time. The courses are beautiful. The physics are well thought out. Even the little nuances on how to control your ball on the golf course lead to a downright engrossing time on the links.
What I Like
Multiplayer experiences involving player progression have been a sticky subject in the gaming community for quite some time. Pay-to-win mechanics in games have scared some developers, as well as led to legislation in some parts of the world. PNIX did a great job of creating a game that rewards hard work, skill and time played.
Golf King – World Tour is laid out like most sports games these days. Users play games and complete challenges along the way. Those challenges reward card packs. Inside those card packs are generally either in-game currency, or a specific golf club card. Collect enough of one single golf club and that golf club levels up. For example, players may start with a base driver in their set. Collect four base driver cards by playing the game and that club will level up, increasing its power, accuracy and other characteristics. It’s not a groundbreaking feature by any means, but it’s perfectly executed. I found myself grinding more and more knowing some of my clubs were just one card away from becoming more and more powerful.
Being able to take your cultivated set of clubs out onto the course was very rewarding. Showing off your powerful clubs against another user from somewhere around the world is a thrilling experience for me. Pumping a drive 50 yards past your opponent, knowing they’re sitting on their couch wondering how they’re going to compete the rest of the way, is an empowering feeling.
One thing I really feared with a golfing multiplayer experience on mobile was game length. To my surprise, matches only lasted 10 to 15 minutes max. It’s quick, and it allows players to beat challenges and develop their character with reasonable efficiency. Everything is presented in bite-sized pieces and that’s a big win for PNIX.
On the course, the ability to manipulate your shots with different swing-types, spin-types, as well as fades and draws is a really nice feature. These types of mechanics are what make some console golf experiences competitive and immersive and Golf King – World Tour does a great job of including them into gameplay.
What I Don’t Like
Since Golf King – World Tour is a PvP experience, and mobile games can be limiting by nature, there are some nitpicks that do get in the way of an otherwise outstanding experience.
Although games only last 10 to 15 minutes at a time, half of that time is spent staring at your phone while watching your opponents think out and execute their next shot. The screen is essentially frozen during this time as users do not have the ability to prepare for their next shot or do anything constructive. But with mobile limitations and netcode packaging constraints, this is understandable. For the most part, it has to be this way. Either way, mobile games are meant to be quick and fun. Spending half of the time watching someone else golf can be a turn off.
While building and cultivating your own set of clubs can be a good time, it does take time. There are very few ways for a user to gain access to powerful clubs without grinding up the charts.
Finally, unlocking new courses and challenges is incumbent on succeeding in lower-level challenges and beating lower-level users. It’s essentially matchmaking in a sense, but having some courses and rewards locked behind challenge completions can be pretty deflating if you find yourself getting killed on the course.
Golf King – World Tour is a very, very solid game. It’s a legitimately fun experience that can be played for hours on end. It’s perfect for those of us on public transportation looking to kill time. It’s a great way to compete with friends in a reasonably skill-based environment — especially for those of us with an affinity for golf.
Character customization is fantastic. Golf club cultivation is fruitful and deep. The mechanics on the golf course are solid as well. Overall, the entire user experience is a good one. There’s some obvious limitations to the game simply based on the mobile platform, but as a whole, it’s one of the better sporting experiences I’ve had on Android and iOS.
I can’t endorse Golf King- World Tour. it feels like a cutting edge, modern approach to mobile gaming.