Tiger Woods PGA Tour 12 is an interesting ios game that had so much potential. Upon opening the game you start by developing you character. There isn't much variations in the clothing apart from you can make a colour from sliding the red, blue and green colour strengths to get a desired colour. The types of clothes are ver limited. You basically have a choice between shorts or trousers and Polo top or Shirt. A little more variants would have been nice but in a sim it is not totally necessary. You then move on to the next part (character ability customisation). This is where a big glaring problem occurs. EA have decided to monetise this game so much that progression could take months even years. You are given a very small amount of cash to spend on upgrades. You can upgrade everything to one star with two or three being one and a half stars star (maximum level being six stars). But when upgrading you character you are warned that if you spend to much you cannot afford to play the PGA part which in affect is removing a feature for you to play.
The Cash can be earned by playing the game/ winning. Everything from a good drive to good approach and Birdie are awarded with a cash value that you can spend on improving your player. This seems quite an interesting and a nice RPG element but to have any sort of impact on your character progression you better make sure you know it will take time as the cash takes a while to build up to any sort of important value so that you can upgrade. Another way is buying it with real money. At the time of review the lowest value was free for one use. Then the cash ranges from £1.49 for 125,000 to £13.99 for 2,200,000. It may not seem a lot but £13.99 plus the cost of buying the game is quite a lot for an ios game and especially at this price you could pretty much upgrade to the maximum level. I find this ruined the game for me. The levelling up process is much harder if you do not spend real world money. It is actually almost impossible to get to a real decent standard unless you spend hours a day for months.
The gameplay is actually pretty good. The lack of quality instructions is annoying. This is partly due to its sim nature. It is not a simple as judging how much power and the wind influence has on the ball. The way you hit the ball is taking into account. You are given a power estimate which apparently doesn't count elevation or wind. So for chipping shots more power than is told is needed. It is more misleading than helpful. The way the shots are taken is you pull you figure down a slider and then push it back up again. The more force the more power. This sim nature is great for golf enthusiast but not for the average casual golf gamer. Some information in how to play pops up when waiting for a hole to load but it is not reassuring that the default golf clubs are often not the right club. Putting is pretty fun and easy to master. A gide shows where your shot will go on the green. This makes it easy to adjust your shot and get it in. Overall this gameplay is very realistic. The ground influences the way the ball moves and how much the spin has an influence. The power estimate, however, seems a little more of a red hearing and seems really unnecessary.
The game modes consist of closest to the pin, PGA tour, Tiger challenge, multiplayer and play now. I personally found myself playing play now to earn more cash to get a better golfer. Play now is simple. Choose a course, Choose a player/ how many you play against, choose the amount of holes and play. Tiger challenge cost you in game cash to play. It consists of beating the challenge set and then if successful you win more cash (more than you pay). It isn't a bad idea and defiantly tests you ability. The PGA tour is basically the PGA tour. There is little to say about this. It is exactly what it sounds like. It is nice to play but unless your are awesome paying in game cash to play (quite a lot) made me stay away. You can have the same fun playing the other game modes. Closest to the pin can be played against friends via Facebook. It is a nice feature especially with the facebook integration. Multiplayer is done over wifi. Depending how good your wifi is there shouldn't be too many issues. I personally found frame rates dropped a little.
I have found sometimes frame rate issues do dip. It doesn't happen all the time but occasional the frame rate does drop to an unacceptable level. Graphic wise it isn't that bad for an iphone game. The ground looks bland/lacking in detail and flat but the character modes look good and their movements are fluid. The water and sand effects look good compared to other. There is nothing special about the graphics but the look good. The sound is ok but yet again not great.
Overall this game, for me, was ruined by the monetary system. It is a good game and fun but be warned the levelling up system not only takes time but money. It is just a shame because this game is really fun to play. This would have been a must buy with out this system.