Golf Clash is a game made by Playdemic. Overall, it seems a pretty straightforward golf game. If you’ve played Tiger Woods golf, or any golf game in the last decade, this should be a very easy game for you to pick up, and learn. You can play it on Facebook via your PC, or on your phone, and connect it to your Facebook account. I find it works MUCH faster and cleaner without having to go through Facebook, so I play a majority of my games on my phone.
The game starts off easy enough. It walks you through driving the ball, and putting the ball against a computer opponent (a bot). So, you drive a ball, you put a ball, then you play a game. After that, it’s game on!
It’s golf. There is no story, except you are playing golf. As you. Against other people. Occasionally, they will have national tournaments, and such…but there really is no story to this game. It’s golf. You golf for money and prizes.
The controls are easy. On the computer, click and hold on the ball, drag it backwards, and wait for the swing meter to be in the middle, and let go. The swing meter moves faster or slower, depending on several factors. The first is how hard you are trying to hit the ball (the further back you pull, the harder you hit the ball). Overpowering a shot makes it go further, but makes the swing meter go back and forth faster than a Venus Williams tennis game. Lower power makes the swing meter go slower, making it an easier shot.
You can also drag the ball to the left or right to curl the shot. This gives it an arcing left or right curve, and can get you around obstacles (like water hazards, and sand traps), while keeping you on the green in a way a straight shot won’t. Higher quality clubs have greater curl than the beginning clubs, so if you’re looking to curl your shot around those trees, better upgrade your clubs! The better you upgrade your clubs, the easier the game gets. More control, more accuracy, top spin, backspin, curl, and the bounce trajectory are all enhanced with upgrades. Want to know EXACTLY where your ball will bounce? Gotta upgrade your club! Of course, upgrades cost money, as does entry to the hole. So you have to be careful about upgrading too quickly, and leaving yourself stuck on the beginner course, with no way to earn more than 50 coins at a time.
All games are 1 hole, with a shoot-out in case of a draw. I have found, when players are nearly equally skilled, and with similar clubs – the result is almost always a draw. Unless the person leading off has vastly superior clubs, amazing skill/luck, or someone takes a really bad shot, most games are going to end up in a shoot-out.
The rules of the shootout are easy: closest to the pin wins. These are very short holes, usually not over 180 yards, so you won’t be using your driver. Most of the time you’ll be using a wood club, so upgrade this club often, and frequently! The better your wood is, the better you can place your shots.
The real challenge is when someone gets a hole-in-one. Since the green is so close, you get 1 shot, and closest wins. So, of course, the best play is to get your ball in the hole! Whoever is closest wins, so if you both manage to get a hole in one, the game moves on to another shootout hole. This continues until one fails to get a hole in one, or they both fail to get a hole in one, and one is closer to the pin. The winner gets the spoils. In this case, it’s trophies, gold coins, and occasionally a reward chest.
Golf Clash has a trophy system, as well as a coin system. As you win games, you get trophies (2 for beginning, then 3, etc). Trophies do nothing, except unlock the next tour. Sometimes, you get gems for collecting trophies (such as 5 gems for getting all the beginning trophies (tour 1 is 20 trophies).
Gems are valuable, as they are the currency of the realm, along with the gold coins. Gems can buy new clubs from the clubhouse (every day there is a special on a new club). You can buy upgrade cards, chests, piles of coins, and piles of gems. I prefer to play my games without spending money, so I simply collect the gems from chests, and from the achievement unlocks.
As you progress from tour to tour, you are comparing your total winnings against others in your division. At the end of the week, the top 3 players in the division get chests (platinum, gold, and silver). The chests can contain gold, gems, upgrade cards, new clubs, and special high powered golf balls. You only get to use a golf ball once, so I try to use them sparingly, but they have special abilities like wind resistance, and a greater control over left and right spin. Clubs can only control top and backspin, so if you need that extra edge, a good ball can do the trick.
So there’s the game play. Aim your ball, adjust for spin, pull back, and release when the swing meter is centered. That’s the extent of the controls. The real challenge, however, is in mastering the spin, power, wind, bounce, and the rest. Simple to learn, difficult to master.
The real fun begins when you add your Facebook friends and challenge them to a round!
Golf Clash has a very simple sounds. An announcer tells you if you’ve had a great shot, or a perfect shot (perfect shot is the exact center of the swing meter, and a little off to the right or left is “great”. He also announces the results of your putt (Par, birdie, etc).
There is also the sound of the club swinging, the crowd clapping and “ooooh”-ing, and the ball hitting a hazard. But other than that there really are not a lot of sounds. It’s minimalistic in it’s approach, but I think it’s effective. Leave the rest for game play!
On Facebook, it seems very low quality. Perhaps it’s the interface, perhaps its the need of going through Facebooks servers. Whatever the reason, Golf Clash looks terrible on Facebook, and it is slow to load screens or when changing between players.
On my phone, however, it’s amazing. You can easily tell the difference between fairway, rough, and out of bounds. The trees look nice (from a distance. Up close, some of the tree texturing is funky, but you can ignore it without too much work.) The water, the courses, the sky, all look amazing. The superior golf balls have different designs on them, and you can see them move as they roll on the ground, a nice little touch.
The graphics for game play are good, the other graphics are fairly simple. An easy to use interface, with easy to access pages makes it simple to get going without a lot of effort. The graphics are done well enough you don’t notice them, and no glaring clipping issues or bugs.
This game is nothing but replay value. If you enjoy golfing, or electronic golfing, this game is going to take hours from your life. The format of 1 hole, and the shootout, means you don’t feel a large sink of time. It’s always “just one more game, it only takes 5 minutes!”, and the next thing you know, 3 hours have passed.
The real challenge and replay value is in the additional tours. There are 11 tours. Tour 1, the beginner tour, is 50 coins to join, and you win 100. Tour 11 is 10 million to buy in, and 20 million when you win.
Each tour brings slightly more challenge. The beginning course, it’s all straight shots, wide open greens, and pretty easy not to mess up. By the third tour, you have to deal with much strong winds, complex fairways (trees, hazards, etc), and little room for error. This game is predicated on you playing it multiple times. It brings you back with chests that unlock over time (or you can use gems to get them faster), a variety of tours to choose from, random players from across the world, and the ability to challenge your friends.
Final Decision: 21 points
The scoring is on a point system from 0 – 5.
Story – 0
There is literally no story to this game.
Gameplay – 5
It’s an excellent, fun, easy to play golf game.
Sound – 3
It’s got little sound to it, but the sounds that are there fit very well.
Graphics – 3
On Facebook it seems very low quality, but on my phone, it’s pretty high quality. Good images, icons, and overall artwork is fine. No lag on my phone, but some delays via Facebook.
Replay – 5
I would give it a higher score if I could. This has taken hours of my time, and will probably take more before I am done.
Final Thoughts: I like it. I’ve been a fan of golfing games for many years. There is always some sort of way to raise the skill of your character (Outlaw Golf on the Xbox), or your clubs (like Tiger Woods PGA), and Golf Clash is no different.
It’s got high re-playability, which is important for me. It’s got a way to play for free, without having to spend ANY money, also important to me, and it allows you to play against real people, in real time – even letting you challenge your friends!
The graphics, for a golf game, are pretty good, without being overbearing and too technical.
There is no story, but it’s golf, and that hardly takes away from the over all fun.
So there you have it, Golf Clash on your phone or Facebook. I recommend it!