Column

From Tee To Green

by Matthew Kato on May 06, 2019 at 03:00 PM

Spring is here, and after a long, tough winter, many people are looking forward to the start of golf season. Video games, of course, have no season, but if you've stopped playing some of the yearly fall titles, you may be looking for a golf game to help get you in the mood.

There are tons of golf games out there, from simple mobile titles to mini golf and well beyond, but today's Sports Desk looks at a culled list of relatively new golf titles offering a range of experiences mainly on PC via Steam. Not included today but also available or coming in the future include Everybody's Golf VR (out on May 21), non-Golf title What the Golf? (now in Early Access), and even sim-manager Resort Boss (out now).

Finally, after the golf be sure to check out more information on some of Madden NFL 20's new features.

Golf Games

The Golf Club 2019 (PS4, Xbox One, PC)
HB Studios
The Golf Club 2019 came out a little while ago, but it remains the best golf experience in terms of gameplay and overall features. Your golfer's abilities don't upgrade, so getting a good score on a hole requires reading the course and a steady and consistent hand. Although 2019 added the official PGA Tour license, its career mode isn't super fleshed out. Apart from the gameplay, the title's most robust feature is the easy-to-use course creator, which the community has used to full effect to supply the title with a plethora of new content. Finally, paid Xbox Games with Gold members can get the game free this month.

Golf Peaks (PC, Switch, Mobile)
Afterburn Games
This title is more of a puzzle title than a simulation of the sport. You use different types of pre-selected movement cards in the appropriate order to guide your ball into the hole. For instance, do you chip it up and to the left three spaces first, or roll it down to the lower plane instead? Your ball bounces and rolls depending on the topography, so it's fun to figure out how to orchestrate your moves.

PGA Tour Golf Shootout (Mobile)
Concrete Software
Hit it up and down the fairway by pulling back on your touchscreen and letting it fly. Spin can be applied by touching different parts of the ball, and overall the range of outcomes feels good. You advance your skills by collecting cards that upgrade your clubs via solo challenges, regular solo play, and multiplayer, and cards can also be bought in the store. The game restricts your ability to open card packs through a timer, which unfortunately puts a big damper on the fun of actually playing the game.

Draft Day Sports: Pro Golf (PC)
Wolverine Studios
Wolverine Studios puts out a number of college and pro titles whose focus is on the management aspect of sports, and Pro Golf tasks you with taking care of your golfer's development and schedule while climbing up the ranks from amateur to pro. The golf itself is handled via a top-down map interface where you can select to be aggressive or easy with your shot, and a one- or three-mouse click swing meter controls the results. When putting you have to guess the breaks and speed of the green. Actually performing on the course isn't DDS: Pro Golf's forte, however, as its sim manager approach to your career is the focus instead. You can check out a free demo here.

Arcane Golf (PC)
Gold5Games
Golf games come down to physics, and in that sense, loads of titles use the sport as a thin cover for simple gameplay. That being said, that doesn't mean that watching the ball bounce around can't be fun. Like Golf Peaks listed above, Arcane Golf is more of a puzzle title than a golf one, with over 200 levels of spike traps, water pits, and many other environmental hazards set to destroy your ball and make you scratch your brain when trying to get your ball into the vortex hole. Arcane Golf doesn't strictly adhere to the sport's rules, so getting to hit your ball twice is just one of the many challenges and joys as you attempt to clear its boards.

More Madden NFL 20 Details

MORE MADDEN NFL 20 DETAILS

Since last week's unveiling, EA Sports and developer EA Tiburon have dropped more granular information about Madden 20 via a Twitch livestream and official blog post. A lot of the stream covered what we already know about Face of the Franchise mode and the Superstar/X-Factor abilities, but here are some additional tidbits:

  • A max of three offensive or defensive X-Factor abilities can be active at a time.
     
  • Lower-rated players who complete a Scenario Engine goal are awarded more XP than higher-rated players in order to give gamers who are having trouble more of a boost.
     
  • Players' OVR rating is being stretched out more, with 400 fewer players now rated 70 or higher. "I think this is something that people are going to have to get used to." says Hue Shelton, senior designer. "They’re going to be surprised to come into the mode and see that some of those starting players are in the 50 OVR range."
     
  • Because of the OVR rebalance, players' general progression path is going to be longer, and going from 79 to 80, for example, is going to award more rating points.
     
  • Draft classes include a wider range of names and ratings. The dev. team hopes this creates new draft strategies.
     
  • Franchise mode resigning logic has been improved so it can't be exploited when resigning players. Overall, existing contracts are being changed to match those in the NFL.
     
  • Trades: How the A.I. values players for trades is being tweaked.
     
  • EA Tiburon will talk more about gameplay improvements in the future, but right now the team is saying throw power is being updated to change the ball's trajectory.
The Ticker

THE TICKER

F1 2019 Multiplayer League Details (via GT Planet)

Descenders Leaves Early Access, Adds Multiplayer May 7

Professional Bowlers Association Game Coming (via Pastapadre)

Tennis World Tour Roland-Garros Edition Adds Rafael Nadal