APP OF THE DAY: Puttluck review (iPhone)
Golf is a good walk spoiled. Or so said American author Mark Twain, or Winston Churchill, or Oscar Wilde - depending on which Googled entry you believe. However, it really doesn't matter which as whoever it was, they were wrong. The golf's the best bit. It's all the walking that's a pain (sometimes literally).
Therefore, we're a sucker for a good golf game here at the Lint - those that we can play from the comfort of our own homes. And it's refreshing to see something truly different...
Using the gyroscopic abilities of the iPhone 4 (or iPod touch 4G), Puttluck is a tactile game that emulates the ultimate (and, in our opinion, hardest) discipline in golf; putting. It offers up a nine-hole course with increasingly more difficult putts to conquer and there are two difficulty levels to complete.
In addition, to celebrate the real life Open Championship at Royal St George's Golf Club from 14 to 17 July, the developer of the app, Mobile Golf Games, will be running a competition during the event to win £500 worth of Black Widow golf goodies (including grips, cleats, tees and all manner of swag).
The gameplay is very Wii-esque. First up, you're presented with a common 3D-like viewpoint of the ball and the pin, with slope indicated through an onscreen icon. Also, a grid can be overlain to show up any further undulations. Then, when the iPhone is physically pointed downloads, the view changes to above the ball, and you can see your putter stemming from the bottom of the screen.
It is in this form that you can then take a shot, by first pressing your thumb on the screen and then physically sweeping your phone as you would a club. It's much easier to perform than it sounds, although to actually putt within a set par on each hole will require plenty of practice.
The game was devised by PGA professional golfer Steve McGuinness, so the in-game physics are remarkably accurate. In fact, so much so that we were initially as dreadful at the game as we are at putting in real life. We'd have fairly decent real world handicaps if it wasn't for putting.
However, thanks to the prizes on offer, it's worth the perseverance as the best score posted on Game Center by the end of the Open Championship (Sunday 17 July) will reward its poster the fine bounty. And as the competition is played out on an unlocked course which opens up just after midnight on 14 July, even if you don't plan to enter your score, that's still a bonus nine holes for the same price.
Puttluck may look basic from a static screengrab, but it's more than worthy of its App of the Day status. It's nice to find something that tries something new and isn't just another Tiger Woods clone, and if you're an avid golfer like us, it's an essential purchase because it may even help with your game.
And Android players need not despair as versions of Puttluck for other operating systems are in development.
Are you into golf? If so, what's your favourite app? Let us know in the comments below...