With Super Stickman Golf 2, Noodlecake Games has improved their formula for a great mobile gaming experience. The entire package provides numerous hours of replay value with 20 courses, tons of unlockables, and creative multiplayer modes, playable over both WiFi and Bluetooth. If you really allow yourself to become immersed in the challenges, this game can quickly evolve into an addiction.
The presentation for SSG2 is excellent from the first time you launch the game. The menu screens are colorful and simple, making it very easy to jump in and start up a round in seconds. The different game modes, achievement list, and unlockables can all be reached easily with a simple swipe. The colors used to showcase the menus and the various courses really pop off the screen, especially with courses such as the Portal Lab, which uses a wide array of colors to show links between teleports, done very well in contrast to the dark color of the lab. Noodlecake has done a good job matching the visual presentation of SSG2 with a soundtrack full of catchy MIDI tunes ranging from energetic, upbeat jams to slower, more relaxed grooves. The game does a good job of switching styles and tempo to give each round a unique feel.
The courses themselves are based off different themes that provide their own challenges and advantages, from sticky walls to magnetism to targets that can deduct (or add) strokes to your total, allowing for many different strategies to find success. Leaderboards within each course allow players to compare their lowest scores with those of their friends, adding yet another fold to the game with this brand of asynchronous multiplayer. However, the excitement and intensity is really turned up in race mode, a unique multiplayer challenge that pits you and three friends (or WiFi Matchmaking opponents) in a race to get your ball into the cup first, regardless of stroke count. This creates a fun and hectic experience with ample opportunities to snatch victory in the final moments and talk some serious trash to your friends.
In order to give yourself a distinct advantage over your friends and the course obstacles, Noodlecake has provided tons of unlockable hats and powerups to be used and equipped at any moment. The powerups are unlocked strictly through completing challenges, but the hats are unlocked through what Noodlecake calls a hat lottery, a system where players invest a certain amount of Golf Bux, with each extra buck providing a greater likelihood of receiving a new hat through the lottery. It’s a fresh and unique take at unlockables, putting the risk/reward ratio in the hands of the player, which is definitely commendable. Golf Bux themselves are won by completing course challenges (both per round and sometimes with randomly generated instant challenges to get an exact score on a given hole), collecting them within the courses themselves, or purchasing through micro-transactions within the Pro Shop. The Pro Shop also contains exclusive powerups, such as a helpful “last shot indicator”, which can prove very useful when trying to fit your shot through a narrow opening, and the ability to play 25 turn-based multiplayer matches on your system. It’s a bit of a shame that some really useful powerups and extra game modes are only unlockable through these transactions, yet it is the nature of the current mobile landscape, and the game is of such high quality that this detail can be overlooked. Besides, many of the fun powerups and hats can be unlocked with Golf Bux that the game is pretty generous about rewarding.
Super Stickman Golf 2 is one of the best arcade-style games on the app store, built around a fast-paced golf game with a miniature golf feel. It has very well-placed rewards to keep your goals reachable and motivating. At 99 cents, this game has enough content and game modes to provide hours of entertainment without spending more than that first dollar. It’s well worth checking out, and is definitely one of the best new games to hit the app store.
This review is based on a retail copy of the iOS version of Super Stickman Golf 2 by Noodlecake Studios