On DSiWare, we very recently saw the release of A Little Bit of... Nintendo Touch Golf (Or True Swing Golf Express in North America), a slightly cut-down version of the retail game bearing the same name. We thought it was very competent, and as such felt that the "golf game" gap on the service had been filled.
But here we are, not much later, reviewing Gameloft's attempt to chip into the genre. In a change of pace, Let's Golf actually isn't a port of a standard mobile phone game - it was actually originally released for the iPhone, and was recently ported to the DS's competitor, Sony's PSP.
It offers pretty much everything you'd expect from your average golf game: you can either jump right into the action and play a bunch of holes on your own, play against a friend in a hotseat style, take on a tournament or practise any specific hole you want, without having to worry about your score.
The gameplay makes full use of the touchscreen. Pretty much everything is controlled by tapping various buttons on the screen, including getting a wider look of the course, selecting your club and making your shot, which is done in the usual fashion of perfectly timing two button presses to stop a power bar at exactly the right spots. If you're off by even a little bit, your ball will either go too far or not far enough, and might veer off to the left or right of its intended destination.
One additional feature is the ability to add some extra spin to your ball. As it is flying through the air, you can select a direction to make the ball spin towards once it hits the ground. Once it does, you can blow in the DSi's mic to give it some extra speed. It's nice thing to have, but ultimately, it feels a bit unnecessary. Another small, moderately unnecessary feature, is that if your ball lands extremely close to the hole, meaning you'd be practically guaranteed to get it in with the next shot, the game will automatically hit it in for you and add one swing to your total.
The game has three different courses (naturally all with 18 holes) and four different playable characters, each with their own unique stats. All courses and characters are already available in free play, but in tournament mode, you'll only be able to play one course with two characters until you earn some trophies. Performing well in this mode will also unlock additional clothes, if you're the type who likes to customise your character's appearance.
The game's graphics are quite decent, and really don't look noticeably worse when compared to the previous two incarnations. The music consists of your typical cheery golf tunes, which, as you might've guessed, aren't memorable in the slightest, but get the point across just fine.
Ultimately, Let's Golf is quite a decent game, with both advantages and disadvantages when compared to Nintendo's effort. Touch Golf has four courses, one more than this game's three, but unlike here, most of them remain locked until certain challenges are completed. Clearly, this means that if you have free time to spend, Touch Golf would be the better choice, if just for the advantage of an extra 18 holes, but if you're just looking for some quick golfing fun without having to worry, Let's Golf might be the smarter buy.
Ultimately, though, Let's Golf has less content, for the same price - And for that, we have to give the edge to the game that was already available.