Noodlecake Studios, the developers of Stickman Golf, take the easy controls of Flappy Bird and apply them to their huge library of 2D golf courses. The result is a flappy great time.
Flappy Golf takes the flapping control formula from the mega-popular Flappy Bird game and brings it to the 2D golf courses from Stickman Golf. The result is fun way to play through the enormous Noodlecake Studios golf course library with a new way to get the ball into the hole.
When I first saw Flappy Golf hit the App Store, I understandably rolled my eyes -- haven't we had enough flappy games? But once I started playing, I immediately saw how well it works with a golf game.
The Stickman Golf games have been a big hit for both iOS and Android since the launch of the original Stickman Golf in 2010. The simple 2D graphics hid excellent gameplay, and the sequel, Super Stickman Golf 2, built upon an already excellent gaming concept.
In case it's not already obvious, instead of using a club to hit the ball into the hole, with Flappy Golf you actually "fly" your bird/ball to the hole. To do this, you use a flap button on each side of the screen to flap in each direction. So, understandably, where in regular golf you're tying to get the least number of strokes, Flappy Golf challenges you to get to the hole in the least number of flaps.
While it's certainly not the same as regular golf, trying to get a good lie on your first hit, then figuring out the best angle, the flapping mechanic still manages to be plenty challenging. Not only are you focussing on angles, you need to manage your momentum as well. When a course requires you to change directions, you'll have to account for how many flaps it takes to slow down and how many to move in the new direction. Don't forget you also always have the option to land on the ground when a full stop is the most efficient way to get your ball to the hole.
Across the top of the screen as you play, you'll be able to see the maximum number of flaps to get a gold, silver, or bronze star. What's interesting here is that unlocking courses later in the game requires a minimum number of stars, but it doesn't care what kind. That means even if you're not going for perfection every time, you'll still be able to unlock later courses.
Flappy Golf uses the same courses from the Stickman Golf games, which have been around since 2010. What this means is you'll be able to flap through 31 different nine-hole courses -- an enormous amount of content when compared with most new games.
Not only is there no shortage of courses, but the wacky, arcade nature of the Stickman Golf series means your courses have unique challenges. Some courses will have sticky walls, while others use magnets to throw you off your path. Many of the courses have you traveling down deep pits, only to come up the other side to guide your ball on to the green. So it's not just the variety of looks in all 31 courses, but also challenges unique to each course that you'll have to learn before you can master them.
It's hard to criticize a free game with so much ready-to-play content, but I still wish Noodlecake Studios brought a bit more from the Stickman Golf franchise. Stickman Golf lets you start turn-based games online where you take your turn, then send it over to a friend so he can take his. Flappy Golf has no multiplayer elements, only letting you complete courses solo, but I think it would really benefit from a multiplayer mode.
What I would especially like to see is another game type from Stickman Golf: Race Mode. In the original, it meant that you were battling with another person simultaneously to get the ball into the hole as fast as possible. It just seems like with the flapping mechanic, it would be incredibly fun (if not totally infuriating -- in a good way) to flap as fast as possible to the hole while your opponent does the same.
Hopefully, if the game takes off, we'll get these features in a future update, but it just seems like such a shame we don't have them now.
Just when you thought the flappy gaming concept was going away, Flappy Golf shows that it is far from dead. Something about it works perfectly in the Stickman Golf setting, and gives you a new reason to explore all the great courses from the Stickman Golf games.
In the end, I think Flappy Golf is a natural fit for Flappy Bird fans, and the abundance of courses certainly doesn't hurt, but added game modes and multiplayer would make it that much better.