This past month and a half, I have been playing and testing out disc golf game apps for the iPhone. One of the latest ones I’ve been trying out is called Around the Rock Disc Golf Challenge by Tribaloid Games. I first found out about these guys through their twitter account, @ATRDiscGolf. Curious, I looked them up and found out what “Around The Rock Disc Golf” actually was. It looked like a pretty sweet arcade-style disc golf game from the few screenshots I saw. With the Daylight Savings Time ending and winter ahead, my discgolf-round-after-work would no longer be an option. I hate having to wait until the weekends to play now, but hey, I’m thankful that I can even do that! Anyways I was looking for an addictive disc golf app that I could play on these evenings after a long day at work. I had to check this one out.
At the time of downloading, I still had my old iPhone 3GS. I did not realize until later on that this game was optimized for the new iPhone 5. So I was confused when I first launched the game and noticed everything was blown up and hanging off the edges of the screen. How in the world was I supposed to play? Frustrated, I turned back to the app store to read the reviews/description for it and read that part about the optimization. Well, I was in luck. I had just so happened to upgrade to the iPhone 5 a few weeks prior and was waiting its arrival. So I wanted to delay this review until I gave it a fair shot on my new phone. Got my phone. So here goes..
At the home screen I was welcomed with subtle animations in the background and NO music ambience—which I actually preferred. A previous disc golf game I reviewed had an annoying melody bit playing on the home screen that I was immediately put off by. Turn me off from the beginning and more than likely I’ll feel the same throughout the experience. So, yes, I was pleased to not have music on the home screen. A hovering, spinning island-like green in the air? This looks interesting. I’m hooked so far. Let’s start with Practice mode (and it says “Make Aces”..I like the sound of that).
First pop-up, instructions, YES! I’ve find the lack of this often in games and apps. I need to know how to play! So where’s the instructions?! Ya know? Usually it’s tucked away somewhere or not even there period. I was glad to see instructions popup immediately without having to search for them. I felt like they could have been a little larger on the screen, but at least they’re there. Oo I like this screen—definitely the arcade look, but this looks like the ultimate “disc golf dream”…Disc Golf Heaven?
Prepping to Throw:
Subtle wind noise, birds and crickets chirping fill the air. The blue compass indicator at the top of the screen is your directional pad/aim. Move this around to adjust for the wind and height of your throw. Next, you need to figure out how much power/disc you will need for your shot. This is indicated by a vertical scroller bar on the right side of the screen. Slide your finger up and down this to adjust the level of power. The lower the slider bar is, the lighter and less power (putter) the shot will be. For a driver, raise the slider bar towards the top. Anything in the middle would be like throwing your midrange. Pay attention to the distance to the basket in the bottom right of the screen. This will help in determining the amount of power you’ll need. I like how the location of the basket is indicated with rotating skyhigh yellow vertical lines. It’s easy to see way off in the distance (and times that the basket is located behind trees that block your line of view.) To actually throw, hold your finger on the red disc then quickly slide your finger up towards the top of the screen and release! Figuring out the windage, amount of power, and release point will take some practice. I like how it involves some physics and math so you’re not aceing every shot. If it’s that easy, what fun is that?
Ok I think I’ve got my throwing down for the most part, now let’s go try this Tournament mode. Wait..how do you quick Practice mode?? I’m only like 8 holes in. Do I really have to finish all 18 just to get back to the main menu screen? I don’t like that part of it. There should be an in-screen menu icon somewhere that I can click to easily quit. Please let me know if there is and I’m just overlooking it. Anyways, I had to double-tap my home button to get back to my phone’s home screen, close out the app, then restart it.
Now in Tournament mode, let’s discuss approach shots. Approach shots are set up just like your teepad shots. You have your wind indicator, power meter and distance to the basket showing. Depending on your tee shot went and the distance left to basket, you might need to power down on your power meter indicator. This is where you might need to move the indicator bar closer to the middle for a mid-range throw. Pay attention to the wind direction in relation to your basket position. Unfortunately I had a bad tee shot, which left me sitting right behind a big tree. Luckily the wind direction is in my favor so I’m going to angle this one up and to the right to allow my disc to curve around the tree back towards the basket.
Before teeing off on the next hole, pay close attention to the hole overview in the upper left corner. Most holes have multiple “floating islands”. You must land on one of these or else it’s Out of Bounds! Sometimes you will have to lay up because a full power throw might not necessarily get you to the second island. On the hole overview, you can see your current position indicated by a red dot and the basket’s position being a yellow dot.
Much the same as the first two, except for close-range shots you will need to downpower your throws and aim. The aiming target arrows place more eye-level with the basket. Adjust for slight windage if necessary. Pull your power level indicator bar almost all the way to the bottom to use your putter. Aim and fire away! Hopefully you heard chains on that one.
Try your best to stay out of and away from trees. I did notice a glitch when you land right up on a tree. Sometimes your next shot, the tree will cut into your view of the disc/basket. Gameplay-wise it won’t affect your throw, but mentally you’ll be throwing to a blind target.
I really enjoyed the arcade-style of the game as well as the graphics. Funky trees and funky floating islands make for an enjoyable sky-high, disc golf adventure in the clouds. Big plus on the rotating, tall yellow vertical beams that surround the hole. This makes it much easier to find the basket on those twisty holes with towering trees. I even liked the added “wisp” wind trail that follows the disc after each throw. And of course the added instructional graphic at the very beginning was a nice touch.
Like I mentioned earlier, very glad to not hear some cheesy intro tune at the main menu home screen. Sound effects sounded pretty good throughout my playing experience. During gameplay there was the subtle wind noise, birds and crickets chirping in the background which made for a nice outdoor ambiance. If I closed my eyes, it truly sounded like I was outdoors playing DG at my home course. Kudos there. And the sound we all love to hear, the rattling of the chains.
Overall I very much enjoyed this disc golf game. It’s what I would consider to be the first arcade style of disc golf game that I’ve played/reviewed. It is challenging to say the least! I like having to guess how far my throws will go with the power indicator. It’s measured on a 9.6-12.5 meter—which I still not sure where that number range came from. Trying to figure out the right power level and correct aim will always have you coming back for more, practicing and honing in on your skills. It’s addictive enough because it’s challenging. I don’t like anything too easy, because one you beat or do awesome, then what?
My final thoughts to these guys that I feel did a really good job on the game! I feel like these few critique tips could help really put their app over the edge.
– Larger instructional graphic. There’s plenty of space on this screen that’s not utilized for the sake of the actual instructions. Having an iPhone 5, I found some of it difficult to read clearly.
– An in-screen menu. There needs to be a way to quit the game when you’re in Practice or Tournament mode. I don’t think you should have to finish all 18 holes just to get back to the main menu home screen. Hopefully, it’s there and I’m just overlooking it.
– Stuck in the Trees/View Glitch. I don’t know if there’s a way to fix this or not. But when you land in/behind a tree, your next shot is blocked by the limbs cutting into the disc/view of the basket. Nonetheless, it’ll teach you to stay as far away from the trees as possible!
» Go download Around the Rock Disc Golf now in the Apple Store for only $0.99!
Like this review? Be sure to check out our other disc golf app reviews here!
Welcome to another disc golf app review here at @DoglegDiscGolf. This is the second disc golf game app review this week. If you happened to miss the first review this week on iDisc Golf Pro, you can check it out here.
Tonight, we take a look at Pocket Putt disc golf putting game app by DiscGolf2Go.com. Pocket Putt is a laid-back, flick style of disc golf with photorealistic background graphics. It is available in the iTunes store for iPhone, iPad, iPod for $1.99 (Available for Android as well).
Starting Your Round:
Soon as this app loaded, I was little put off by the music. I thought I had downloaded a bowling game instead. Little jazzy maybe? I don’t know, I felt like I was in a lounge or a bowling alley. Anyway, I got a retro vibe from the start, even with their font choice for logo. I will get into graphics here shortly. Ok, let’s start.
From the home screen you have the option to either “Practice” or “Trial”. Let’s begin with Practice. I need to figure out how this game even plays, right? The next screen that advances is my course selection. There are four course selections are The Hills, The Grove, Open Field and The Pond. Ah there’s the button on how to play.
“The Hills” is first on the list, let’s go with that.
At first glance, I was impressed with the background scenery. Extremely photorealistic, but surprised with what looked like a weird, cutout image of a basket sitting in front. After a couple of flicks, I realized that this game reminded me yet of another game by how you flick (throw) the object and the flight pattern that it took…the classic, Paper Toss. Yes, you throw the disc by sliding your finger up the screen. The further up the screen you go, the harder/further your disc goes. Pretty simple, huh? Way too easy, let me try another.
Next course I tried was the Grove; it says “Medium”. Ah ok, now the basket is maybe 3-4x the distance from me than it was on The Hills basket. After maybe 15 throws later, I finally sink one. But once you find that certain “sweet spot” on your screen of where to release your finger..you’re basically hitting chains everytime. Ok now that I’ve found the spot, too easy. I’m bored. Give me some difficulty! Next…
Let’s back back out and check out this “Trial” mode.
“Open Field” it is. Whoa, the basket’s moved back even further AND NOW wind? Seriously? That’s quite a leap from the “Medium”. Whatever, let’s do this. I also now see three discs that appear in that upper right corner. No instruction anywhere that tells me what that means. I’m guessing I get three misses. I shall throw and find out. First throw…holy crap that wind is strong. That’s more like hurricane wind if I’ve ever seen it. My disc went maybe 50-ft and the wind carried it straight off the side of the screen faster than I could realize what had just happened. Lost one of the discs in the corner, great. Disc down.
The wind not only changes for each shot, but also varies speed while throwing. Frustrating. My next—and last—2 throws were horrendous and my round was immediately over. More Frustrated. I go back in and give it another shot…about 10 more rounds worth; nothing. Now it’s just really pissing me off that the difficulty level changes THAT much from that previous level to this. I don’t want to say it’s impossible to hit one with varying high wind speeds from that far a distance, but it’s sure damn close.
I play a variety of games on my iPhone, so I consider myself to be somewhat well-rounded with different types of gameplay. But the more I played this course, the more frustrated I became. I got fed up with Trial mode and went back to Practice on this course. I felt like the more I threw, the worse I got. I was not making any progress in getting closer or figuring out any type of “sweet spot” to throw at and ring a few. I threw almost 50 times before I actually sank one… How much fun is that? Would you stick it out that long or would you give up? That’s my thought..
To me, Paper Toss is way more entertaining compared to this app. Paper Toss is fun because even the furthest paper basket is still make-able with higher wind speeds with some practice. I don’t know how you’re supposed to score high on this “Open Field” course with winds that strong. I found it near impossible to aim far enough to either side of the vertical screen to play the strong left/right wind directions. I would have liked to see slightly less wind on a closer placed basket (like on The Hills, maybe The Pond).
I give props for the photorealistic, beautiful scenery in the photos. Coming from a graphic designer, I appreciate the level of detail and photography that went into those background. However, I think it falls short on the “clipart”-looking basket with the cheesy black stroke outline around it. What’s up with that? It gives the whole thing this Hanna-Barbera cartoon look with the illustrated basket on top of a 3D realistic background. If they’re going for cartoon, have the whole game in that cartoon look and feel. But don’t mix 2D cartoon foreground elements with 3D backgrounds. It’s a clash of dimensional and spatial realities.
Besides the annoying lounge music on the home screen, I actually really enjoyed the nature sounds and the rattling of the chains when you sink one. I didn’t like hearing the “dink” of metal whenever I hit the side of the basket, but I appreciated the sound effect. Another annoying sound is that that you hear when you miss your third shot in Trial mode. It’s like some kind of horn sound that reminded me of an old arcade game.
When I think disc golf, I think outdoors. Nature’s beauty. The elements. Realism. A rapidly-growing sport that’s evolving with today’s culture. Anything but corny sound effects on menu screens. I’ve noticed this often on a lot on sport games. I just don’t get it. You can’t call this an “arcade” game when you have that much realism and detail in the graphics. I may just be rambling, but if I have to leave you with something…I say, save your $1.99.
TIP: On the longer holes, I’ve found that a good rule of thumb on determining how much speed/distance to put on a throw. If you flick your finger upwards across the screen, stop it (release) about where the wind indicator is. I’ve rung a good bit more when stopping at that height on my screen. =)
About a week ago, I put out a tweet on our @DoglegDiscGolf account asking our followers what they would like to see more of on our blog. One of our Twitter friends suggested that they would like to see more disc golf game app reviews and where we see the future of these are going. I thought that was a great idea!
I have downloaded several disc golf games on my iPhone over this past week and have been playing each of them a good bit. These disc golf game app reviews will come in a series. After I have felt like I have played each one long enough to give it a fair review, I will review it on here.
The first one I would like to review is called iDisc Golf Pro by Hypergon Studios. They also have a “Lite” version that’s free if you would like to give it a run first. But honestly, I have a feeling that you will really enjoy this app. It’s really addicting, so I say go ahead and spend the $0.99 for the full “Pro” version. It’s well worth it.
Selecting Your Round:
You can choose between 1 or 2-player modes to start your round. The Pro version has six 18-hole courses that then lets you choose to play the front 9, back 9, all 18, or even just a single hole! I like that. For added difficulty, you can choose either to tee off from the White Tees or the Blues. I really liked the different course selections–everything from your urban course to desert to tropical to snow. It has every climate you can think of. So no matter what type of season it is, you can always be playing the climate of your choice. The six courses to choose from are Johnson Street, Sonora Sands, Tiki Island, Northern Exposure, Lakeside Landing, and Windy Gap.
After selecting your round type, tees, and course, you are ready to begin son! So you are on tee pad #1, first either tap the fairway overview icon on the left or drag your finger around on the screen to aim your crosshairs in the direction you want to throw. Pay attention to the wind indicator in the upper right-hand corner. Once you have your aim down, hold your finger down on the disc. Then you’ll see these arrows pop up. These arrows show the potential flight path of your disc. To make it go in that direction, simply slide your finger as fast and hard as you can along that same line. The harder and faster you flick your finger, the more power behind your throw.
The lower left shows the par of the hole. The lower right shows what throw you are on. To it’s immediate left is the distance of the hole (and remaining distance to the basket after you throw). Remember you can check your lie at any time, by tapping the fairway overview graphic on the far left side of the screen.
Once you release, the disc will take flight through the air. A distance indicator will appear under the “Player 1” up top tracking your current throw. You do have the ability to hyzer/anhyzer some of your shots around obstacles. One glitch in the game is the “bubble” around some of these tree tops. You might catch yourself trying to throw over some of them and suddenly your disc hits this “bubble” around the top of trees/leaves and falls down to the ground. Also if you try to throw out of bounds, your disc will hit this invisible, vertical “wall” and will drop your disc straight down to the ground.
For your second shot, you might be close enough to the basket that you do not need to throw your driver again. If so, tap the left or right arrows in the middle of the bottom of the screen next to “Driver”. This lets you select either your Midrange or Putter. For this particular game, if you are within 130 ft, I would use the Midrange. If you are within 50 ft, go for the Putter. Remember to adjust your aim and watch the wind as it changes for each throw.
Watch out for water hazards, they will take your A game to the crapper in a heartbeat if you kerplunk a few plastics in the lake. These discs love to roll too, especially on hilly fairways. Keep that in mind when aiming. Try to land it on a flat spot. I had a couple the other day that rolled into the water after tossing upwards to an anthill type green/basket.
Don’t be afraid to go for it from way out. You will miss 100% of the shots you don’t take. What do you have to lose? It’s a game, and an addictive one at that.
This has by far the best graphics/interface that I have seen in a disc golf game app yet. For what it is, at $1, it’s pretty good. The discs skids on ice, tumbles off of boulders, and spins and flips as it hits the ground. Not the most realistic-looking action, but the concept was there—better than just sticking like glue to wherever it might hit. Love the interface, easy to use. Really good job on the graphics, guys! Especially the course loading screens; very cool.
Nice interlude during the main screens. I laughed at some of the sound effects as it hits the water, ice, trees, etc. But you can always appreciate the lovely sounds of those rattlin’ chains.
–Don’t waste your time “trying” out the Lite version. BUY THE PRO VERS! You know you want it.
-It’s only $1 for the full Pro version! Get it now!
-BEST disc golf game app I have played.
-Nice graphics and gameplay
-Well designed interface
-Six, very unique courses to choose from with lots of hole options
-Easy learning curve with challenging holes/shots
Hey guys I’ve got a new disc golf app that you all should check out!
It’s a brand new app that will hit the App Store within the next week or two. I’ve been messing around trying out a TestFlight version of this app most of the day today and I would like to share my review with you.
First off, the name of the app is called Discasaurus. This is a score tracking disc golf app unlike any other I’ve come across out there. Its interface is very user-friendly and has a nice, polished look to all the graphics. A lot of the free disc golf apps I’ve used before have crappy graphics and appear as if they were thrown together in Microsoft Paint. Not this one. I really like its web 2.0 look and feel. The text is very legible and the buttons are large—great for those with clumsy thumbs and on-the-fly scoring.
Now let me take a few minutes to introduce and walk you through this handy app. You’ll be able to set up and start using this app by the time you reach the end of this article. Bet.
|Getting Started: Setup
The setup process maybe takes 3-5 minutes, so here it goes! To get started, you’ll need to upload the course directory for your state. This is quick and very easy to do. From the main screen, you’ll go to “Settings” and hit “Update Course Directory.” Simply find your state and hit update. I was impressed by how quickly the courses loaded. When I selected Georgia, it was a mere 4 sec and boom!, loaded. You’ll probably be prompted to allow GPS location so it can find nearby courses for your area. From there, select your course and choose between the Blue or White tees, then hit “Start.”
At some point it will ask you to enter your name, email address and choose a disc color. I would recommend taking a few extra minutes and sign up on Discasaurus.com (This will be extra beneficial later. Hold your horses, I’ll get to that part later.) =)
Expand the Experience! Submit Your Score to Discasaurus.com!
I told you the best is yet to come and I wasn’t lying. Once you’ve signed up with a free account on Discasaurus.com, you have the ability to submit your round scores directly from the app. But that’s not all, there are LOTS more of cool stuff on the site available with your free account. By signing up, you’ll be able to create your own personal profile. You can choose a username and upload a picture to attach to your own profile. You can even set your city and state AND add your favorite courses as well to it.
Connect with friends and other Discasaurus users from across the nation! See their recent scores, profiles, and favorite courses. Check out the course directory to find courses, scores, and pics of courses in your area. They even post leaderboards and recent scores for every course on there, awesome! Keep track of all your rounds and see how well you stand up with other fellow Discasaurus app fanatics! Another neat feature I’ve never seen before is the profile widget (see pic on right). You can paste this anywhere on the web. It tracks your average rounds/scores for friends to see. Well worth checking out, you won’t be sorry. Look for it in the app store soon, Discasaurus!