Developer: Noodlecake Games
Publisher: Noodlecake Games
Format: Android, IOS
Golf, at least in my personal opinion, isn't too terribly exciting on it's own. Sure, it's exciting when you SMAAAAACK the ball and send it flying into probably someone else's property or windshield, but over all it lacks pizazz and is boring to take seriously in my book. Mini-golf on the other hand, with all the interesting designs and obstacles and themes, is more up my alley. It feels a lot more like a game designed to be fun, which I like.
With this in mind it's no wonder I don't enjoy most golf games. Sure, some catch my eye, like the recent Golf is Hard, but those are few. If a golf game is like the sport then odds are I won't enjoy it. With all sports games, I need something interesting to spark my crave for that pizazz, and video games more akin to mini-golf satiate that craving. Super Stickman Golf 2 had the pizazz I was locking for and more.
Super Stickman Golf 2 is like any other 2D golf game with how it works at it's core, but it expands upon that with more and more mechanics to deal with. Hitting the ball how you want too is as simple as seeing up the angle of your shot and timing how hard you want to hit it. Doing so around ice, moving platforms, and sticky walls are not so simple. It requires a specific sense of judgement that you can only develop by experimenting and sometimes sucking a bunch. The consistent introduction of new mechanics in the levels in conjunction with the excellent level design is quite nice.
There are also other things available to alter gameplay, such as power-ups or hats. Power-ups are unlocked as more and more courses are completed, and can do things ranging from freezing bodies of water on contact, making the ball stick to a solid surface upon contact, or taking back a shot. Power-ups are always useful but you only get seven uses for all of them in every course, so you have to spend them wisely.
Hats are little changes to your character's aesthetics that also change how you ball works for as long as you have the hat on, so somewhat permanent if you'd like. These aren't always useful, like the one that just turns water red, but others are, like the one that makes the ball bouncier. Some just make things easier (like the amazing pope hat, which nullifies all penalties, which is the bomb diggity), but others alter gameplay and force the player to adjust to the change in style of play. Pretty interesting mechanic, although I like playing with my standard ball.
There are nine holes in a course instead of eighteen, which is more fitting for both the casual nature of this game as well as the pacing of progression it has. Each hole has a par and how many strokes over or under the par adds or subtracts from your score. You have to at least make par to move on to the next course. Getting par isn't too hard, but trust me when I say the difficulty will get you if you're not careful. There can easily be a mistake that lands you in the water (which adds an extra +1 to your stroke count) or back where you were earlier. It's not too frustrating, but all I'm saying is thank god that you're able to practice each hole outside of the full course if you want.
My only problem with the game is that it can be easy in some situations to slip up and because of one hole, your chances of getting par in the entire course is ruined. This isn't too often, and is mostly because I was on a sucking streak, but I can't help but hate how the system works. I mean, it's actually a fine system. I don't know how else to do it. Pro tip: try practicing each hole before actually going through the whole course. That way you don't have to suck and feel bad. Got that? Good. Just looking out for you.
Visually, this game is quite nice. The art style is attractive to the eye, with a bright, vibrant, and well thought out color pallet that really helps make everything look so polished. The levels are diverse and pretty, the hats are all cool and goofy, and the effects have pizazz. I would personally like to thank the visual team who worked on this game. They did a good job.
Now another team I would love to personally thank is the team in control of the music department. The sound effects and all that are god blah blah blah but seriously the music is fucking amazing, so much so that I just cussed in a game review and am completely ok with it. This soundtrack of chip tune and smooth jazz caught me so off guard that I couldn't help but love how good it is. It's so chill, I can't help but relax and imagine myself in another dimension doing nothing but playing golf. Easily the best OST from a mobile game I've ever heard. One of my personal favorite OSTs to date
All in all Super Stickman Golf 2 is an astoundingly good mobile game, and probably my favorite golf game. It's a well polished gem on the mobile scene, with good gameplay, visuals, and oh so sweet music to my ears. It's this polish that I would love to see more of in games.