super-stickman-golf-2_585259203_ipad_02.jpgSince its launch at the end of 2010, the original Super Stickman Golf revolutionized the golfing genre on iOS with its simple controls, outlandish holes and awesome power ups.

Until today it remained one of (if not my absolute) favorite golfing game on the App Store, dethroned only by today’s sequel…Super Stickman Golf 2.

The Noodlecake team has really outdone themselves this time, updating every single aspect of the game from the graphics to the gameplay, new courses, new game modes and lots more. If you are unfamiliar with a href=”” target=”_blank”>Super Stickman Golf, let me take a moment to familiarize you with the basics. First off, this is not Tiger Woods realistic style golfing game, in fact it really plays more like adventure style minigolf and would probably make 15th century Scots turn over in their graves. But boy howdy is it fun! At one moment you may be trying to land your ball on the sticky side of a spinning boulder and avoiding laser beams in the next.

It this latest adventure of the digital links, players try to navigate their way through twenty very unique nine-hole golf courses using just a single club, a directional arrow and your standard two-tap power meter. To assist the duffers, there are an array of nine different power ups including a mulligan, sticky ball, the ability to swap sand and water traps, freeze water traps and many more. For each round, you are allocated a limited supply of power ups and individual types get unlocked as you progress through the game. These are easily one of the most fun aspects of the game and what makes it so unique compared to the other golf games on the App Store. They allow for a near infinite number of different ways to approach a hole and encourage experimentation to see what combination of shots will shave valuable strokes off your game.

super-stickman-golf-2_585259203_ipad_05.jpgNew to Super Stickman Golf 2 are unlockable golfers (like zombies, mummys and more) which allow you to alter your appearance and no less than 28 different hats which can provide your golfer with particularly useful skills or just a humorous change of appearance…more about these in a bit.

Like the last Super Stickman Golf game, the sequel features both a Single and Multiplayer modes. The frenzy that is the real-time multiplayer mode is back and even bigger that before, as you can now compete with up to 8 people when playing locally. However the biggest change here is the all-new asynchronous multiplayer mode…which by the way…IS AWESOME and works flawlessly!. Like I explained in my preview, asynchronous multiplayer matches start with the first player completely playing a single hole, then the second player plays both the first and second hole. Play continues going back and forth, two holes at a time until all 9 holes have been completed. In between plays, you get to see a replay of how your opponent played the hole in real-time (sans the arrow/power meter) so it feels much very like a real round of golf, where you can learn from your competitor, seeing the approach he took and which power ups he/she used before taking your turn.

For the sequel, Noodlecake has introduced some cool new elements which help you keep better track your progress through the single player campaign, in the form form of a leveling / XP system as well as an in-game currency called Golf Bux. It is XP which allows you to level up and unlock additional golfers and tours, which are essentially just collections of four courses each. Players must score par or better on a course before they can play the next course in that same tour. Once a tour and/or course is unlocked, players can access the contained courses whenever they want.

super-stickman-golf-2_585259203_ipad_03.jpgWhen you complete a round of nine holes there is the possibility of being awarded XP by accomplishing one or more of the Bonus Goals. The same goes for Golf Bux. This currency can be earned by accomplishing achievements, finding and collecting the 10 (1 Bux Bills) littered around each course. Occasionally at the start of a hole you will be presented with a special opportunity to win Bonus Bux by scoring a specified score on that hole. In the multiplayer mode you also earn additional XP and Golf Bux by winning matches. While the flow of Golf Bux seems to have been tightened a little from the beta version I played previously, it is still fairly easy to earn enough Golf Bux without spending any real money on the game’s various Golf Bux IAP packs. None of the IAPs feel compulsory.

Also new to the game is a per-course star-rating system (is there any game that doesn’t have a star rating at this point?). Courses have three possible star rankings, bronze for scoring below par, silver for scoring 5 below par and gold for scoring 10 under par or better. If the prospects of scoring 10 under par seems highly unlikely…it isn’t. Through practice and proper management of power ups you can pull off some pretty impressive scores that would make even the pros jealous.

super-stickman-golf-2_585259203_06So why do you need Golf Bux?
Well remember those hats I mentioned earlier?

A hat can be worn by your golfer and it can give you special abilities like an extra powerup or not gettting a penalty stroke if you land in the water. As you might expect, a magical hat like this costs money, however you can’t just outright buy them with your Golf Bux. Instead you get the hats from a gumball machine-like contraption known as the Hat Lottery. A pull of the machine’s lever will yield you a single hat (or perhaps some Golf Bux). If it is a hat that you already own, you can sell it back in exchange for some XP. Before spinning you can see the minimum Bux buy-in needed plus the odds (in percentage) that you will receive a hat which you don’t already own. To increase these odds, you can feed additional Golf Bux into the machine. Once you’ve amassed a collection of hats you can swap them out at will if you know that you’ll need a particualr ability for a particular course.

The amount of work and polish that has obviously gone into making this wonderful sequel is immediately apparent. The game looks great on both the iPhone and the iPad (though I prefer to play on the iPad) and progress can be synced between devices via iCloud. Fans of the first Super Stickman Golf will be thrilled to hear that the sequel features loads more chiptuney goodness from Whitaker Trebella and the soundtrack also features compositions from a couple of other talented, up and coming musicians as well.

In Conclusion

At only 99¢ this game is an ABSOLUTE STEAL! There are hours upon hours of game play here. Between leveling up and unlocking all of the courses, golfers and hats as well as 60 challenging Game Center achievements, you’ve got your work cut out for you. Add to that the per-course Game Center leaderboards and both real time and asynchronous multiplayer modes that let you play with and compete against your friends and there is a ton of value and replayability in this game. This is a MUST BUY title.