Rarely do I have time to enjoy playing any Pocket Sports leisurely. Sounds odd? The bulk of play testing I do for games makes is purely to find faults, research terminology for real world actions to include and fix or amend in game rules. Recently, I taught a friend how to play Pocket Golf and saw the game with fresh new eye, so I wrote a bit on it!
I sat down with a friend to play through one of the new courses, Augustus National. I had to tweak the name a little bit but the course yardage is spot on with the Masters course itself.
Course cards have been in PS Golf since the 2015 edition. The game comes with the standard Green Moose Valley course from the original edition with 3 new courses soon to be available as add on purchases.
What made this play through different to any in the past was the fact I wasn't trying to sell the game. No pitch was needed unlike preparing sell sheets or talking to wholesalers / retailers. There was merely a brief introduction to the rules and we teed off.
After the first hole, the game clicked into place for my guest. A luck luster roll of the putting dice saw him hole out with a bogey, and I a par.
"Simple" he said. I should mention my guest is a casino industry veteran. Managed and set up casinos around the world for 25 years and knows statistics, variance and luck.
Pocket Sports Golf is a simple dice rolling game at its core. A selection of dice represents clubs that hit within a range on all six faces. Look at how far you need to hit, choose the appropriate club within range, roll and hope for the best result.
As we progressed through the front 9, the mood became a little more serious. Distance charts were studied before each shot, deliberation between which club to use was brought up as risk vs reward moments stalled play.
Use of modifying 'Caddy Tips' to add or minus distance caused moments of indecision. Should they be used early in the round, or later on depending on the score? A spectacular eagle on a par 5, a hole in one, birdies, bogeys and double bogeys saw the round of golf ebb and flow.
The thrill and delight of rolling a maximum drive off the tee for one player rises an eagerness and pressure to match such a shot. A faltering shot into the water for one player causes a moment of frustration, while the onlooker can't help but laugh as a golden moment of opportunity presents itself.
Safer low risk shots turn into high risk, all or nothing decisions as the approach to the 18th hole is made with no more Caddy Tips remaining.
In the end, both of us had realistic scores played on a real life course. Discussion led to how tournament play would be suitable as one round just isn't enough!
There's so much longevity in this game. Solo, two or more players can compete over the same course multiple times. Combine that with 4 courses in total and a career mode is possible. Skins mode allows for money to wager if that tickles your fancy. Match play with 4 players allows teams to compete.
If you haven't thought Pocket Sports Golf was for you.....I'd ask you to reconsider because it's a 'hole' lot of fun!