Noodlecake just launched the Super Stickman Golf 3 beta, and if you didn’t sign up, then you might be wondering what’s up with this game. I’ve gotten to play the game – about a month or so ahead of release – and what I’m seeing is a game that is familiar, but with some small changes that will otherwise have a big impact. That big impact on Super Stickman Golf 3 is the spin feature.
Being able to spin the ball will change how you approach the course, and affects even aspects like bank shots. Yes, you can use it in the obvious way, to influence a shot’s spin so that when it lands, it goes one way or the other. But because you’re bouncing shots off of walls, the spin also can do all sorts of effects. For example, hit a ball off of the ceiling, and apply spin, and it will go the opposite direction of the way it’s spinning. The Spin Land course will instruct you in the ways of spinning, though you’ll need a lot of practice to master the mechanic.
You can spin at any point while the ball is in the air, but if you spin and then hit something, you can’t control the effect any more. And the effect is greater if you let it spin longer. This might not seem like a major, game-changing feature when you read about it, but it dramatically changes the way that you play the game. Shot angles suddenly change when you have the ability to compensate for spin, and more hole-in-one opportunities should arrive. Oh, and the new ‘swish’ feature means that if you can get it in the hole cleanly, you lose a stroke. This all means that figuring out the perfect path to the hole just opened up more than it did before, oh and high score chasers just got a new factor to be a perfectionist over.
One cool new feature in the game for playability is that you can now set the power to your shot before hitting it, being able to adjust your aim after setting power. This is helpful for timing-based elements, where before you had to time a powerful shot with a moving platform or spinning object, which was difficult in Super Stickman Golf 2 ($0.99).
Really, the game doesn’t do a whole lot beyond the spin to be dramatically different from other games in the series – though that is a major change – but it’s definitely an “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it" situation. The core game idea is great, and nothing has been removed. There’s still both turn-based and real-time multiplayer modes, to go along with the various modifiers that you can get, including the Flappy Golf (Free) mode that you can get in the cards. But considering that it’s been 3 years since Super Stickman Golf 2, iterative improvements are quite welcome. My initial playtime with Super Stickman Golf 3 has shown that this formula can still be as fun as the very first Stickman Golf game back in the day.
While monetization can be changed ahead of launch, Super Stickman Golf 3 will have a bit more persistent monetization system with the cards system. Don’t fret too much: you get card packs all the time for in-game achievements, and getting the 40 bux to buy a new card pack isn’t that difficult. The powerups are unlocked through normal gameplay, with only the mulligan available at first, and the various new additions unlocked over time. Some cosmetic upgrades you get through the cards will also have gameplay effects, such as unveiling the hidden portals in some levels, and an aiming line. The last-shot-power indicator is $1.99, and an experience doubler is the same price. There’s no $99.99 IAP here, like the most you can spend at one time is $9.99 on 40 card packs (containing 4 cards) or $19.99 for 2000 bux.
This one is near completion, and it feels like it – there’s a lot of content in the game already, and all the modes are playable, it’s just in that final stretch to make everything feel great for the initial launch. While there’s still a lot more to dig into with this game, there’s little reason to think anyone who isn’t excited for this one shouldn’t download it the second it’s out.