App Reviewed on: iPhone SE
User Interface Rating:
Replay Value Rating:
Vista Golf is a pretty simple mini-golf game that features a wide variety of courses, completely free of charge. For the most part, this makes it a great golf game to pick up, but if you're looking for more than putting and would like a little more impactful variety, you might want to go with a different golf game.
Vista Golf offers two varieties of its serene golf experience. You can choose to tackle sets of 18 holes like a traditional golf course or otherwise play the game's Infinite Mode. Each course on either mode presents greens with various hazards and obstacles, like ramps, windmills, etc. as well as a Par for you to shoot for.
Controlling the action in Vista Golf is rather simple. Putting involves tapping and dragging near the ball to determine your shot power and angle. When you do this, an arrow pops up showing your ball's trajectory and a number appears on screen to indicate your stroke strength. To get a better view of the action before you shoot, you can also pinch to zoom and swipe to rotate the camera.
There's something refreshing about Vista Golf's simplicity, but there are a few things about it that can be occasionally annoying. First and foremost of these issues is how the game's scenery can obscure your ball. There are holes in Vista Golf that sport some lovely palm trees, but sometimes these trees are perfectly placed so that you can't see your ball from the angle you'd like to. It's unclear whether this is an intentional design choice to add challenge or not, but in either case, it can make certain shots very frustrating.
On a more consistent but more subtle level, Vista Golf's shooting feels just a tad off in general. While it's helpful to have a power meter so granular (players can choose strengths 1-100), the differences between the strength values take quite a bit of getting used to. This is mainly because the game's arrow indicator isn't an accurate reflection of your swing power, despite the fact that it grows and shrinks in reaction to the shot power you choose.
Weekly Tee Time
One surprising thing about Vista Golf is that there will always be more of it to play. Even if you don't play the game's Infinite Mode, Vista Golf shakes things up on a weekly basis with a brand new set of courses for you to tackle. These new courses don't vary wildly between each other though. Most are just obstacles present in other courses arranged in a new pattern.
This idea adds quite a bit of longevity to Vista Golf, particularly for anyone that prefers to compete on leaderboards, but it also presents a small, but noticeable, issue. If you happen to be in the middle of a round of golf when Vista Golf puts out its new courses, you have no choice but to just play the new courses. There is no way to resume an old course, and no way to go back to it.
The bottom line
If you're way into mini-golf, Vista Golf is a great game to pick up. It guarantees a near limitless amount of courses for both competitive and casual players alike. It may not be a perfect golf game, but it's hard to beat for the price.