Drive for show, putt for dough. Mark Twain once said, “Golf is a good walk spoiled.” We can only guess what Twain would think of video golf, but the sentiment would probably be the same. Video golf, like real golf, isn’t for everyone. But Tiger Woods PGA Tour 08 is fun for both real-world golfers and just about anyone with a Twain-like disdain for golf. Golfers can embrace the fantasy of competing against pros and playing on famous courses. And for anyone who associates a driver with a chauffeur and a putter as something you do around the house, Tiger Woods is a well-designed game that helps you understand golf concepts, without all of the allergens shed by fairway landscaping. Tiger Woods sinks both types of players with many game types alongside a compulsively deep simulation of the sport.
We outgrew Battleship in the fourth grade, so we were surprised that Naval Battle kept us at attention. This iPod take on the board game (and older ancestors) follows those boredom-inducing rules in a classic, almost-never-ending game mode. But additional play options embellish with super weapons, winner’s-outs for consecutive shots, and creative maps. These updates plug the holes in standard Battleship.
A title like “Chess & Backgammon Classics” gives a good idea of what you’re going to get, and this iPod two-fer gives even a little more than anticipated. Yes, it’s backgammon and chess. But Gameloft crafted two thought-out versions of these ubiquitous games. Both include several play modes and board themes. Built-in opponents offer a challenge, or both games allow pass-the-iPod two-player matches. Chess’s default 3D view looks surprisingly good, but we kept better track of the pieces in the 2D, overhead perspective. AI opponents range from inept to intense, but the game’s extras round out the package: single-move puzzles, a moderate database of opening moves, and turn-by-turn replays of famous games. Backgammon can’t match all of these modes, but it includes a tutorial and tournament play. Still, it has everything we’d expect in a Backgammon game, with clear graphics and responsive controls.
The Rig Kontrol 3 pedal requires a Mac host. The Holy Grail of the electric guitar involves a single magical box that replaces racks of gear and puddles of pedals, with no compromise to quality, accuracy and flexibility. Guitar Rig 3 is a significant evolution in digital guitar hardware and software. It could easily serve as the cornerstone of a completely digital guitar setup.