Pro Golf 2007 Feat. Vijay Singh

In the real world, competitive life has got more interesting for Tiger Woods in the last couple of years, with the emergence of a bunch of serious rivals. And it's made him up his game, showing the merits of healthy competition.

On mobile, it's different. There have been decent attempts at bringing the links to your phone, such as Golf Club 3D and Gameloft's previous Vijay Singh Pro Golf game. But EA's Tiger Woods PGA Tour has dominated the market like Tiger did the real golfing world a few years ago – for example with its 2006 effort.

Can the all-new Pro Golf 2007 tame the Tiger? The omens are good. Gameloft has clearly been beavering away at producing a more absorbing, in-depth golfing sim without losing the accessibility that'll be needed to make the game appeal beyond hardcore golf nuts.

You can choose to play a Quick Play round, or set up a Custom Match – which includes a multiplayer Hot Seat version where you take turns to take shots – as well as choosing one of three courses, how many holes to play, and what kind of match. Not all the courses and match modes are available at the start of the game though: they have to be unlocked as you play through.

The heart of the game is its Career Mode, however, where you compete in tournaments and earn cash, which can then be spent on training up your skills, and buying new clubs and balls. You start as a fairly weedy player, but by improving your driving, accuracy, recovery and putting skills in this way, you make it to the heights you'll need for the game's later tournaments.

It's all set on an island, with three courses to play, plus a shop for items, and the training section, which is great. After spending, say, $10,000 to work on your putting, you're taken to the green and have to sink two out of three putts to gain the extra skill point. It's a well thought-out system, and genuinely tough in parts.

But it's the golfing action that this game stands or falls on. Thankfully, it stands proud. The basic driving, pitching and putting actions aren't revolutionary, involving pressing '5' to start a moving bar, pressing '5' again to set the power, and finally '5' again to set the accuracy. But it works well.

Our main criticism is that Pro Golf 2007 can feel positively glacial at times, particularly when your ball is rolling along the green. The fact that Gameloft has included a 'press 5 to fast forward' option for putting indicates that the publisher knows this, too.

Perhaps the reason is the physics. Gameloft is proud of the game's "environment management system" (translation: proper slopes), which gives the courses more realistic bumps and slopes, that comes into its own when you reach the green to see a top-down view of how and where it's sloping.

There's so much more to say about Pro Golf 2007. There's the caddy tips which offer advice on taming those greens – but can only be used a limited number of times in each match. Then there's the trophies that pop up when you achieve certain milestones, starting with simple stuff like getting eagles and topping your longest drive.

Suffice to say, there's weeks of fun to be had here, and a decent challenge. It's a bit slow, and the graphics are on the cartoony side but Pro Golf 2007 offers so much depth and enjoyment, that you'll overlook these niggles.

We'll have a review of the latest Tiger Woods sim shortly to see how it stacks up, but for now this is most definitely the best mobile golf game you can buy.

Pro Golf 2007 Feat. Vijay Singh

Absorbing golf sim whose career mode and skill-upgrading system elevate it above the crowd.
Score