Let's Golf! 3 iPad Review

Let's Golf 3 is the best golf game in the App Store, hands down. Gameloft's exquisite sports title plays similar to Sony's Hot Shots Golf series, but the developers upped the ante with a wide assortment of power-ups, courses, user-friendly touch controls and seamless online play. The best part? It's free.

Well, relatively speaking. You can download and play much of the game without spending a dime.

That said, Gameloft did include in-app purchases that come in two flavors: gold coins and cash. The former lets you purchase a variety of coats, shoes, clubs, shirts, pants and even power-ups (Frost Ball freezes water, Balance Ball enables tilt control) to give your customized player an edge; you can spend anywhere from $0.99 to $49.99 and different amounts in between.

The latter, meanwhile, helps you unlock all of the holes on a specific course, and like gold coins, $49.99 is the highest amount.

On the positive side, all of this stuff will improve your character's overall skills, so there's more to his or her wardrobe than just looking nice.

Even better, we never felt pressured to buy anything. In fact, Gameloft's requests are so small (look for suggestions on the bottom of the screen), that you'll probably miss them altogether.

That just means you can sit back and enjoy this highly entertaining effort. The developers outdid themselves, creating six expertly designed courses inspired by the Fiji Islands, Egypt, Ireland, China and two fantasy areas, underneath the ocean and the Milky Way, all of which feature colorful and happy scenery; don't be surprised to see a crab scuttling along the grass, or a dolphin poking its head from the water.

Let's Golf 3 is also a blast to play, with a wealth of options at your disposal.

Playing solo is a fun way to pass the time, but the game also has a full suite of multiplayer options. Offline, you can compete against three friends via Wi-Fi/Bluetooth, or using a single iPhone or iPad.

If there's no one around, jump online for a quick match. We can't speak for everyone's connection, but our play tests featured minimal lag. Joining someone's game/starting our own is a breeze, and iPad 2 owners can watch their opponents golf in real time. There's also voice chat, though we've yet to find a willing participant.

The only conceivable issue is the occasional restriction that crops up whenever a character lacks the requisite amount of energy to continue, which forces you to wait an hour or revive him or her using real world money, but so long as you play the game consistently, it shouldn't be much of a problem.

Besides, with a game this great, you should have no qualms parting with a few bucks. Gameloft certainly deserves it, and you'll enhance the experience tenfold.

On that note, be sure to download Let's Golf 3 immediately. We'll see you online.

Requirements: Compatible with iPhone 3GS, iPhone 4, iPod touch (3rd generation), iPod touch (4th generation), and iPad. Requires iOS 3.1.3 or later.

Download Let's Golf 3

What's Hot: Sweet cartoon style graphics, user-friendly swing system, deep player customization, cool power-ups, excellent multiplayer options, free, universal.

What's Not: Waiting to play.