It’s been a long time coming, but Super Stickman Golf 3 has certainly been worth the wait. It’s a highly polished, engaging mobile game that fizzes and pops with smart ideas and bright mechanics. It’s every bit as silly and well put together as its predecessors, and it maintains a level of challenge that will keep your fingers busy for a good long while. Mix all of that together with a brilliant communal aspect and you’re left with a wonderfully off-kilter sports game that anyone can pick up, and most people will get painfully addicted to.

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The game is made up of a series of levels that challenge you to get a ball into a hole in as few swipes as possible. It’s golf, but without all of the stuffiness. And in 2D. With special hats that change the way your ball behaves.

Things are reasonably sedate to start off with – you’re contending with sand traps and water hazards – but after a few levels you’re smacking your ball into sticky goo, trying to battle gravity, and using power-ups to skip your ball over the top of ponds. All of the challenges are brilliantly well designed, pushing you to think outside the box if you want to get a score under par. There are golf bucks to collect as well, which you can spend in the Pro Store. Each course has challenges too, and you earn XP for completing them.

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While there’s plenty to do here, it’s never overwhelming. The game has a welcoming nature, always easing you into its new mechanics before running off with them in strange directions. Bouncing balls off moving platforms and taking shots upside down are all pretty common. You gain more skills as you play as well. To start with you get a few rewinds if you mess up a shot, but soon you’ll be making your ball sticky and using other tricks to get the best scores on each of the holes.

Then there are the hats. These give you special skills. You can buy them, or earn them in card packs for completing various tasks. It means every time you complete a level you’re gaining something, and that pushed you on to see more and more of what the game has to offer.

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And if that wasn’t enough, there are some deliciously compulsive multiplayer modes as well. The race mode is a frantic dash to the finish that you can play online or over a local network, and a turn-based online mode that’s a little more sedate but no less fun, and even allows you to wager Golf Bux with your friends.

Super Stickman Golf 3 is the sort of game that’s going to hang around on your phone for a good long while. It’s perfectly designed for short burst play, but more than capable of sustaining your interest for long play sessions as well. It might be the third game in the series, but there’s still a freshness here, and it’s pulled along by the sort of quality gameplay that will make most mobile gamers salivate.

This is a brilliant jumping on place for Noodlecake’s ridiculous golfing franchise, and if you’ve ever glanced at the other games and wondered if they were for you, then this should be the title that finally pushes you to take the plunge. It’s the sort of experience that will leave you with a smile on your face, and sometimes that’s all you can ask for.