Review: Fable Coin Golf
Fable Coin Golf is a bit of a diamond in the rough. It’s truly an unexpected gem. Personally, I’ve never had much interest in the Fable games. They’re simply not my cup of tea. Imagine how surprised I was, then, when I picked up Fable: Coin Golf for my Windows Phone a while back, and became enthralled by the game.
This game is not a Fable game (any more than Dr. Mario is a Mario game). It is a fun, challenging puzzle-type game with outstanding writing. Quite honestly, after playing through more than half of the game, I am absolutely astonished at how fantastic the writing is. This game is a rare example where I don’t feel forced to sit & read tutorials before playing each level for the first time. Quite the opposite; I miss the “tutorial” information when I come back and play a level again later.
What you get with this game is not just an incredibly fun game that you can sit & play for 5 minutes or an hour; you also sort of get a funny, entertaining series of static cutscenes that are written almost like a great comic strip. Whether you’re a fan of the Fable series or not, I highly recommend trying this game.
As mentioned, this game is fun and challenging. The objective of the game is to aim a disc (sort of like the table-top shuffle board games you play in bars and pubs) from the start to the goal. On the way, you encounter various obstacles and power-ups. There are even “weapons” you can pick up along the way to help you make it through. The concept of the game is simple, and, if you’re anything like me, you’ll probably complete most levels without much effort. The real effort comes in trying to get the gold medal on each level.
The graphics for this game are actually very nice for such a small screen form factor. They’re far from the graphics you’d find on your Xbox 360, but they’re still nice. For the most part, everything in the game is relatively static, so, without the various elements needing to move, they were able to put more attention on the appearance of the elements.
The game itself doesn’t have much of a story, but it is also well aware of that. The “cutscenes” (which, as I mentioned above, are basically static) are written in such a way that the characters are very much self-aware, and are very entertaining. There are basically three different characters that walk you through the game, and they are constantly bickering at and arguing with each other. As someone who’s never played the Fable series, I don’t know the characters, and I don’t really even know if they interact this way in the standard games, but I do know that they are very entertaining in Coin Golf.
The characters are Mark, Jim and Ben discuss how the levels are structured, and have a bit of back-and-forth throughout. For instance, when you complete Chapter 2 of the game, following is the exchange between Mark and Jim:
Jim: “Argh! I can’t believe you beat my levels. No one has ever done so before.”
Mark: “Ben and I have.”
Jim: “Oh… right. But besides you–”
Mark: “And your little brother.”
Jim: “Right, okay, point taken.”
Mark: “And my sister, and her friend Dierdre, and Dierdre’s boyfriend Jack –”
Jim: “ALL RIGHT, Mark, the point is made…”
While I’m rather positive that you’ll enjoy the game enough to want to buy it, you should probably download and play the trial first. If I recall correctly, the trial version lets you play all of Chapter 1 before you have to buy the game, so you get a really good sense of the game before you have to stop playing the free version.
Since it’s an Xbox Live game, once you do buy the full version, you’ll be able to unlock achievements while you play. The full version of the game has 3 chapters (as far as I can tell; I’ve only just now finished Chapter 2, so there may be more levels you can unlock after Chapter 3, but it doesn’t look like it). Each chapter has 15 levels.
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