Remember Line Rider? That was a pretty sweet webtoy made by a guy from Slovenia. But did you ever get the feeling that Line Rider could have been so much more amazing if there was more of a game to it?
Fresh off the CandyStand, and developed by WDDG, we have Line Golfer. It's like Line Rider, and yet you golf your way through the mouse-drawn levels instead of watching a character sled through them. Frankly, it's money.
First of all, the game lets you jump right in and play, no confusion or immediate expectations about drawing. Adjust the angle of your swing with the mouse, click once to ready and click again to lock-in your desired power-level. The ball then bounces through a usually ridiculous obstacle course of ramps, platforms, pits, splotches of sand and rough. The goal is to get the ball to roll under the pin at a slow speed, sinking it, and in only so many strokes.
Analysis: If you're like me, you love Curb Your Enthusiasm and you hate golf, so a game that is golf-like but abstracts the sport to 2D zaniness is right up on its own. Then add a smooth Web-platform for building, publishing, rating and sorting levels, and you must concede defeat. The drawing tools in Line Golfer are easy to use and the time required to build a level is much more palatable than Line Rider because the physics of the object in question (your golf ball) are so much more dynamic (and forgiving). This is interesting to me, because I've suspected for a while now that open-ended toys, social networks and ARGs benefit from game mechanics nested within them. In this case, the benefit isn't just in stickiness, the process of creation is actually deepened by the variation that a game allows. That's a lesson you can take to the bank.
Unleash the wild, crayon-equipped toddler within your heart and the balding, aged golfer within your head, and play Line Golfer.