Most golf games put you in the place of the athlete, hitting balls ever closer to a tiny hole in the ground by clicking when the one meter to point to the center, and the other meter goes to the top. Sure, it's fun, even if it doesn't quite capture the fresh air, the smell of the turf, and the undeniable thrill of loading up on cocktails and driving around in a little car. But Namuol, when designing his entry for the Sports TIGCompo, decided to approach it from the opposite side. What if you were a course designer? A really generous course designer who, knowing that his players have only one swing in their repertoire, decides to put his mini-holes and hazards together in a way that ensures victory. Turns out, it makes things feel... a little backwards. FLOG is an HTML5 retro puzzle game where the player puts together the friendliest fairways possible.
In each of the 18 holes, you must click and drag obstacles and other items so that the ball will travel to the hole when hit in the indicated direction, avoiding going out of bounds. Each hole may contain blocks, which the ball will bounce off of, direction arrows, which will change the path of the ball, activators which, when rolled over, will alter the layout, and ball-teleporting pairs of portals. Click the "Putt" button to launch the ball, or else hit the [spacebar]. Some levels will contain multiple balls and multiple holes. In a neat touch, each level completed will add an element to the hole on the title screen, setting up quite the complicated finale. With puzzles that effectively mix programming and physics, FLOG captures the feel of an 8-bit classic that never was, and its high-but-not-frustrating challenge level is just par for the course. If you like FLOG, be sure to check out the game's official site to give feedback and maybe buy Namuol an Arnold Palmer back at the clubhouse.