A casual mini game bonanza loosely based around golf. Often challenging, it is rammed with comical moments which are bizarre and amusing.
Genre: Casual, Golf, Amusing
Release date: 22 October, 2020
What happens when you gather a group of developers who hate golf? They make a wacky and wonderful new take on golf which will probably become the norm in twenty years’ time.
It is official. Golf is boring! so a secret underground testing lab has been set up to make golf more interesting. Moving around the testing facility, you test different holes ranging from the bizarre to the ridiculous, all in the name of making golf fun.
What Is Orange and Sounds like a Parrot? – a Carrot.
Just one of the many jokes in What the Golf!
What the Golf! feels amusing and original initially. It is incredibly casual and perfect to dip in and out of when you don’t have a lot of time.
Essentially it is golf, even if they say it isn’t, but a pitch and putt version where the ball has been replaced with a whole host of objects, ranging from household items to animals.
When I first started playing, I was having a blast. It concentrates on being humorous and entertaining. Everything is set up to make you smile. The novelty slightly wears off as you progress but the game still does a great job of throwing in a few surprises and curveballs even towards the end when you think you’ve seen it all.
I would say ninety percent of the games are fun and challenging, but fair. However, there are a few holes where the mouse control is extremely frustrating to use and this mars the experience slightly.
There is quite a variety in the holes you play. Some require you to complete them in a certain amount of shots, some are timed and some have multiple layers. These elements make the holes a lot more difficult and then it becomes a bit less casual and a lot more frantic. Speed and accuracy are needed with a slice of luck to complete these. They can be extremely difficult and will take you multiple attempts.
The hole is always the same, so you can learn from your mistakes and try a different approach next time until you complete it. It is quite rewarding when you finish a hole that has taken a long time to defeat.
There are numerous comical touches sprinkled throughout the game from the theme tune, to the wonderfully named holes. Even navigating around the lab can be funny with some choice quips and jokes all berating golf.
There’s about ten to fifteen hours of gameplay if you try to play every hole and dabble in everything it has to offer.
The projectile you need to get in the hole is controlled by mouse movements. Pulling back with the LMB sets the power and release it to shoot the object. Sometimes it can be very difficult to set the power correctly, especially when you are on a timed level or controlling a car or similar object that continually moves at pace. There are also other levels that can be frustrating due to annoying mechanics, but thankfully these are in the minority.
The physics are decent. The objects roll and bounce as you would expect and it all feels smooth. The space area was a different mechanic again where gravity and gravitational pulls effect the ball. To be honest there was a lot of trial and error in this section!
There are four main sections which are career mode, sporty sports, challenges and party mode.
- Career Mode
This is where you’ll spend the majority of your time. There are twenty-one themed zones to navigate in the lab including outer space; football; athletics; exploding barrels and driving themed levels. There is quite a lot of variety in each zone and it mostly keeps things fresh, considering the ultimate goal is always the same.
Each area will have a varying degree of holes and there are three tiers to every hole. The first tier is simple and just involves you hitting the object into the hole with minimal resistance. If you shoot through the game only playing tier one then you will miss out on a lot.
Tier two is harder and will introduce new elements and difficulty into the hole. For example, there might be trees, moving cars, cats and boulders waiting to ricochet your “ball” into oblivion. Tier three is usually bonkers and the most difficult to complete. This tends to be very silly and can be completely different to the previous tiers. It could introduce a timed element or ask you to complete it under par. If you finish all three tiers you are awarded a crown. Get a crown on every hole in that section and you’ll get an achievement.
Here is a video of the three tiers. As you can see, they are often very different from each other and vary in difficulty.
You will need to complete at least one tier on every hole in the area to move on to the next zone.
There is a computer blocking your path until you meet the criteria to pass. Once you meet the quota you then play a mini game where you have to defeat the computer to gain access.
Occasionally, the zones have small puzzles in that you need to solve. For example, in one area the holes are hidden behind trees and you have to go to another level to collect a circular saw to chop them down before you can play. There are a few instances of this which makes navigating around the lab a bit more fun, but nothing too difficult.
There is a teleporting option once you have reached these areas and you can fast track to any zone you have entered, which is perfect for achievement hunters.
Here is a video of a particularly difficult hole mainly due to the thin course, the speeding car, and the par being only eight moves. If the course was barren I think it wouldn’t be too difficult, but the trees, rocks and other obstacles really throw you off course and hamper your run.
- Sporty Sports
This will take around an hour to complete and is all sports themed. It’s great fun and surprisingly varied. It is definitely worth playing and was one of my favourite parts of the game.
There are daily challenges where you can compete on a leaderboard. These tend to be quicker events that last twenty four hours before refreshing. There are other challenges you can try also which are a bit more in depth.
- Party Mode
This is just a versus mode where you can race each other and the winner is the first one to complete the hole.
There is a course designer in development which can be used to make your own courses and share these with other people. This will be available at a later date.
There are already some entries which you can try but they come with a developers warning that they might not work, and a great deal of them don’t. It looks promising though and I am sure this will add many hours of enjoyment to the game.
Visuals are basic but very colourful and comical. They don’t feel out of place in this type of game which is crazy and cartoon like in nature.
The sound adds a lot to the gameplay including an amusing theme tune, some memorable moments during play and lots of great special effect sounds.
What the Golf! is a refreshing, entertaining and challenging cornucopia of different mini games loosely based around golf. It is addictive and oozes that “one more go” mentality.
If you’re looking for something casual which you can pick up whenever you like then this could be your game. There’s no story to worry about, just a whole lot of silliness, craziness and golf, but not as we know it!