Golf: A sport in which you use small clubs to push small white balls past various obstacles into small holes. Commonly shouted as a sport of the wealthy, in variations such as mini golf affordable even for the small budget. So it is obvious that there are many golf video games, the Mario golf series from Nintendo for example, or series like PGA Tour that strive for realism. What the golf? however, is different. The game, which was released for Apple Arcade, Windows and Linux a few months ago, has recently also become available for Switch digital in the eShop – a limited retail edition of 2,500 copies has also been published.
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Fun, funny, different
What the golf? is expressly not a simulation! The exact opposite is the case: Basically, it is a comedy game that uses golf physics and a very simple control system to make a game world with numerous levels full of jokes and humor tangible and, above all, playable. The classic way to transport a small golf ball into a corresponding hole, you only have to do it at exactly one level, namely the very first. After that, it immediately becomes absurd and just as fun. Sometimes you blow off the flag that you should hit; sometimes you have to knock cats over with the golf ball; Transport furniture to a moving truck or maneuver a soccer ball past game pieces: each level offers a new gimmick. In order not to spoil the surprise for you, a central component of the game's fun, we do not give further examples here. What does that have to do with golf anyway? The simple controls, in which you only determine the direction and strength of the shot, are borrowed from golf, especially when it comes to the physics of the shot. Otherwise it is What the golf? more fun arcade action than golf.
The challenge lies primarily in the unknown because you have to master new types of challenges at each level. You know what to do, but the game itself is not too demanding. After all, each level offers three levels of difficulty, whereby the task and structure of the game worlds on different levels of difficulty are often completely different – varied! All levels are connected via an overworld, a kind of "golf laboratory". To unlock new areas, divided into several levels, you have to master the levels. For the most part, the lowest level of difficulty suffices, but some gates only open with sufficient crowns. There is a reward for completing all three levels of a level. The entire game is also characterized by a humor that is certainly not absolutely brilliant, but which nevertheless regularly makes you smile. Above all, the numerous word games in the levels and the often completely absurd tasks made us laugh again and again. But you should experience that for yourself, so no examples here either, the humor lives like the gameplay from the surprise.
Source: PC Games
What the golf? Yes!
The heart of What the golf? is the Single player with dozens of levels and fun for many hours. At least the first time, when you play again, you already know the tasks and are faster. In addition, should daily challenges Motivate them to paddle with online rankings. A real one Online mode unfortunately there is not. But brand new and (so far) only in the switch version local multiplayer for two game in split screen mode.
Source: PC Games
Visually, the developers focus on minimalism and practicality, and that is quite impressive. The game is similar in this respect, for example, to the ingenious one Untitled Goose Game. The style may seem a little too boring to one or the other, What the Golf is pretty? but always. Especially since there is also a big advantage in graphic minimalism: The game always runs smoothly with a high refresh rate and equally high resolution, whether in mobile handheld or stationary TV mode. Only the sound output goes a little too far in minimalism. The sounds are nice, but there is hardly any music; and if it does, it doesn't really add much to the atmosphere or gameplay. Overall, however, this does not change the fact that What the Golf? just a lot of fun. Even with Apple Arcade and thus for example on iPad or iPhone, the game is a recommendation, maybe even an insider tip. This applies all the more to the switch, since the control with the right buttons is simply even more precise and therefore more satisfying. The extremely good accessibility and the easy-to-understand game principle make What the Golf? to a suitable title for all possible age groups and player types. What the golf? What the golf!
Gameplay, controls, technology, humor, variety: everything fits here.
I first came into contact with What the Golf? in about ten short minutes between two appointments at Gamescom 2019 at the Nintendo booth. A friendly but unknown employee gave me a pro controller and asked me to try this game, I would like it. And lo and behold, he was right! Since then I have always kept an eye on the title and then diligently gambled on the iPad at the end of 2019 using Apple Arcade. What the Golf? to play through, but I was waiting for the switch version and that was the right decision. The game is fun on every platform, but best on the switch. I highly recommend auditioning.
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