When is golf not really golf, but actually always golf? What the golf is a silly physics-based golf parody where every golf course is a new surprising type of golf.
I don’t know about you but I’ve tried to like golf. Probably my best experience with the game is living in a shared house played Tiger Woods golf, me and some friends used to commentate on each other’s golf in different accents whilst playing holes in Tiger Woods Golf on the Xbox 360. Sometime it’d be Australian, sometimes South African, sometimes Scottish – you get the idea. REAL golf, on the other hand, has been somewhat less fun – mainly trying to hack a ball out of a bunker in 30-degree heat, sweating with suntan lotion melting down my face while being covered in sand. Not fun.
What the golf is the exact opposite of this experience. Funny, silly, unexpected and more often than not laugh out loud entertainment. At the core of the game it’s a simple golf simulator, simply swing with the club to hit the ball. However, it’s more often than not at the end of the swing unexpected things happen. Sometimes you’ll hit a ball, sometimes you will fly across the course. There’s a delightful physics simulator at the heart of what the golf and that incorporates delightful little surprises.
Each course mixes things up. It’s golf, but not as we know it. You’ll be driving, shooting and snowboarding. Each hole offers up its own challenge but between the holes is where a lot of fun can be had. There’s a bunch of random events in What the Golf? most of which are best experienced first hand, but characters will steal your ball or the flag your aiming for will just up and run away. What looks simple at first, may not feel so simple when you try it. For an extra challenge each hole has three ranks. These new challenges normally complete the hole in a number of strokes, or before the time limit runs out. Each hole also has a ‘final challenge’ which is normally a different twist on the level or a new activity. Beat each course on all three ranks and get a trophy.
One of the most fun things in What the Golf? are the references to other video games like Guitar Hero and Portal. Again, these surprises are best left unspoiled so dive in there and see them for yourself. It’s not often a game references so many others, in such fun ways too.
In summary What the Golf is fun, hilarious and has a good pick up and play feel to it which you can play in short bursts. Originally I heard of this game as it was released as part of the package for Apple Arcade, which appears to have an excellent curation of top-notch games. The general reception to What the Golf? has been overwhelmingly positive, and upon playing the game I can definitely recommend it to others.
Platform: Nintendo Switch (soon), macOS, iOS, tvOS, iPadOS, Windows
Release Date: September 2019