WHAT THE GOLF? – Review
Follow Genre: Arcade Puzzler
Developer: Triband
Publisher: Triband
Platforms: PC, Mac, Switch
Tested on: PC

WHAT THE GOLF? – Review

Site Score
8.0
Good: Explores a large area of different gameplay with high creativity
Bad: Despite the different gameplay it's a long game with the same clicking core mechanics.
User Score
10.0
(1 votes)
Click to vote
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Rating: 10.0/10 (1 vote cast)

Have you ever played about two different games from a genre that made you feel terrible about the genre as a whole? Those two basketball games perhaps that really made you frustrated or bored? Or, though uncommon, you dislike shooters in general? This must be the common thought behind WHAT THE GOLF? A game that has, absolutely, nothing to do with golf. 

Story

In WHAT THE GOLF? there is not much story going on, at least not much that’s being explained. You generally play as a golf ball that’s breaking out of a lab in some way, defying a computer (wait, is this Portal?) by doing a lot of simulations and a ton of games that you are not allowed to do. And that’s pretty much it. There are small pieces of text that actually look like notes from the developers while making the game, and some very small conversations with certain NPCs, but nothing more. The story seems to be divided into a lot of small stories, where the worlds you find yourself in write the story by only using graphics.

Graphics

Most of the graphics that this game has are models with low-poly skins, meaning they look like simple and colorful models. At the same time, the game does a lot of creative designing, so you never know what to expect until you encounter it. This means that the graphics can suddenly change from a 3D perspective to a 2D to a sudden familiar environment that borrows a page from the playbook from a different game. WHAT THE GOLF? sure likes to play with the unexpected.

Sound

A lot of sounds can be described as a bit cartoony, or at least light-hearted. The game has different tracks depending on what level you are playing, and different sound effects that act accordingly as well. Because of that, it stays fun as background noise. Often there are about two instruments such as a guitar and a bass guitar being used. Overall it’s not too distracting, not bombastic, but entertaining enough without getting annoying. The only thing that possibly gets a bit in your head is the sound of you whacking a ball all the time. It is a ”golf” game after all.

Gameplay

WHAT THE GOLF? combines arcade and puzzle elements. These two form something ridiculous and highly creative. Where the first level starts as a regular golf game, instead of putting the ball you quickly find yourself putting the club or the golfer, and many other ridiculous things you never thought you would be hitting forward. The game doesn’t only fool around with objects, but also with the mechanics and goals for each level. Perspective, perception, anything you could play around with within ”somehow referring to a ball moving forward” parameters. In a way, the game often feels even more like it wants to tell you about the fun involved in making a game and letting your creative juices flow freely during said process.

You play the game by simply dragging the mouse backward and around the point where you clicked first to define the speed and direction of the object you are currently trying to move around. Often you will have to mess around a bit first before you understand what is being asked of you, and that’s fine! The game at least doesn’t shy away from parodying other games and challenging itself and the player at the same time. Also, it makes a lot of puns about golf. Obviously.

The game is divided into about nine different ”stages” which are represented by two sets of levels, one on each side of a hallway, and a boss fight against a computer at the end. Each set of levels has a different theme, and every level has three different variations. The first variation is often the easiest of the three. Complete all three with the third being the hardest, and you earn a crown. Crowns sometimes have to be collected to be allowed any further into the ”story” of the game, but mostly they are collectibles that allow you to collect items as you complete an entire set of them. These treasured objects you gain by collecting crowns might have a purpose, they might not, but at least they make you look like a proud hoarder.

Conclusion

WHAT THE GOLF? is unique and highly creative. It does a very good job of changing your perspective time after time to surprise and captivate you to some extends. The mechanics of clicking an object and launching it away for whatever purpose is invented stays the same, but the game goes to extreme lengths to variate on this concept. It’s amusing for longer periods of time if you feel like you want to be surprised by brain twisters and unusual arcade for a bit. Otherwise, you will probably play it in short bursts and at least get a chuckle out of it every now and then.

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Rating: 10.0/10 (1 vote cast)
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WHAT THE GOLF? - Review, 10.0 out of 10 based on 1 rating
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Find me on youtube to see some playthroughs! https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCuBrlulGywcb0EiYWBnA1ng

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