“Golfy Golf is a charming new spin on the classic gentleman’s game.” That is a quote from the game’s store page on Steam and I think it’s an appropriate one. This is the first game from the studio Yah Man Games and I’m starting this review off with a quote because, while I can describe how the game looks and plays, describing exactly what Golfy Golf is has proved to be difficult. It’s not really a miniature golf game. It is definitely not a golf simulator game either. It is just Golfy Golf.
The gameplay in Golfy Golf could not be simpler. The golf ball is dropped on a certain location on the stage. You use the mouse to control the direction and power of your shot. You try to get it in the hole in as few shots as possible. It is as simple as that.
Unlocking a new world will cost you twenty stars. There are three stars available in every stage. You get one star just for beating the stage, one for beating it in under five strokes and one for collecting the collectible egg in the stage. That’s right, every stage has an egg collectible in it that you have to land your golf ball on to collect. I thought there may be a secret at the end if you collect all the eggs or all the stars but some of the stages are just missing the egg so I was not able to see for myself.
The game has a very unique look. Every object in every level of Golfy Golf has been squared off, to the point of being cube-shaped. The trees are made up of cubes stacked on top of each other. The golf club has a squared-off head. The play area itself is a square grid made up of smaller squares. Even the golf ball is a cube.
The music in the game is not very noteworthy. It’s fine. It sounds a little bit like elevator music, chiptunes. There are not many options for the music either. It just sort of plays constantly on a loop. You can change which song you want to hear out of six options but none are very good and even if they were I still would not want to hear them for how long they play.
There are six worlds in Golfy Golf made up of twenty stages each. Each world has its own theme and unique enemy type. Yes, this game has enemies and yes they are also cube-shaped. They would be more appropriately described as obstacles because you can defeat an enemy but these you simply must avoid. If you cannot avoid them then they will destroy the golf ball and you will have to start the stage over.
The first world you encounter is Meadows. It is a simple green and bright starting area. Imagine if Green Hill Zone from Sonic was turned into a golf course and you will have a pretty good idea of what Meadows looks like. The enemies of this world are rabbits. They playfully hop around the square grid and will eat the golf ball if you don’t decipher their pattern.
After putting some time into Meadows, you will unlock Swamps. The color palette in Swamps is slightly darker than Meadows. The rabbits have been turned into frogs that can eat your ball from a distance of a few squares. Also, it is raining. Other than those few details, Swamps feels like Meadows with a new coat of paint.
Once you have finally played enough of Swamps to unlock a new stage, you get Artics. No, I did not spell that wrong. It is spelled “Artics” in game. At least it is on the level select screen. When you are actually in the world, it is spelled correctly, “Arctics.” Anyway, this world actually feels fresh compared to the previous two. It is an ice stage but don’t worry, your ball does not slide after you hit it. Although, I was kind of hoping it did. I was liking forward to any new mechanic at this point in the game to change things up but no such luck. This world is populated by abominable snowmen who will throw your ball off the stage.
Next up, we have Kleanths. Or is it Kleampf? This is another case of it being spelled one way on the level select screen and another once you enter the world. Only this time I have no idea which is the correct spelling. This world has a dark gray look to it. Instead of the bright blue water hazards that littered the previous worlds, now there is bubbling orange lava. There are no enemies in this world. Although, every now and then a large mechanical cog will rise out of the lava and impede your shot.
The penultimate world is Galgaton. Or Galgatron depending on which screen you’re on. This world has a blue look to it with a similar orange lava water hazard. One new addition is the green tiles. These affect your ball so as if you so happen to hit a shot onto one of them, the green tile sinks into the green slightly. You might think that this adds some kind of gameplay change where it will affect your shot in some way but no. It’s simply aesthetic. The enemies of this world are UFOs that will abduct your ball and fly away with it.
The final world in Golfy Golf is Zarlak. This one is spelled the same on both screens. Zarlak has an orange, look that makes it look like a desert. The water hazards are pink this time so this world has a very interesting look to it. The enemies of the world are black and red robots that zap your ball with lasers. They look inspired by the Daleks from Dr. Who.
Golfy Golf feels like it should be a mobile game. I don’t mean that as a negative. It has this very relaxed and meditative game play loop that would be perfect for taking on the go with you but as it is right now, you can only play it on PC. This game is going to get buried on the Steam store but it would do very well on a mobile storefront.
The three-star system the game has in place to lock new worlds from players is a good system, but it has its flaws. Again, it feels like something out of a mobile game. Also, the stars from one world do not carry over into another world. So if I played all of Meadows and got sixty stars, if I hop into Swamps and discover I don’t like it I still have to play it until I get the twenty stars required to unlock Artics. This mechanic would make sense if Yah Man Games was trying to sell players stars or add-on’s to unlock new worlds early, but at the current state of the game, it just feels like a bug.
Golfy Golf is $6.99 on Steam and it is a pretty good and relaxing time waster. There are worse things that you can spend your money on but there are also much better things that you can also spend your money on. I hope one day it will get a mobile port but until then, it is a fine way to waste a couple of hours.
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- THE GOOD
- A unique take on golf
- A very original look
- THE BAD
- Bad, repetitive music
- Several typos throughout the game
- Multiple bugs make collecting everything impossible
Golfy Golf is a fun, relaxing golf game that feels incomplete. A mobile port of the game would be welcome but in the current state it just does not feel finished.