I’ve been playing a lot of heavy games recently. Many of which have taken an emotional toll on me for various reasons. So getting the chance to play something which is essentially shallow and easy to disengage your brain from is very welcome. That is where Golf With You Friends comes in.
What you essentially have here is a mini-golf game that strips away many of the bells and whistles to be something very basic, but instantly accessible. I initially thought I was going to be playing a cheap mobile knock-off style game. Such is the presentation and even the Switch icon. It screams mobile game.
This is entirely my fault though, as I didn’t realise this had been on PC since 2016 and has many major updates and additions over the last four years. So I can say I am happily surprised by what I ended up playing.
At its core you can play a mini-golf game that starts of fairly basic and grounded, but extends out into so many courses and locations that offer a ton of variety to the mix. There are your basic green layouts you’d be used to, but beyond that, you can jump into forest locations, an oasis, museum and more including a space station.
Golf With Your Friends offers up more than simple golf rules too. Sure you can hit a ball into a hole. That is plenty of fun, but how about shooting a puck at a hockey goaltender? Or dunking into a basketball net? Well you can do that too. Yet, that isn’t all, as there a plenty of other options to tweak how the game plays in the settings.
All these options can be played offline and online and I couldn’t really see any difference between them in terms of anything being locked out. This I think is vital with a party style game.
If you host an online game you have the chance to set up a lobby how you want. You can of course go public, but you can also set a friends only lobby or a password protected lobby. With upto 12 players able to join in there is a chance for fun in any way you need and I am always supportive of giving the player choice for how they play online.
Online play is simultaneous play, whereas offline is a hotseat setup, which works well. Yet I would say it loses a little bit of the excitement of 12 people going at it all at the same time.
I could list all the little features here, but there is plenty to discover throughout and it is worth experimenting yourself to see what works for you. Including options of having powerup and the like. There is a help section that will help you understand it all, should things get confusing.
Whilst there is no progression system as such, there is plenty to keep you coming back. There are customisations available and seeingly tons of them to unlock. You can play with colours, hats, trails and floats around the ball. It is all very Rocket League in how this works and yeah, I am going to try and get the lot, whilst hoping we see more added.
For the record too. There is no micro-transaction in sight and all customisations are earned in-game and in-game alone. It shouldn’t need promoting, but well done to Team17 and Blacklight Interactive for this. Don’t get greedy after the fact though!
Now, you may notice I’ve not spoke about the controls. Well that is because I didn’t really notice them at all. It is all very, very simple. Aim with the right stick, press the right shoulder to fine aim, set power with the left stick and hit the ball with A. You can add some spin and such should you want, but you can get through just fine with the basics.
If I was to compare to anything, it strips the controls down to the most basic form in the same way the original Super Monkey Ball did. Which allows you to get through each course at a decent speed. Which when playing with 12 players becomes huge, as you don’t want to be waiting around for ages as you wait for others to fine tune every little aspect.
I played this with my kids offline and had a wonderful time too. The accessibility meant a cynical 40 year old, a 13 year old and a 3 year old were all able to enjoy the game together. The 3 year old loving the hockey mode, as it was a lot easier to score, than get the ball in a hole.
I love a game that can be adjusted in such a way that anyone of amy age or ability can enjoy it and Golf With Your Friends does that exceptionally well.
This is a game that flows and despite some slightly long load times at the start of the game, there is never any real moments on inactivity. Which makes Golf With Your Friends a nice little addition to have ready to play for a quick party up session at any time.
There are suggestions in the menus and based on the history of the PC version there is more to come in terms of courses at least. So I am definitely going to be dipping in and out of Golf With Your Friends for good while.