Trying to get a tiny ball into a faraway hole makes for some fun times so grab a putter and get ready to Golf With Your Friends.
I love mini-golf video games and the one that got me hooked was Planet Minigolf for PlayStation 3. Since then, there unfortunately haven't been many mini-golf games and few have lived up to that PS3 gem. Needless to say, I was looking forward to playing Golf With Your Friends, especially after watching the trailer which made it look like a decent albeit simplistic take on the sport. Now that I've played it, I must admit that I'm quite disappointed with the overall experience. For starters, the core gameplay simply involves rotating left and right, extending a power meter, and then simply tapping a button to take a shot; there's no creative spin or sense of tactility implemented at all in hitting the ball. Keep in mind; I'm merely discussing my first impressions and will talk about more issues later on.
Golf With Your Friends doesn't have the best visuals but I do appreciate its variety of courses which range from a futuristic space station to an Egyptian oasis and a museum to a candy-themed fantasy land. There are even a couple of courses based on the Team17 franchises Worms and The Escapists and there is a solid amount of imagination implemented in the courses as you'll enjoy many clever contraptions, hazards, and situations as you play through them. This overall variety is Golf With Your Friends' strongest asset although you will come across plenty of extremely basic and simplistic holes that are sandwiched between more imaginative ones. Also, although I enjoy the courses, they're very empty with no actual characters shown at all which made me feel like I was in a post-apocalyptic world.
Besides the basic mini-golf gameplay, there are a couple of additional modes that add some fun variety to the equation. First, Dunk mode forces you to jump the ball into a basketball hoop which I personally found to be far too frustrating and finicky. Next, Hockey mode has you try and whack a puck into a net that's patrolled by a somewhat unpredictable cardboard cut-out goalie. This mode is much more enjoyable and my favourite way to play Golf With Your Friends. There's also a Party mode which features goofy power-ups and Explore mode that removes the in-game timer. Anyway, as the title would suggest, you can enjoy golfing with up to 12 players either locally or online which is fantastic. Finally, you can dress your ball in silly hats, floaties, colours, and trails which can be kind of fun.
At last, allow me to discuss Golf With Your Friends' oversights and glitches. While trying to play with my gaming chum, we quickly realised that we had to share a controller. I tried everything I could think of to get the 2nd controller recognized and even restarted the game a few times but came to the conclusion that either you have to share a controller or the option to set up a 2nd controller is very well-hidden. Either way, it's pretty annoying having to pass a controller back and forth. Last but not least, I came across an incredibly irritating glitch where my ball kept falling through the bottom of the course. This happened during Hockey mode and to ensure it was a glitch, I repeated the same shot about 5 times in a row and every time, the puck simply fell through into the nothingness below.
Golf With Your Friends presents promising mini-golf fun with its variety of courses and modes but unfortunately, the fun to be had is hampered by overly simplistic core gameplay and some head-scratching glitches.
- + Courses generally look good and there's a solid variety of them
- + Additional modes make for a nice change
- + Can play with many folks locally or online
- - Core gameplay is extremely barebones
- - Lack of characters makes it feel empty
- - Currently has some severe glitches