A long, long time ago one of my first interactions with a golf game was the Links series on PC, it was a gold simulation and I enjoyed many hours of trying to beat my best scores. I remember another game on the Game Gear, I think it was one of the PGA Tour series before Tiger Woods took over where you couldn’t score a hole in one for whatever reason, that was particularly annoying as there were times where you could literally get within an inch of the hole. I’ve always thought there could be a market for those crazy golf games, I know more recently titles like Infinite Mini Golf and Dangerous Gold have been released but for me they don’t quite fit the bill. This week’s golf related review is to do with Golf Zero, maybe this can satisfy my need for some crazy golf.
If you have played a certain number of Ratalaika Games, you’ll find quite a few of them seem to follow the same mechanics. Golf Zero is another to add to the list. Imagine a platforming golf game and you get Golf Zero. The aim of Golf Zero is to get the ball into the hole, but the golf courses are not like regular golf courses they are more like obstacle courses. Your character has three balls, so effectively three chances to get the ball in the hole, you see, you only have one chance to strike a ball. You are not aiming to get below par in Golf Zero, you need to get holes in one. When the ball reaches the hole you complete the level and can move on. There are several obstacles in your way, like whirring blades and rolling boulders, so you need to make sure you don’t die before you pot the ball. There are two modes, one a campaign mode and one a speedrun mode.
There are 80 or so levels to get through that get progressively harder. There is sometimes over one way to get the ball into the hole in Golf Zero, but there will be a fair bit of trial and error. In Golf Zero your character has the ability to slow time for a few seconds, so you can pick your sweet spot, this is particularly effective in levels where you need to show a bit of blind faith and jump into the air and drive a ball as you fall into the water. Levels are also graded so if you do particularly well you’ll get a gold medal, but that’s depending on how many shots you take and whether you hit a random red balloon. Golf Zero is quite a simple game, but it is also quite addictive. It has that “one more go” feeling about it. The controls in Golf Zero work like a charm, which is vitally important in such a limited game.
Graphically Golf Zero is very basic, using a limited range of colours and the usual platforming cute sprites you will have grown accustomed to in Ratalaika Games titles. Musically, it’s pretty standard fare, nothing really stands out, but at the same time it doesn’t grate, you could argue it’s soothing to an extent. Once completed Golf Zero doesn’t really have enough of a pull to get you to replay it and try to beat your level scores, but as a quick play it’s fun for half an hour.
Golf Zero is a fun game, but it is quite limited, like a lot of indie games. The quirky, unique mesh of golf and platforming comes off quite well. It just lacks a bit of polish and replayability once you’ve got through the 80 or so levels. If you’re looking for something a little different that will challenge your hand eye coordination then Golf Zero will give you an hour or so fun. With a little more polish and a few more modes Golf Zero could have been an excellent game. At the moment it’s not quite a birdie but par for the course.
REVIEW CODE: A complimentary Sony Playstation 4 code was provided to Bonus Stage for this review. Please send all review code enquiries to firstname.lastname@example.org.
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Golf Zero Review
Gameplay - 6/10
Graphics - 6/10
Sound - 6/10
Replay Value - 6/10
User Review( votes)
With a little more polish and a few more modes Golf Zero could have been an excellent game, at the moment it’s not quite a birdie but par for the course.