By Chris Picone, 29 May 2022
I was a massive fan of Links back in the day, and I used to love playing that Gilligan’s Island minigolf game that somehow existed in an excel file found on every office and school computer. Minigolf games are a fantastic way to fill half an hour here and half an hour there in the afternoons and it’s a genre that’s sadly lacking options so when I first heard of Golfie I got pretty excited. I also love the idea of mixing in roguelike and deckbuilding elements – they sound like a natural fit for a game that’s already designed to be a bit of quick, casual fun, and promise to make it replayable.
Normally, the only inherent replayability factor in any golf game is the drive to beat your score down and finish the course with as few hits as possible. As a roguelike, Golfie immediately takes this a step further by including a “battery” which slowly drains down with every hit – your first goal is just to see how far you can make it through a course. How to get further? First: Get better! Golfie’s gameplay is a little different to most golf games in that how you play each ball comes down to the three cards available to you each turn, and it takes a bit of practice to work out how to effectively curve or lob the ball or boost your hit. Each hole is tricky, even for a minigolf game; the maps are split over floating islands, surrounded by uneven ground, pools of water everywhere, and of course littered with walls, bridges, and other obstacles. But never fear! As you progress through the game, you unlock new cards, allowing you to build walls of your own, explosively bounce off any obstacle you hit hard enough, hyper jump, and I’m sure another bunch of effects I’m yet to discover. Each new card changes the way you approach a hole; there are stacks of maps and the cards draw randomly so no two runs are ever the same.
So, my first impression? So far, it’s pretty fun! I’m only an hour or so in so I’m still in that exciting early-game stage where I’m constantly discovering new maps and unlocking new cards. It’s only just come out in Early Access but it’s already very polished. And their Steam page notes that the full version will include more single and multiplayer modes, so that’s exciting. Definitely worth a look for any fan of minigolf games.
Check it out on Steam: