By Chris Picone, 09 April 2021
Not going to lie, the graphics did not grab me at first. I’m an old grognard at heart so I don’t necessarily need or even want ultra-real AAA graphics– I love anything heavily stylised, as a rule – but I’ve just never been a fan of the “low poly” look. But when I actually loaded the first level, the graphics are fine. They look good, even. This is a golf game, and it looks like a golf game. Suddenly reminiscent of Links (an old golf game from the 90s I used to love), I settled in for the experience.
On that note, aside from being about golf, the game is nothing like Links. The game is strictly 2d so you don’t aim your shot. Power is handled differently, too; you control the trajectory rather than the strength of the swing. But there’s more, and this is where it gets interesting. This isn’t just a golf game, it’s a magical golf game. So while you can’t control the power of your swing, you can magically stop or accelerate the ball while it’s in the air. Also, Mage Drops is more like minigolf so it’s really about trying to get past the obstacles – which are also magical. Some you can control, like moveable platforms, springboards, and bubbles you can blow up to bounce your ball. Others can’t be controlled but move on their own, or can be stuck to or bounced off of.
So, my first impression? It’s an innovative take on the genre that feels like golf but plays more like a puzzle platformer. Very enjoyable so far and I’ve only played the first cup, which means there’s plenty of game ahead of me yet. Curious to see what else the game has to offer.