Thunderful’s latest, Cursed to Golf, is a brand new spin on the classic game of golf. Developed by Chuhai Labs, it’s out now for PlayStation, Xbox, Nintendo Switch and PC. We teed off on a PlayStation 4.
We’ve seen quite a few creative spins on the golf game genre recently, from the silly What the Golf to Golf Club Wasteland, as well as the VR delight that is Walkabout Mini Golf. Cursed to Golf takes the 2D gameplay of games like Golf Club Wasteland and applies a roguelike adventure mechanic to it – one where you’ve been transported to hell after being struck by lightning. Golf is somehow your way out, but luckily you were a pretty skilled players before disaster struck, so completing 18 holes isn’t entirely out of your reach.
There’s a fair share of randomization when it comes to holes and items on each course, and because they’re fairly large you’ll notice that this is a side-scroller. If it weren’t for the golfing, it’d look a lot like a retro platformer. Despite the larger levels, which also include verticality, you’re still bound by a par score through a limited amount of swings, which ups the stakes and adds a puzzle element to the game. You can earn extra swings by breaking certain items or use temporary power-ups, of which there are some nice creative ones – including a pinball-inspired multiball.
In the early levels, it pays to get comfortable with these, as they’ll become more important as tools for success later on. Levels are divided between three different themes and get progressively more difficult and challenging. A total of 18 holes might not seem like a lot, but you’ll quickly learn that getting through them can take quite a while indeed – especially the ‘boss fight’ ones.
The roguelike elements come from gradually getting better with the different clubs you can select, and gaining access to more power-up cards as well. So while your initial run might end way before the final hole, you’ll quickly get better and it’s addictive to keep going and try one more time. Part of that is the colorful art style, but the well-balanced difficulty level and gameplay design are what will keep you coming back. It could have been longer, but as with Golf Club Wasteland it’s a fun take on the genre where you’ll have a lot of fun playing it.