What The Golf? Review
A silly physics-based golf parody where every golf course is a new surprising type of golf, some brilliant or hilarious, others so absurd they will make you go: WHAT THE GOLF?
Reviewed on: iPhone 11 Pro (Apple Arcade)
Also available for: Windows (via EGS on October 1st), Nintendo Switch (2019)
In What The Golf? you are aiming to get to a flag attached to a pole and maybe even a hole below that, but you a most likely not hitting a golf ball with a golf club. In fact, sometimes you're throwing the club itself, or the golfer; in one level you're throwing the power and direction indicator itself that you use to control your shots. All, of course, leading to you asking "what the... golf?"
As a game, What The Golf? could have putt-in its jokes and puns and run out of stamina very fast. But somehow developer Triband manages to constantly tweak, re-work and build upon the simpe gag throughout the game's campaign and make me laugh, smile or give my nod of approval to some of the outrageous pun-tastic level finishes.
The easiest comparison to make here is to Wario-Ware, but where that game is a fast-paced mixtape of fun nonsense, What The Golf? is all that with everything being connected with an overworld. You work your way through an underground golf test-lab, seemingly inspired by Portal. The levels are broken up into sections around the lab which you have to clear to unlock the next, and so-on. Each section has its own theme which keeps everything fresh and constantly changing.
For the most part, the levels are a breeze, and it's mostly about the experience and jokes at play. The challenge is in replaying each level for a 'par' and then the 'challenge level' which often changes up the level in crazy ways you may not have expected.
But it's not just flicking things across golf courses, What The Golf? features riffs on a variety of games including Flappy Bird, Guitar Hero and more including Superhot, which was my absolute favourite. The way in which you interact with the game also changes from vertical to horizontal and at times, an FPS making use of the iPhones gyroscope features.
I've done about half the levels to 100% so I'm not sure what secrets lay beyond completing everything, but playing through the levels once, each without much of a challenge, will take you a couple of hours and give you a lot of laughs.
As the credits section rolls at the end of the game the developer Triband thanks you for playing and promises more content is coming in the future. I'm very much looking forward to that as What The Golf? is the first Apple Arcade subscription game I finished, and it's because I couldn't put it down.