There are games whose concept and premise are enough to make you smile. And I often like games in particular, simply because they look like they started with a joke, and when you’re rigorously finished, you end up with a charming concept and a solid game to back it up. The premise of a goddamn golf made me smile a lot.
The Curse of Golf is the story of a golf prodigy struck by lightning in the middle of a tournament, who finds himself not in Hell, but in golf purgatory, betting his soul on an 18-hole ring. With the help of his mentor, a burly Scottish ghost golfer, he will do his best to return to the living world and finish the hole that would have scored him as one of the best golfers of all time.
First of all, Cursed to Golf is a game developed by Chuhai Labs, a studio that was hitherto more specialized in alternative consoles, and published by Thunderful Publishing, specializing in indie, which is one of its biggest successes. It’s The Curious Expedition (which I recommend, by the way). So. Now that that’s all over, we can talk about what’s obvious in the game: She’s so cute! We have a very cute pixel art graphics style, and the “chibi” character design of the main character, which stands out a lot in this regard from the Scotsman, for example. I’ve always had a nice spot for pixel art, and the game’s onion-like animation and vibrant color code make it a treat for the eyes, personally anyway.
At the beginning of each hole, you are entitled to 5 hits before the equalizer counter drops to zero, at which point you lose the game in progress. Most holes will take on average more than 5 hits to complete, as the game offers plenty of ways to get hits back in the middle of the hole. And the difficulty of the game here is actually: for each hole, there are several ways that make it possible to get to the flag. At each hole start, you’ll spend a few moments observing the level and planning your route, assessing the crucial moments when you miss your shot that could cost you the game.
It’s a way of doing the things I really love, which leads to intense moments when you realize your plan was (as usual) far from being foolproof. We add to these basic system cards, which you can play during the slot to recover shots, get a remote-controlled ball of the shot space, or even take a test shot that doesn’t consume you equally, just to see if the path you’re considering can pass . These cards can be purchased between the holes, with the money you earn based on the number of moves you have left after the previous hole, and can be kept from game to game, if you do. A risky bet.
My few black points (because there are some) in the game are as follows: First, a long and somewhat unpleasant tutorial, understandable given the technical aspect that the game requires, and not the least boring of it all. Especially since your first game will be almost doomed to failure, as the tutorial continues after this game to teach you a more complex mechanic, the spin, allowing you to precisely control the bounces of the ball. Vital enough to hope moving forward.
We also find a certain lack of initial clarity when we’re no longer in a level: the stages connecting the levels together are not explained at all, and even if it wasn’t a rocket launch, I spent some time on the test yard in the shop before realizing that wasn’t Next level…
All in all, I’m happy to say it’s a beautiful concept and solidly executed. If the game piqued your interest, and you are interested in a puzzle game, then 20 euros will be well invested, and it can be found on all modern platforms. Especially since the game should have a fairly large life expectancy, because going through 18 holes without missing a single seems difficult to me.