When it comes to sporting ability, my prowess probably lies in Mini Golf. And strangely, my real-life skills tend to extend to video gaming too. I’m terrible at most sports games, except for when it comes to a title like Golf With Your Friends. As the name kind of suggests, this is a golf video game, developed by Australian studio Blacklight Interactive and published by Team17. The game started in early access on Steam on 30 January 2016 and fully released on 24 May 2020 for Microsoft Windows, Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4 and Xbox One. And for some reason, I’ve only just got around to checking it out.
Now you’re not going to see stars like Tiger Woods and Rory Mcllroy appearing in this, as we did in our review of PGA 2K21, in fact, you won’t see anyone at all. That’s because there are no characters in Golf With Your Friends, it’s all in first-person, just your vision, the club and the ball. Oh, and not forgetting the holes themselves.
Now, there are a fair few different modes and courses available, and quite often like with the recent The Deep update, they’re free. Which is always nice to see. But let’s start with playing solo. I started the game just to get to grips with it, maybe learn a few of the holes along the way. Jumped right into a game, and I got a little bit of a tutorial in a sense, but bizarrely, it just told me to hit the ball and never said how to do it.
I started tapping keys, and nope. Nothing. Turns out I had to move the mouse to put the power into the ball. A simple control, but one that would’ve been nice to know about before I tee’d off.
It wasn’t really a big issue, I mean it didn’t take long to work out. But it’s the attention to detail that makes a good game great. Anyway, I made my way through a few holes of Golf With Your Friends on the first course, just a nice simple round of mini-golf without too many of the distractions the game can add. And I have to admit. I was bored. But golf does bore me at the best of times, it’s less entertaining than watching paint dry. Especially considering that paint could potentially look better than this game too. Like themes and that are nice, but it looks as basic as it feels at times.
Anyway, apart from practising, maybe bringing down your handicap as well, there is nothing really to grab you to play solo. Then I remembered it is Golf With Your Friends and so decided to play with other people. This is where the game comes into its own because it’s clearly built fore this.
Although having said that, I don’t think it’s the game itself that is what makes Golf With Your Friends, it’s actually the competitive nature of playing with other people that makes it. I mean it’s simple enough mechanics, but it does feel buggy at times. The physics sometimes feel a little off. You can aim at walls to bounce off of at certain angles, and it just doesn’t line up with what would happen, unless there is a spin on the ball, but I couldn’t see a way to do this. So it pretty much does seem that there are issues within the game.
But entering into multiplayer essentially makes Golf With Your Friends a whole new game, especially if you can cap out your game with a full lobby, which would be 12 people (11 others and yourself). That’s an insane number of balls to have flying around, I’ve seen less watching bukkake. But enough talk about balls (ok a little more in a minute), it can get mad at times when playing with others, as you compete against friends or randoms in order to come out on top and be crowned king of the green. Especially if you choose to activate powerups.
Powerups will help you drive a wedge between your friends as you trap their ball in honey, freeze it or turn it into a cube. This adds a whole new level to the term crazy golf. But it’s not the only thing that you can do to make multiplayer games more fun, with multiple modes available; you’ve got your standard mini-golf, a basket ball-like mode where holes become hoops and a hockey mode too where you have to get it in the back of the net. It’s features like these that help you understand why it’s so popular, offering so much more compared to your typical mini-golf games.
And powerups aren’t the only fun feature in Golf With Your Friends, as well as plenty of themed courses, like The Deep update I mentioned above, you can also customise your balls (told you there’d be more ball talk). Yes, you can turn the fairway into the runway, with unlockable hats, skins and trails for your ball. Making sure you really stand out from the rough. But as nice as all these features are, they probably won’t be your cup of tee (see what I did there?) if you’re into your more serious golfing titles.
The final feature to talk about in Golf With Your Friends is the level editor. It’s pretty simple to use and easy to get to grips with. But it adds another bit of depth to multiplayer as you compete with friends to see who can design the best courses. It also means that the game ill never get stale with a lack of courses, as you can just keep creating more and more. Which really helps add to the game’s replayability.
Golf With Your Friends – What’s the Tee?
All in all, Golf With Your Friends is by no means a fantastic game. It feels like sinking a bogey, you’re glad you finished, but you know you could’ve done better. I mean it’s boring solo, there are bugs that leave the game feeling off, and graphically it’s very basic. But what it does well, is give a meeting place for your friends online where you can get together to be competitive, drive each other crazy, and have some fun. It’s certainly not the worst mini-golf game I’ve played, but neither is it the best.
Golf With your Friends is developed by Blacklight Interactive and published by Team17. It’s available to play now for Microsoft Windows, Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4 and Xbox One. If you decide to get it for yourself, why not check out more of our reviews HERE whilst you wait for it to download.