Golf with your friends, finally arrives to the Nintendo Switch, coming packed with a very impressive 11 mini golf courses. Fully customisable online options allowing yourself to be your own server. Set your own course, rules and then allowing the whole world to drop in and play along with you.
Originally a mobile version. I was a little dismayed with the mobile experience. Firstly and very strangely, the online server failed to connect. Leaving me with a very barren offline experience, and making me question the very point of the game title, when I couldn’t get anyone to play a round with!? Then typically, every few holes were met with an advert, thus breaking up any continuity and flow with the game. Then lastly, there was a paltry 2 courses, leaving very little choice but to knock about on a standard course,and yet above all that,it’s fair to say that the actual golf experience was fun and pretty exciting, albeit on my lonesome!
Surely, the Switch version can capitalise on all the mobile issues and make a great port?… Well after time playing both versions.. Yes and No!!
A bonus to begin with,is the Switch versions range of courses. As I stated before, there’s 11 on offer here, where players can play a round in a forest setting, Ancient, Oasis, Haunted, Pirate Cove or a Museum and be guaranteed plenty of crazy golf action,in whatever setting they choose.
Players are met with lots of complex and intelligently constructed courses, and can putt their ball down across plenty of hazards like rotating fairways,loops,water chutes and ramps. Starting each hole, can potentially be a confusing and uncertain predicament, when the distance between the tee and the hole can be over many sections.
Luckily, help is at hand with a camera that can be rotated and zoomed around the course , yet for many this comes at the cost of a preset time limit.Quick precise panning and memory prove to be just as valuable an asset than skill on the fairway.
Online is essentially the beating heart here. This is not like a PGA title, where success grants ranking and money, and solo play of sorts has plenty of incentives. This is mini golf, and just like you see at resort parks, it’s about togetherness and groups having fun together.
Golf with your friends allows the online experience to be fully customised. With yourself, setting up as a server host. Setting the course,game type, amount of players (up to 12)and setting the rules. You then open up your lobby and await others to join in..
My experience here was sadly unyielding any sort of a custom type game. The main server was quoting some 10,000+ online, and yet whilst searching for games. I’ve only come across 2 other custom lobbies in the countless times I searched.
Still, I eventually got some sort of success in a “quick play” game with one other person. Set over an Egyptian theme course, everything was playing out reasonably well. That was until on the 16th hole and some 6 shots behind, my opponent decided to quit leaving me to play the remaining 3 holes lonesome!
Finishing the 18 holes finally granted little reward but an unlocked hat.
This is the sad problem. As well as the little online support I experienced. Playing offline solo really offers little incentive to play through the 18 holes of the 9 courses on offer. Yes, there’s unlockables in hats, skins and various ball trail effects to collect but what should be a fun experience, falls flatter quicker than a ball in a sand bunker!
Thus, you heavily have to fall on the online modes that are practically non existant.
Graphically, it holds up well but nothing overly spectacular or pretty and I experienced no lag or interruption in any modes. Smooth and fluid movement on the golf ball, even in the most sticky positions and situations, was pleasing but then we get a situation with the controls.
Nothing wrong with the joycon sticks and A to shoot, but the mobile version had touchscreen adding much precise and greater range in the application of shots.
Strangely, its not available here and the default sensitivity of the shot gauge and marker are just too light for comfort and feel out of place with an overall control system that feels just slightly.. Off
Overall, this game could have been a sure fire winner and yet with the excellent course designs aside, it lacks the online support, the incentives, but most importantly, the fun, excitement and joy that mini golf should bring to the handheld..
Els bells… This game isn’t out of the woods by a long shot!
Thanks to Team 17 / Blacklight Interactive for the game code.