I am terrible at golf in the real world. I like to think that I’m generally athletic and I certainly love playing sports, but golf seems to be my nemesis. The harder I try, the worse I do.
However, when it comes to golf in video games, I’m quite good! Give me times button presses, a readout telling me which way the wind is blowing and which way the green breaks, and also tell me exactly how far I’ll send the ball flying when I hit it, and I can be under par consistently.
Throw in RPG mechanics, and you’ve got a game that has me absolutely hooked.
This the formula given to us by Sidebar Games for their exclusive Nintendo Switch title, Golf Story.
Golf Story has a funny, engaging, and whimsical feel to it that not a lot of other titles I’ve played recently have quite been able to capture. The story of an amateur golfer trying to prove himself to those who doubt him is endearing, with funny writing and lots of different things for you to do.
Not only do you play a standard 9-hole tournament where you shoot for the best score, you also find yourself returning eggs to birds, playing disc golf (don’t call it a frisbee!!), and completing challenges in order to teach you the games mechanics.
While the game may look cute with it’s sprite-based, 16-bit art style – which is gorgeous by the way – it can be challenging. There’ve been a few objectives that have gotten me stuck momentarily as I’ve progressed. But Golf Story certainly makes you feel good when you do complete your objective by slowly unlocking new clubs for you to use.
I also enjoy the leveling system, as increasing just your power will decrease your ability to hit accurate shots and control where you want the ball to go. It’s certainly a balancing act every time you level up and decide where to put your skill points.
I will say that putting in the game is the most difficult thing to do as far as just golfing is concerned. Because the camera is always top down, you get an arrow when you’re on the green telling you which way the slope is pointing and how severe. That just doesn’t compare to Everybody’s Golf and being in a 3D environment where you get a great feel about which way your ball will go and the putting skill is up to you. With Golf Story, it feels more like trial and error.
In the end though, the putting mechanics are a small hiccup in what is otherwise a great title. If you’re looking for something that doesn’t cost much to fill in your time with your Switch until the new Mario game comes out, this game can do that and more.
Please support this wonderful little game.