ReviewsReview: Cursed to Golf

Review: Cursed to Golf

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Golf is one of those pastimes that divides opinions. If you love it, and many do, you won’t consider it an elitist sport. However, if you loathe it, you’ll believe it to be expensive, high-class, and a waste of time. Yet, no matter your opinion, you are bound to love crazy golf. This odd combination of fun and competition is enjoyed by friends and family and breaks the normal sporting rules. Accordingly, gamers can enjoy a similar trend when they experience Cursed to Golf.

Developed by Chuhai and published by Thunderful Games, this is a tongue-in-cheek sports title. What’s more, it comprises some adventure elements, a fun but crazy narrator, and plenty of unusual gameplay. Alongside this, it is a solo endeavour, so your focus will be on the story and its subsequent elements.

The shot counter in Cursed to Golf is cruel.
Hit that idol or it’s game over.

Cursed to Golf is a slow-burner.

My opening 30 minutes were of impatient huffing. Such is the length of the explanation and multiple minor tutorials. Now, my petulance was unnecessary as the developers have done a great job with their tutorial. Combining the lighthearted story with a jovial but intimidating test was a stroke of genius. Yes, you’ll want to get on and play, but I implore you to enjoy the opening gambit.

Effectively, the opening section lays out the uncomplicated hook of Cursed to Golf. You control a champion golfer who is struck by lightning on the match-winning shot of the tournament. Eternal fame and glory were in sight and then bam, you die! However, this isn’t the end and you have unfinished business to attend to. Instead of passing over, you are cursed to live in golf purgatory. Accompanied by the Scotsman and a handful of whimsical and cheeky bosses, you must survive 18 holes of the god-forsaken course. If you can, you’ll ascend and return to Earth.

This is Cursed to Golf in a nutshell. It has a silly story with zany characters and a straightforward approach. However, things are rarely as simple as they seem. Consequently, completing your task is no walk in the park. Moreover, it’ll take guile, skill, and luck to ascend from this golfing mire.

Simple to pick up, but tough to master.

On the surface, Cursed to Golf is simple to understand. Yet, its multiple layers insure it is tough to master. There are 70 courses to explore, an array of approaches to take, and Ace cards to buy and utilise. These things all work together while your life hangs in the balance. See, each round of action lasts as long as you have shots on your par counter. If you don’t, then it’s game over and the rogue-lite elements kick in.

This was brutal, as the learning curve tends to favour failure. As such, you’ll need some mental resolve to keep plugging away. But, if you go the distance, you’ll enjoy a rewarding experience and some character progression. Consequently, things do get better, even if it appears unfair to begin with.

Enter the shop and load up on Ace cards.
Buy some Ace cards and beat each level.

Ace cards, idols, and multiple routes.

The odds may be stacked against you, but there are some tricks to level out the field. The first of these is the silver and golden idols. These statues increase your shot count and improve your chances of survival. Now hitting one isn’t always easy, as you may have to divert away from the hole to find them. Therefore, you must weigh up the risk versus the reward.

This philosophy haunts Cursed to Golf at every turn. This is no more apparent than when you are traversing each hole. You may play it safe, but this will take more shots. Alternatively, you can blow up TNT, hop into a teleporter, or use turbines to take shortcuts. These elements are risky, but the rewards are massive.

If you are risk averse, you can use the final trick up your sleeve to increase your luck. The 20 Ace cards on offer help you to cheat your way around the course. Whether you increase your shot count, destroy TNT, slow time, turn your ball into a rocket, and more, it’s a game changer. Consequently, this is where the fun occurs! Can you take multiple risks and break the rules to beat the course?

Cursed to Golf is nicely pixelated.

Though I enjoyed many of the crazy mechanics, I found the stage design to be fascinating. With so many courses and multiple routes, you never tire of the action. What’s more, the vivid colours and pixelated style were pleasant to the eye. There is also an option to customise your golfer, and this adds fun and flair to the mix. Alongside this, I was impressed by the stripped-back UI. Subsequently, everything was easy to follow and navigating the course was a cinch.

Golf games and music rarely go hand-in-hand. However, Cursed to Golf has a nice folksy soundtrack that captures the whimsical undertones. On top of this, the characters have unique sound effects that add to the personality of the game.

The route you pick will influence your chance of winning.
Pick your route and hope for the best.

The excellent controls enhance the gameplay.

It would have been easy to overcomplicate the matter. But, fortunately, Cursed to Golf keeps things simple. With 3 clubs to pick from and a basic swing mechanic, hitting the ball has never been easier. Yet, things get interesting when the “spin” mechanic is added. Take full control of the action as you manipulate the ball to miss bunkers, water, and cursed graves.

What was also amazing was how the adventure progressed. By choosing your path, you selected how each round unfolded. Each node relates to an event and these comprise an array of outcomes. You could enter the shop, find Ace cards or money, take on a hole, tackle a cursed course, or face a boss. The last two options add spice and drama to the game while also increasing the replay value and longevity.

The cursed rounds were much harder than normal but rewarded you with a pack of Ace cards. These become essential in the latter stages, so a risky gamble is well worth the effort. The boss encounters are enjoyable but will test your mettle and patience. Whatever route you take, you will enjoy a unique playthrough every time.

Cursed to Golf: the perfect blend of genres.

Though Cursed to Golf starts off slowly and it is weird as hell, it is the perfect blend of genres. Its mixture of risk, rewards and amazing commentary is enjoyable, infuriating, and challenging. It is for these reasons that I recommend you to buy it here! Can you escape purgatory? Use your skills and perks and beat the cursed system. 

SUMMARY

Cursed to Golf is a fantastic hybrid of multiple genres. Can you test your skill and try your luck as you attempt to escape golfing hell? Manage your Ace cards, hit the idols, and defeat the bosses in this crazy but fun indie game.


+ Wonderful pixelated graphics.
+ A whimsical and folksy soundtrack.
+ Simple controls.
+ Tough but rewarding gameplay.
+ Loads of replay value.

- The rogue-lite elements can be tough to swallow.

(Rating PEGI 7 Fear Release date: 18/08/2022 Price: £16.99)


(Reviewed on the Xbox Series X. Also available on Xbox One, PC (Steam), Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4 and PlayStation 5)


Daniel Waite
Daniel Waite
My gaming career started on an Amiga and spans many consoles! Currently, I game using an MSI laptop and Xbox Series X. A fan of every genre, I love to give anything a go. Former editor and reviewer for www.bonusstage.co.uk, I'm loving my new home here at Movies Games and Tech. I can be contacted for gaming reviews on the following email: Daniel@moviesgamesandtech.com
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Review: Cursed to Golf<p class="has-text-align-justify" style="font-size:14px"><em>Cursed to Golf</em> is a fantastic hybrid of multiple genres. Can you test your skill and try your luck as you attempt to escape golfing hell? Manage your Ace cards, hit the idols, and defeat the bosses in this crazy but fun indie game. </p><br/> + Wonderful pixelated graphics. <br/> + A whimsical and folksy soundtrack. <br/> + Simple controls. <br/> + Tough but rewarding gameplay. <br/> + Loads of replay value. <br/> <br/> - The rogue-lite elements can be tough to swallow. <br/> <br/> <p class="has-text-align-center" style="font-size:10px">(<b>Rating</b> PEGI 7 Fear <b>Release date:</b> 18/08/2022 <b>Price:</b> £16.99)</p><br/> <p class="has-text-align-center" style="font-size:10px">(Reviewed on the Xbox Series X. Also available on Xbox One, PC (Steam), Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4 and PlayStation 5)</p><br/>