Golf With Your Friends Review
Putting across a mini-golf course on Team17 and Blacklight Interactive’s multiplayer golf game, Golf With Your Friends, is a lot different from going from course to course in your local mini-putt. The stage design allows both for things that are possible on your average mini-golf course as well as wacky and quirky things that vary up the gameplay. While having moving platforms and large sets is certainly possible at the best mini-golf courses out there, getting a Kraken would cost a lot in space and engineering but the black holes and explosives on other stages are completely out of the question. The stage design leaves me wanting more courses and by the looks of the stage select screen, there’s still one more to come.
Golf With Your Friends Brings Basketball and Hockey to Mini-Putt
Team17 and Blacklight Interactive offer over 10 unique golf courses in Golf With Your Friends. One course has you delving into a Volcano and another has you lobbing your ball off of candy and chocolate. Each map is designed very well and each of them offer unique challenges. The maps included are Forest, Haunted, Oasis, Space Station, Museum, Pirate Cove, Volcano, Ancient, Twilight, Candy Land, Worms and a taped off course resembling The Escapist series which Team17 also published. The unique design with the Worms level (another Team17 IP) showed me the potential map designs that could be added in the future beyond just an Escapist level. Realistically I’d like to see all sorts of people collaborate with this game to bring other crazy courses to the game. With the Space Station course, I thought about what it would be like to see a Halo course that could have reality bending elements similar to the black holes across most of the courses. Museum’s dinosaur remains made me think about a potential Animal Crossing: New Horizons course where you explore the island, culminating in a Museum course. Ancient shows Egyptian inspired stages, invoking dreams of an Assassin’s Creed course. While I won’t get my hopes too high for Pinball FX level expansion, it is nice that the stage design is so limitless that such things could be possible.
The courses of Golf With Your Friends are designed in such a way that it wouldn’t be possible to recreate in a real environment. Some of the course hazards include canons that fire your golf ball to a completely separate area in Pirate Cove and your ball literally needs a jet pack in some of the Worms stages. Haunted includes ghosts as a stage hazard and they will knock your ball into oblivion if you place it in their set path. While these intriguing stage designs occasionally make it hard for me to realize which hole I’m going for, Team17 and Blacklight Interactive have accounted for that. For a limited time on each stage in every course, you can utilize a free camera to navigate the course from an aerial perspective. This will also let you know which hole you should aim for by showing an icon of the flag. While I think that icon shouldn’t disappear without utilizing the free cam, it’s a crucial element for the most complex stages and it’s a feature that seems to go mostly unused by others online so far. While I did experience some glitches, most of my mistakes were my own fault, other than on the Worms course which is utter chaos and destruction which will be familiar to Worms fans.
Get Competitive With Up to 11 Other People Online
Another key feature to Golf With Your Friends is a power gauge that will be familiar to anyone who’s played a golf game so far from Mario Golf to Rory McIlroy PGA Tour. Sometimes when I play mini-golf, I struggle to gauge my strength so these types of meters make the experience even better than the real deal. The power gauge is especially important in the Hockey game mode, which is where hockey fans trade the golf ball for a hockey puck, changing the physics and speeding things up. The Basketball game mode trades the hole for a basketball hoop, forcing you to jump your ball in a perfect ark or bounce of the backboard for a closer call. With the ability to customize each game mode, the possibilities are endless for Golf With Your Friends fans. With 11 courses and limitless opportunities across several game modes, I’ll be putting a lot of hours into this mini-golf game.
Golf With Your Friends is a great mini-golf party game that brings friendly competition to the mini-golf courses. While you can delve countless hours into the single player experiences on offer through multiple game modes, the online is where the game truly shines. Quickplay will get you in a match very quickly through decent matchmaking but you can locate specific matches using the server browser. I found I got myself kicked from several lobbies I joined but that’s because people were joining their friends and I can see why. After a few matches online, I got to experience a few good laughs from foes who simply couldn’t figure out a course. Some people practice solo and others want to immediately get into the online but I definitely recommend playing through each level ahead of time just to not look like a rookie putter.
Amazing Stage Design, Struggling Sound Design
Online you can choose between several colour options to customize your ball, but like other online mini-golf titles, you can unlock things such as a flashy and colourful trail that follows your ball as you send it careening from course to course (sometimes literally). My personal customization choice was a purple golf ball with a sombrero and red candy trail. It gave me solid Cinco de Mayo vibes and the playful nature of the customization options reminded me of the early days of Rocket League. The online gameplay feels a lot like the mobile game known as Golf Battle, only the multiplayer didn’t include a Rush mode from what I could find and it would certainly benefit from one. I did notice that Golf With Your Friends is part of the Game Pass subscription lineup on the Xbox One and it’s available to subscribers day one, some of whom I competed against online. The local multiplayer is great for challenging your local friends but being able to challenge any friend who has Game Pass makes it a lot easier to fill a lobby.
Golf With Your Friends is easy to pick up but difficult to master, like all the best party games. As someone who struggles to find putters big enough for me at mini-golf courses and who has a nagging injury, Golf With Your Friends is an excellent alternative to the real thing. With the heavy focus of online multiplayer and the title being available day one on Game Pass, it’s a great way for Team17 and Blacklight Interactive to bring more people together during these pressing times. If you and your friends are Game Pass subscribers and are looking for a chill game to get competitive on, this is an easy download. While the soundtrack offers a unique and tranquil track for each course, I found myself opting to listen to podcasts and YouTube videos instead but the music is reminiscent of Minecraft tunes. The sound design also lacks impact from things blowing up to the same sound for each putt, regardless of strength. The impact of each ball hit feels similar to Mini Putt 2 from Addicting Games which released in 2004. The stage design makes up for anything that’s lacking in the sound design but these are ways the developers can improve the experience in the future.
***Xbox One code provided by the publisher***
Thank you for keeping it locked on COGconnected.
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- Clever stage design
- Endless possibilities and customization
- Great multiplayer fun
- Server browser
- A disappearing flag icon
- Sound design
- Minor glitches