Party Golf has just released on Steam and has been out on PlayStation 4 for the last month. It was developed by Giant Margarita, a small studio working out of Hobart. It is the first Playstation 4 game released from Tasmania. The small group of six has developed a mobile game called “Save the Teenies” but this is their first adventure into the console market. Let’s get one thing out of the way from the start, this may be a golf game but the lead programmer, Lindsey Wells, freely admits he knows nothing about golf. This should give you a good idea of what type of golf game this is.
So the big disappointment I have with this game is that you can not play against your friends online. This would have to be the most requested feature from my friends when this game is mentioned. Giant Margarita has decided to focus on couch co-op for Party Golf which does make sense because it is suited so well to trash talk and local play. With the way games are played these days playing it online against friends in a party chat type program would have been amazing too. On Playstation 4, if your internet connection is strong enough, you could share play Party Golf with a friend and play that way. This fix, however, is a workaround rather than a feature of the game.
Focusing on couch co-op does help Giant Margarita double down on this game mode. Playing Party Golf with your mates next to you is awesome fun and something everybody should experience at some stage. You are even allowed to play with up to eight players at once if you like. You do need four controllers for this mode and two people share a controller, one using one analogue stick and the face buttons with the other using the other analogue stick and the d-pad. I didn’t get a chance to test this mode but it would definitely add to the enjoyment of the game if you had eight friends over.
You thought No Man’s Sky had a lot of planets, well Party Golf has more game modes than No Man’s Sky has planets. This is due to the insane number of ways you can customise the different modes available in the game. If you think the game is too slow, speed it up. If the coins aren’t worth enough, make them worth more. The list isn’t endless but the number of different combinations in the game is a number made up of 100 digits. Like I said before, insane. Another thing that can always change is the holes. They are procedurally generated so it is very hard to find the same one twice in the normal game mode.
This almost endless nature of the game did show a few holes in the game. There is no way to test what the game can throw at you, this means there are just some holes you will get to and you will not be able to do them. There is a skip hole button for such an event or you can play out the timer for nearest the pin, which is just as fun. With all the options and the game being focused on multiplayer you would be forgiven for thinking the A.I. in this game would be terrible. This is not the case as I got beaten by them on many an occasion. However, the issue with the A.I. and the nearly endless possibilities is, they will always just go for the hole even if that isn’t the goal of the mode. These are really just small issues and can be easily avoided anyway.
I had the pleasure of streaming Party Golf with twitch. If you have the ability to do this you should do this as soon as you get the game. Viewers get the ability to put commands in the twitch chat and it will change things in the game either straight away, at the commencement of the next game or once everyone in chat has voted for it. Even if you’re not a streamer you can set up a twitch channel for free and use the Playstation 4 to stream your game to your friends online, it is really fun for both parties. I got to experience my ball being change to different shapes, swapped with another player, shrunk, grown, made more bouncy or even slowed down. Once again the options are almost endless here and can keep you going on a stream for hours.
If you’re not after all the different options in the game and just want a good challenge when you jump in, then trials are the mode for you. The preset modes are used in special predetermined manner. Some examples are, finish as many holes as you can in fifty shots, 60 seconds or even a thousand meters. There are many different types of challenges to overcome in trials mode and it is perfect for you to hone your skills in a single player setting. I would love to see an online leaderboard with this mode as it does have a local leaderboard as standard. Trials are one of the key aspects of the game that keeps pulling me back into Party Golf.
The controls are very easy to pick up in Party Golf so the game is very accessible. What Giant Margarita have done well though is made the game scale in difficulty. It is easy to get the ball in the hole most of the time but to get it there in the quickest manner is something that takes some real effort. Party golf feels almost like a platformer at times, especially when the levels scroll up and down. I have lost a lot of time trying to land a ball on the right ledge and then turning it around to make a small gap across the map with a split second to make the shot. Party Golf is really rewarding when you can make those shots that you first believed were impossible.
Party Golf is now released digitally on both Steam and Playstation 4 and you should really get into one of those stores and pick up a copy of the game, especially if you have people that will play games on the couch with you. This is one of the most fun games you will find this year to play on the couch with your mates or family. In an era where couch multiplayer games are disappearing quickly, this is definitely a shining light for this type of game. If you are a solo player then there is still some value in Party Golf for you. At the price, you will get your money’s worth out of Party Golf still, especially just in the trials mode. It may be a game that you can easily get your family to join you to play even if they don’t usually game. There is a lot to like about Party Golf, but if you pick up this extremely fun game you will also be helping out your local gaming industry which really does need our support. Being a fun, Australian made game, I believe it is a game you should not pass by.
The Good: Playing with your friends is done so well in this game. It is perfectly suited to getting a few friends around for some drinks and some games. This is exactly where Party Golf gets to shine.
The Bad: I really want to take this experience online and play against my mates from around the globe. I have no doubt that if it had an online mode that it would become a weekly game that we played between my friends.
The Final Word: There is very little to fault in this game. It continues to push you to get better as you play. Single player is not where this game shines but in single player you still have a really good time. Support some local developers and pick up a copy of this game, you will enjoy it.