The platform genre is making something of a comeback of late. Not only do we have long forgotten heroes returning, but also we have indie developers breaking new ground. However, as this Cursed to Golf review will inform you, new ideas are all well and good, but they must have some substance to rally more than a few hours of entertainment.
Playing as The Champ, you find yourself at the end of a golfing tournament moments from glory. However, lightning strikes you club and brings about your sudden end. Falling into the Earth, you descend into Golf Purgatory. Here, you must successfully beat 18 underworld holes in order to ascend to the world of the living. However, it’s certainly not as easy as it sounds.
The randomly selected 18 holes appear only as 2D presentations. You have to choose between your three clubs to accurately move the ball towards the hole, which could be in any direction from where you’re standing. A number of interactive objects litter the green, from statues which grant you additional shots to graves which steal your ball. As exciting as that sounds, Cursed to Golf isn’t as open to interpretation as it seems.
The demands for successfully completing a hole under par are incredibly punishing. Essentially, hitting every statue to grant you extra shots is a must. Failure on any one course will restart your progress from the very first hole.
There are of course a number of additional tricks in your arsenal. For example, you have Ace Cards which can dramatically alter the path of your shot. Make the ball drop at any specific point, u-turn in mid air, or one of many other ludicrous techniques. The trouble is, these must be chosen before taking your shot. Therefore, if you opt to use one as a backup and your shot is successful without, it’s wasted. You can buy more, but only with currency earned for successfully completing holes. It’s a helping hand that is only available when you don’t really need it.
Cursed to Golf is an enjoyable game. However, it’s cursed with such brutal difficulty that only the most committed players will ever see all it truly has to offer. In an age of constant checkpointing and gentle difficulty curves, Cursed to Golf has chosen to ignore all modern convenience. Instead, believing that it’s unique and interesting take on the platform genre will carry it through. Sadly, in this instance, innovation alone is not enough.