Cursed To Golf Review 2022 – A Charming Golf Game From Hell
There seems to be a bit of a resurgence of golf games right now. Since they started out on the edges of Flash-game forums, we’ve been lucky enough to get a few fun independent golf sims. We’ve seen the strange nonsense of What The Golf? and the fast, eye-popping courses of Golf With Your Friends. In Turbo Golf Racing, Secret Mode recently threw the clubs out the window and replaced them with fast cars.
It’s safe to say that golf games are always full of shenanigans, and Cursed To Golf is no different. As a golfer who has been sent to Golf Purgatory, you must finish all 18 holes in one roguelike run to get back to the land of the living. Cursed To Golf has a fun premise, and the game is funny and full of personality, but it doesn’t fix some of the problems that come with roguelikes. I really did feel cursed when I missed a shot in the game’s last area and was sent back to the beginning, ending a painful four-hour run time.
So, how did our little golfing friend end up in this mess? It turns out that during the last hole of a championship golf tournament, lightning hit your golf club and burned you to a crisp. When you fall into Golf Purgatory, you find out that the only way out is to finish an 18-hole golf course. Our golfer thinks it will be easy, but there are tricks afoot (told you). Each hole has dangerous hazards, obstacles, and phantom bosses. If you don’t get your ball to the goal within the par count, you’re sent back to the beginning.
Cursed To Golf isn’t as easy as just hitting the ball as hard as you can. Instead, each level is like a puzzle that tests your skills and nerve as you zigzag through dungeon-like golf courses. You can choose from three different types of clubs. If you’re new to golf like I was, the driver is for powerful long-range shots that could knock a guy out cold, the iron is for mid-range shots when you need to get the ball through tight spaces, and the wedge is for more accurate shots from close range.
Golf is a beautiful game because it is so easy to do. You use the Shift key to move through your clubs. With one click, you can choose how hard your shot will be, and with another click, you can aim and hit the ball. If you set up your shot well, the ball should go where you wanted it to. It’s very easy to understand, and the simple controls show how the game was built on Flash.
Your clubs come with a handful of “Ace Cards” that give your ball special abilities. These are a lot of fun and make it easy to make crazy shots, which is half the fun of the game. The simplest ones let you take a practice shot or add strokes to your par count, but they ramp up in silliness as you progress. You can change the direction of your ball in mid-flight, make two portals to teleport your ball, turn your ball into an icy lump that freezes pools of water, and there’s even a card that explodes TNT in a certain area to reveal shortcuts. There are 20 of these cards, and they are one of the best parts of the game. Without them, golf would be a pretty repetitive sport.
The game’s looks are second only to the ace cards. Every part of Cursed to Golf has a lot of character. Some of my favorite things about this game are how your little golf cart bounces from one level to the next, how the moon in the sky is a huge golf ball, and how the bosses are undead zombies who are crazy about golf. The Scotsman is the name of my favorite boss. He has a big orange beard, a loud laugh, and a golf ball for a heart. Everything is so cute, and the underworld has never looked so colorful.
Cursed To Golf is a lively game, but the courses really let me down. I was ready for the chaos of the dungeon-like courses and the dangers I would have to skillfully avoid, but a lot of the obstacles are… kind of boring. There are some golf obstacles that are always there, like pools of water and sand bunkers, but the game mostly stays with fans, sci-fi teleporters, TNT, and spikes. In the early levels, there is one danger where a scary skeleton hand pops out of the ground and throws your ball off its grave, but nothing else feels as dynamic and on-theme as that. We are, after all, in Golf Purgatory. Where are all the damned ghosts and dead people?
It isn’t enough for me to want to keep going back to courses, which is important in a roguelike where you have to keep going back to levels. Courses can also be very slow, which doesn’t help. I know that golf is a game of precision and that it takes time to set up the perfect shot, but everything else is so slow. Even though I love my Scottish golfer friend who is now dead, his lesson went on for way too long. Fans move your ball slowly, teleporters take a few seconds to send it somewhere else, and even golf matches with bosses can feel like a drag. You can skip an opponent’s turn, but you need to pay attention to what they do so you can respond. Aside from your first swing, which feels very satisfying and physical (kudos to Chuhai Labs for this), there isn’t much else that moves. But I guess that’s just the way golf is, it’s not exactly a sport that will get your heart racing and your adrenaline pumping.
Another problem I had was that I didn’t want to try new things and take chances, which is a roguelike staple. I would always take the safest route through courses because the game is unpredictable and full of little things that bother me. One example is the “Lead Weight” card, which stops your ball from bouncing but makes your ball bounce when you use it. It’s just a small hop, but in a game that requires accuracy, it makes all the difference. There are many things like this that can make the difference between success and failure. I was afraid to try any cool moves that might fail because I didn’t want to mess up my run, which could last for hours.
I’ve played hard roguelike games where runs take hours and I fail over and over again, but this feels worse. I think my biggest problem with Cursed To Golf is that failing isn’t fun or rewarding. Nothing changes when you’re sent back to the beginning, and the courses aren’t interesting enough to make me want to try them again. Dungeons have different layouts, but the courses aren’t very interesting and people are afraid to try new things, which makes it hard to play golf in them. There are different paths you can take to try to get rewards, some of which are dangerous maze-like challenges. However, the game practically throws ace cards and money at you, so I didn’t want to risk failing on a harder path I could easily avoid.
Cursed To Golf has a lot of visual appeal, and the parts of the game that come from its Flash roots feel like a fun throwback. The roguelike parts, on the other hand, are a bit of a hit or miss.