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Golf Story – The Switch Island Review

From tee to green, Golf Story entertains and challenges you in equal measure. From its lush retro style and its hilarious tongue-in-cheek dry humour, to the excellent use of the HD rumble feature on the joycons. This Nindie absolutely oozes attention to detail.

Over several different themed courses, you play a generic protagonist, destined to follow in your fathers footsteps to finally make it as a pro golfer. Except, your technical nature is somewhat unorthodox (think Adam Sandler in Happy Gilmore), your coach is determined to hook up with another coach, and there’s a group of kids determined to make you play Frisbee instead.

The mechanics of the golf itself are great, with the response times on the joycons at their tactile best. The true mastery is very much in judging the different environmental obstacles thrown your way. Whether it’s a number of moles that take joy in ferrying your ball to the nearest bunker, to turtles in the water that will kindly help extend your drive distance. Trying to figure out each course requires significant trial and error, with certain challenges taking close to ten attempts to complete.

Intertwined with the golf is, well, the story.  If you rushed it through, it’d roughly take four to five hours. If you enjoyed yourself, took a little time to complete some of the side quests, then you’re looking at seven hours of quality content. During your time on the course, you build your character statistics up, obtain new gear that adds a few yards to your drive, or greater lift to your chips, all whilst; trying to fix up a course, scaring away ball snatching birds, and trying to referee a rap battle between a young hipster and a crowd of pensioners. The substance and the delivery of the jokes are excellent, and even though your protagonist isn’t especially unique, the character of the world itself draws you in and keeps you moving forward.

Sadly, the key negative in Golf Story is a rather large triple bogey (sorry) – there are mobile games in the wild that create a far more addictive gaming loop, notably the different ‘Story’ games (see, Game Dev Story) from the awesome Kairosoft. The reason I note this, is that throughout the seven hours I played, I lost the appetite to finish the campaign a fair few times. Regardless, once I’d completed the game I still felt it had been fully worth the £13.49 paid.

Whilst you can have a better experience elsewhere, Golf Story by Sidebar Games is still a great purchase on the Switch for those looking for a game full of detail and charm.


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