Cheap Golf Review – At A Loss For Words
Apparently, my name is Susan. I didn’t really any choice in the matter. The hyperactive AI really wants to test my skills, it frequently breaks from its puzzles to ask me questions, some philosophic, some nonsensical. The puzzles are becoming more surreal, my skills are being tested. Another hole done, another conversation with the AI, who is now calling itself Susan as well. This is weird. This is Cheap Golf.
Cheap Golf is a surreal puzzle game with a minimalist art style. The game is about an AI testing the player so the AI itself can grow, trying to act more human. The tone is pretty silly and moves at a breakneck pace. The writing is humorous and strange. I’m often reminded of skit shows such as Robot Chicken, where the jokes are delivered nonstop. Few games can pull this off successfully, but Cheap Golf nails it aplomb. The visuals are 16-bit but have a much brighter color palette than other games in this visual style. Bright colors permeate the game, some colors are almost neon. While this livens up the game it also runs the risk of eye strain or epilepsy, the bight colors are often flashing, I couldn’t play for more than a few minutes at a time. The sound design is similar, with loud, sharp effects that can be a little hard on the ears. While these elements can be a put off I believe they are meant to be jarring. I like the visual and audio design but I also understand that some probably won’t be able to play the game.
The gameplay is as simple as drag and release. You click the golf ball, drag your mouse to adjust the desired stroke power, then release. The ball then heads in the direction of your power. Simple as that. But the game won’t let you win that easily, each hole as a trick to it. Some seem like a simple minigolf hole while others are more esoteric in their design. Some have grav fields, others have instant kill zones. There is also a stroke limit on each hole. To get the best score you need to sink the ball under the stroke limit, preferably in one stroke. While the physics system isn’t complex there are a few issues. For instance, the stoke power isn’t well defined, in maps with instant kills zones you can be restarting several times as you slightly overcompensate and die. Pixel precision is required for some maps but these are few and far between, most maps are plenty of fun. One other issue is that some maps are somewhat trial and error, leading to frustration. One map I can think of is one with a grav lift and kill zones. The lift pushes the ball down and kills it. This led to many attempts on my part but I finally got past it. Again this is a small problem, otherwise, the puzzles are a ton of fun. Gameplay is fun and addicting.
Cheap Golf is an experience and it is a ton of fun. With a satisfying gameplay loop, breakneck writing, and interesting visuals the game is a treat. I would highly recommend this if you want a relaxing, fun romp that you can pick up whenever. Who knew a round of some golf could be so much fun? So boot it up, Susan is waiting for you.