Michael Cavacini

An award-winning arts and culture blog.

Nintendo Switch Review: What The Golf?

Do you hate golf? Great! Then you’re going to love What The Golf? for Nintendo Switch. Made by Triband, I first played What The Golf? as part of my Apple Arcade free trial in 2019, and it was easily one of my favorite games among the available offerings. The quirky music, charming art style, and one-of-a-kind premise is something to behold. This game will make you smile, laugh, and say, “Just one more round!” It’s addictive, casual gaming at its finest, and I’m thrilled that it has come to Nintendo Switch.

What The Golf? is the kind of game you need to see in action, and play, to fully understand. Think of it like mini-golf on LSD. One minute you’re simply hitting a golf ball toward a flag-marked hole in the ground — like traditional golf — and the next you’re flinging a golfer’s lifeless body across the fairway. Sometimes it’s a desk chair, a motorized vehicle, a soccer net, and more. Oftentimes, there are obstacles in your way. And I’m not talking about bunkers. I mean cats, oil-filled drums, a street-food truck shooting hot dogs at you, and other inventive, hilarious things. Some stages are 2D, while others are 3D. I especially enjoy the stages that pay tribute to Super Mario Bros., Angry Birds, and other classic video games.

In addition to an incredibly lengthy single-player campaign, What The Golf? has daily challenges. Around Christmas time those daily challenges had a holiday flair, and they were presented in the form of an Advent calendar. I thought this was a fantastic idea, and I hope it returns this holiday season. A new addition to the Nintendo Switch version is local two-player party mode, which allows friends to compete in a cavalcade of very, very serious golf courses in an attempt to make it to the flag, but both play at the same time (you know, like real golf). This version also integrates functionalities like the touch screen and the gyro for select levels and also adds a few…surprises for players too. My wife (who is a very casual gamer) and I played this together, and we both had a great time. Depending on the challenge of a particular level, you can expect to spend anywhere from 10 to 20 minutes in a two-player party mode game, traversing an overworld map with a wacky character you’re randomly assigned (e.g., a toaster, a dog in a hockey uniform, etc.). This mode presented us with a variety of holes that changed each time we played, and we often had to learn the mechanics on the fly. This made for a fun, frenetic experience that left us laughing and having a great time. It’s a terrific addition to an already spectacular game.

Currently on sale for $14.99 in the Nintendo Switch eShop, What The Golf? is a must-buy game. Even at its full price of $19.99, this game is absolutely worth it, as it has infinite replay value and the new local two-player party mode adds another layer to an already glorious cake. When this game originally launched in 2019 its tagline was “Golf is boring. Help us fix it.” What The Golf? is the opposite of boring. It’s brimming with energy, replete with personality, and bursting at the seams with compelling content that will make a positive, lasting impression on even the most hardened and jaded gamer. Triband not only fixed golf, they made it great! In the process, they crafted a video game masterpiece that provides accessibility and depth for casual and hardcore gamers alike. It’s a veritable hole-in-one at St. Andrews during The Masters…or a motorized vehicle flying through a windmill while dodging myriad obstacles — you decide. Either way, it’s a must-buy on Nintendo Switch. So, go ahead — golf! It’s been fixed, and it’s more fun than you can shake a club at.

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