Cursed To Golf PS5 Review: The Best Golfer That Ever Died

The Cursed To Golf reviews are currently doing the rounds, so here's my thoughts: quite possibly the best alternative golf game about? You make the call, I've made mine.

Yeah, like a golf game will be one of the best indies of 2022. Well, Cursed To Golf makes the grade, irrespective if you’re a fan of polo shirts, expensive memberships and the origin of the socks ‘n sandals combo. That’s right: you don’t have to like golf to appreciate this golf-like.

Some bits worth noting about Cursed To Golf?

  • There are only 18 holes in the game, but it’s no easy feat.
  • Forget about marginal gains: each new run (albeit storing aces in your ring binder) is from scratch.
  • Customisable skins are on offer, but colours only – no banana suits or other novelty mascot apparel 🙁
  • Very easy to pick up, but mastering a shot takes time.
  • Essentially a procedurally-generated rogue-like, and executed very, very well.

Do you mean it’s like golf? Kinda. The ‘like’ comes from rogue-like, but it is also like the sport, just much, much better. Chuhai Labs’ venture into the genre is a risky one but pays off as it hits practically every note one would expect, using that classic formula ‘rinse and repeat until you git gud’. That confirmed; let’s set the scene.

Cursed To Golf PS5 Review

Cursed To Golf PS5 Review - Heads!
Heads! Source: PR

You’re the best golfer that ever died. Cursed To Golf starts with the Eternal Golf Championship, which you’re about to win. On the final hole, just about to immortalise your good name as The Greatest, lightning strikes and kills you dead. Waking up, you find yourself in Golf Purgatory, just about to get free golf lessons from The Scotsman. But you don’t need lessons – you’re the best. Right?

The Scotsman fills you in on your demise but suggests you can return to the living if you complete an 18-hole course under par. As one would expect, this isn’t an easy feat: each hole has a par of five, go over, and you have to restart from scratch upon ‘death’. Think you’ve mastered the course? The overseeing bad dude, The Greenskeeper, rearranges the holes – consider it procedurally generated.

Cursed To Golf gameplay couldn’t be simpler. There are only three clubs to choose from: the driver for maximum distance, the iron is the general all-rounder, and the wedge for bunker shenanigans and putting. After selecting the club, you press the action button to bring up a power gauge, then using the on-screen animated trajectory line, give it a tap or knock it out of the park. It’s easy to pick up but requires patience to work out the angles, using the environment to your advantage, and pulling out an ace card.

Ability Cards Are Ace!

Aces are ability/skill cards that change up the game. These can be anything from adding extra shots to your repertoire, rewinding a move, changing the path of the ball mid-air, plus much more. There are also in-game idols that you can smash for extra shots. Ace cards are awarded during a run, or you can purchase from the shop, along with new skins and a ring binder to squirrel your best cards for another run. These cards change the game, but the standout for me was learning how to add aftertouch to the ball, manipulating the trajectory like the Dr Strange of golfing.

I’ve been looking forward to Cursed To Golf since the announcement. The problem with that is expectations. First impressions weren’t that good. Though the 2D screenshots are accurate, the initial vibe was a little too cute for me. The chiptunes were grating, and the commentary was monotonous. Sure, it was the introduction, but the constant music while playing golf was distracting – nothing like the excellent Golf Club: Wasteland. However… after the second or third run, I was hooked and even looked forward to the upbeat soundtrack.

As for the gameplay, I can’t fault Cursed To Golf. Every mistake is precisely that. Either you’ve rushed it or underestimated gravity. Regardless, it’s always fair, even if you want to throw your controller at the wall. In fairness, that feeling never occurred to me. Though there are no progressive rewards with the game – i.e. there are no stats to improve/easier gameplay, it’s somewhat moreish to play another round. Mix in the multiple paths (take a gamble and earn new ace cards or visit the shop), boss battles and cursed courses where you have restrictions to endure, and we have a very replayable game. More so if you haven’t finished a clean run!

One of my early reservations about Cursed To Golf was the 18 holes. Is that it? Playing the first hole feels like you’ll be done in one sitting, but make just one mistake, and you’re back on that cart, looking up Angle of Approach on Google. If you have the patience, you will get better. I can’t say just how satisfying some of the shots are. There’s a genuine feeling of joy of getting significantly under par, then on the next hole, ballsing it up on the second shot! At least you can always go back to The Scotsman and experiment with shots on the driving range without consequence. A true rogue-like – no, golf-like unlike any other game you’ll play, and most definitely one you must check out if you enjoy the genre but want something new.

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