Thanks to Team17 for the review code
Title: Golf with Your Friends
Release Date: 05/19/2020
Golf with your Friends goes for a rather basic look, just coming off as an ordinary looking 3D golfing game. The menus are very standard, and really all there is to comment on here is that the varied course themes are all pleasant on the eyes. Adjusting the camera is quick and easy, and there’s quite the variety of decorating your ball to look different, either with a goofy hat or a cool ball trail.
The music here isn’t anything to write home about, really. It’s pretty generic, though I oddly found the song to the Volcano world awfully similar to a Pokemon Mystery Dungeon song, making that the only track worth remembering here.
Golf with Your Friends is a multiplayer minigolf game, where you clear courses of minigolf… And that’s it. It’s pretty standard, reminding me quite a bit of other titles like Infinite Minigolf. But GWYF has a few cool quirks that made it more interesting.
For starters, the game is multiplayer, and here everyone plays at the exact same time, meaning there’s no waiting for turns, shots, or anything. I started a session with a friend of mine, and it ran relatively smoothly, leading to several courses of fun as we’d try to beat the other person’s score. You can even do mess with some modes to make the multiplayer more hectic, from a party mode that causes item boxes to show up on the holes, to other modes that allow you to hit the other balls, or even a fully customized setting where you can tweak whichever settings you want, leading to the game being very flexible. You can even play a course by yourself if you feel like it, and the game’s just fine with that setting, too.
The controls are rather simple too, really just requiring that you aim, set a meter, and shoot away. You can even have your ball jump if you have that setting enabled, which can lead to some nifty shortcuts and fun trick shots if you want to think outside the box. So while you could play with the vanilla settings, I found GWYF to be way more enjoyable with a friend. In fact, it’s even better with a group, since GWYF can support up to 12 players, and I ended up doing an eight player session with a discord group, and even with all those people, the online netcode was rock-solid and entertaining, leading to one of the most enjoyable online experiences I’ve ever had with a game to date.
With all that out of the way, there’s really just the courses themselves to talk about, and the ones that come with the game are pretty fun for the most part. Courses like the Forest and Twilight are basic fun romps, while ones like Space or Volcano are more hectic and rely on gimmicks such as gravity walls and warp portals. There’s even some courses based off Worms and Escapists, being that Team17 has seized the game since Early Access, but I had more fun with the base courses, personally. You can even earn one of an assortment of decorative objects upon clearing a course, which you can put on your ball for extra flair if you so choose.
Along with that, you can also go on user created holes, or make your own if you’re particularly creative. I am not, and all my peers preferred sticking to the base game stuff for our sessions, so I can’t really say much about how that works one way or the other, but it’s a pretty cool feature nevertheless, and it makes me wish that this game had crossplay: Not only would it be cool having an even bigger online userbase, but it would also lead to more user creations that are easier to access across all the platforms, but the game doesn’t support that sadly. This is easily the part of the game I feel is lacking the most, as the console ports should have made this an absolute no-brainer move, but alas, that’s not the case, making me pretty glad I was given the Steam version, as it led to easy-access multiplayer with the pre-established userbase.
In conclusion, Golf with Your Friends is a really darn fun multiplayer game, with super stable netcode and fun courses that are even enjoyable in solo play. The differing modes are fun to mess with, as are the differing courses, built up over the years from the Early Access version of the game. Now that the game is a complete experience, this is definitely an essential for a good golfing time.
Unfortunately, there’s no cross-play in sight, which seems like a gargantuan missed opportunity with the recent Console releases. The Steam version is by far the one with the most active playerbase though, so if you play here, then you’re in for a good time, especially if you have friends willing to join your lobby. Add custom levels and worlds that the Steam Workshop provides, and you have an insane amount of multiplayer replay value that makes this one of the best computer games I’ve ever played online.
I give Golf With Your Friends an 8 out of 10.