Fresh off the heels of my She Remembered Caterpillars, I am back at it again reviewing another puzzler title. This time around, it is a little title called Golf Peaks. Previously on mobile and pc, Golf Peaks made the jump to Switch not too long ago. I am glad this one landed in my lap, as I believe the developers at Afterburn Games have quite the amazing title on their hands. It is simple conceptually, elegant in design and structure, and rewarding by way of just the right amount of challenging, everything a good puzzler should be. With over 100 well designed levels, this game is a calming but often thought provoking experience, one that players of any range should not miss.
Golf Peaks has a certain simplicity about its concept and design that makes it easily approachable, and even easier to recommend. Players climb a mountain while golfing, essentially, to reach the hole. You are given cards with different “stroke” options on them. These are one time use, so you must effectively choose when and where to use these cards to reach your goal. The grid is laid out with square shaped spaces that will each be recognized as “1” movement from your cards. There are no diagonal movements, which means you work on a four way plane so to speak. Before I dig myself in a hole trying to describe this, watch the gameplay video below, and we will pick right back up where we left off.
OK, now that we are hopefully on the same page here about the dynamics of the game, let us get back to discussing it. The challenge, you see, not only comes from using your cards in the right order, but also paying close attention to lay of the land in each level. You have hazards like water, quick sand, and solid rock surfaces that can all deter your efforts to sink the ball in the hole. There are also other bits of the levels that can deter or HELP your situation, including conveyer belts, ice, cornered walls for ricocheting, slopes, and even launch pads. So yeah, this may not be your typical back nine on a course, but these levels sure are designed well. Using a combination of your cards, both your straight shots and airborne shots, in addition to playing with the levels hazards and perks, will test your creativity and ultimately decide how quick you beat a level. The game consists of nine worlds, each of which feature 12 levels. You only need to complete 9 levels in each world to advance to the next one, which unlocks three bonus levels in the current world.
New layouts, hazards, and music are slowly trickled out over the course of the game which makes it a fine tuned experience. The music was often chill and settling, making for concentration to flow more naturally, and also making being stumped less of a nuisance. Graphically, I could not ask for more. The visuals here fit the bill perfectly, with both muted and rich colors both being put on display, and little details used to make the world feel just a little more alive. If I had to nitpick, there is a little problem when you do an air shot into water. The water noise plays instantly, well ahead of the ball hitting the water. But this is in no way a negative on the gameplay.
Golf Peaks is one of the best games I have had the pleasure of playing in 2019. This is an easy statement to make, as the game is rewarding, looks and sounds great, and is just well designed and fun from start to finish. At only $5 on Nintendo Switch and Steam, and even cheaper on mobile devices, it is an absolute steal of a game. It is a casual title that feels rewarding in short bursts, and can be completed within a few hours if you choose to do so. As accessible as this game is, I’d so almost anyone would find some enjoyment with it. If puzzle games are your deal, or golf in any form, Golf Peaks is a no brainer. Look no further if you are looking for a hole-in-one-of-a-kind puzzle game!
*Note: A copy of this game was provided for the purpose of the review.
Final Score: 9.5/10
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