What would a golfer’s hell look like? Well, the team at Chuhai Labs is giving players a taste of what that would look like with their newest title, Cursed to Golf. Use your golfing skills and the abilities at hand to claim victory on this hellish course. The 2D sports adventure is an excellent treat for players with Halloween just around the corner, but don’t let the look of the game fool you. This game has a heck of a learning curve. So, without any more introduction, here’s our review of the Chuhai Labs title Cursed to Golf.
Story: Struck by lightning, now become the champion of purgatory
In Cursed to Golf, you will find yourself in the shoes of a pro golfer on the verge of victory as the story kicks off. A thunderstorm rolls in when you’re about to claim championship victory. On the cusp of victory, you push on through the thunderstorm to seize your destiny, but destiny has other plans. Then, a lightning bolt strikes you dead and ends your quest for mortal victory, but fret not. This is just the beginning. Now, you find yourself in purgatory, greeted by the ghost of a golfing Scotsman. You must now play your way through the golfer’s purgatory with the chance of returning to your mortal coil and seizing the championship you almost had.
Past the game’s introduction, there isn’t much story development. As you play through each floor, there will be brief conversations with the Scotsman or the Explorer, but this lack of interaction may not necessarily be a drawback. Instead, the developers put all their focus on the game. You’ll find tense moments between shots as you lay out your quest for the cup and return to the mortal realm.
Gameplay: Challenge your golfing skills against an ever-changing course
Simplified with an angle and timing minigame, Cursed to Golf follows the same setup, just like many other golf titles players will find. You’ll have three different options of clubs to choose from with a Driver, Iron, and Wedge. Each will suit the player in a variety of different scenarios that allow the player to have the freedom to decide on which approach would suit them best. The player will sometimes be locked into which club they can use. Stuck in a bunker? The Wedge will only be your way out. The developers at Chuhai Labs put a lot of thought into their clubs. While the Wedge will feel like it can only be used in sand pits, you’ll find it helpful in various situations.
The arsenal of clubs isn’t the only thing at your disposal. Cursed to Golf will offer a variety of usable Ace cards to elevate, stop, or rocket your game to a whole new level. Of course, each card can only be used once, so you’ll have to ensure you know how you will use them. However, the cards will become lifesavers in critical moments, allowing you to extend how many more swings you have before it’s over or take out the obstacles that may stand in your way.
Even with an arsenal of clubs and Ace cards, players will still have to contend with the course ahead. The course will contain typical obstacles with sand traps and water hazards, but beware, that’s not all. Players will also have to navigate a maze of TNT boxes, the graves of the undead, and pinball-style bumpers to deter them from getting to the cup and taking the victory. In addition, the course will change with each restart ensuring you’ll never get too comfortable memorizing the holes you play. To mix things up a little more, players will also have to worry about having to play through cursed holes, making things even more difficult with random weather and world events affecting your play.
Graphics/Audio: A golfers pixel paradise of obstacles
Cursed to Golf and the team at Chuhai Labs will give players a beautifully crafted 2D pixel world full of full-colored sprites and music that’ll bring you back to the days of early gaming. The presentation does well to deliver a silly Halloween aesthetic showcasing all that they have built. Unfortunately, things can become a bit of a blur, given that much of the game is built upon the same handful of assets. While you’re not going to be blown away by the look of the game, you can see the love that the developers put into Cursed to Golf.
Players will also be treated to a delightful soundtrack that brings together a distinct Halloween theme with a synth-like tone that is catchy and slightly creepy. The soundtrack does well to fill out the time as you line up your perfect shots and head towards the cup. The only issue we found was that the musical tracks began to feel repetitive with longer sessions. But, the problems we did see during our review of Cursed to Golf are not enough to ruin the experience, but there could have been a bit more there in the soundtrack.
Conclusion: An delightfully fun indie game that offers a challenge
Ultimately, Cursed to Golf is an enjoyable and exciting game that will deliver a level of challenge to players with a roguelike game design and basic true golf gameplay. Unfortunately, the repetitive soundtrack and roguelike elements sometimes felt like it was holding the rest of the game back. Still, polished gameplay, a gorgeous art style, and high replay value make this game an easy recommendation.
If you want to learn more about the Chuhai Labs title Cursed to Golf after reading out review, you can find the game available on Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4 & 5, and Xbox One Series X|S for $19.99. Additionally, you can check out the developers at Chunhai Labs on their development page to follow updates to Cursed to Golf or any of their other projects in the works.