29th Jan2020

‘House of Golf’ Review (Nintendo Switch)

by Phil Wheat

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What do you get if you mix mini golf with the old Micro Machines videogames? House of Golf that’s what!

An arcade style sports game with full 3D graphics, physics and easy pick-up and-play game mechanics, House of Golf sees players face fun and challenging holes across a variety of home based locations. Sounds simple right? Well it’s not, as you progress through the game, holes become more devious and challenging and getting par or under par becomes more and more unlikely.

Made by Liverpool based indie studio Atomicom, exclusively for Nintendo Switch, House of Golf is very much an old-school game. As I said in the opening, it reminded me a lot of the classic Micro machine games – the house-setting capturing the same bright cheerful fun and providing a fantastic backdrop for what is – honestly – a dull sport. Come on, golf? It’s dull. Admit it. Yes, mini golf, adventure golf, etc., can provide a little more entertainment than traditional golfing but it’s still golf. And a golfing videogame? I’ve never seen the appeal. Not even back in the days of Mario Golf or in more modern fare such as Carnival Games: Mini Golf! However Atomicon have created something special here. You know how I know that? Because House of Golf makes a dull “sport” fun. A LOT of fun.

Taking place within a house, the game stages take place within a lounge, bedroom(s), kitchen, attic, and garage; with each area/stage featuring objects you’d typically see in that setting: the kitchen is full of utensils, pots and pans; the kids bedroom is crammed with teddies, toys and board games. Of course said objects aren’t there to be helpful – though many are – most of the time objects are obtusely placed within the line-of-sight between you and the hole, meaning you either have to find your way round them. Be that the long way round or, sometimes, finding a short cut – which is necessary for keeping close to par scores in this game! The random placement can be annoying at times but by the same token getting round said obstacles AND getting a low score is oddly satisfying.

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The other noticeable thing about House of Golf is the physics. Let’s just say this is not your traditional golf game. There’s a very good reason this is an ARCADE style game and not a simulation (besides the fun setting). The physics are all over the place! The ball moves well for the most part and it’s easy to figure out how to hit the ball well in terms of speed and strength. However sometimes the golf ball just doesn’t want to play… ball. It won’t go where you, and the game, expect it to; sometimes it will bounce all over the place; sometimes (even replaying the same shot) it will stop dead in its tracks. And, at least at first, aiming for that final putt can be frustrating. Though if you get too frustrated you can change the difficulty levels for each area – perfect when playing with younger family members.

And I say that because, the big selling point of House of Golf is the fact you can play couch co-op, with 6 players at once all on one Switch console. Pair that with the games Championship mode, where you play through nine holes in one go, and you have one hell of a fun, colourful, party game!

**** 4/5

House of Golf is available on the Nintendo eShop now.

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