Out of all of the sports to receive the video game treatment, golf is surprisingly one of the better digital recreations.
Taking out the walking between holes and speeding up the transition between shots, golf video games often manage to maintain the essence of the sport but from the comfort from your home – or wherever you are given the benefits of the hybrid nature of the Switch.
Despite the comparisons to golf – and the title of the game – Golf With Your Friends is actually a recreation of mini-golf. What this means is you are presented with 11 different themed courses, each with 18 holes that will challenge your putting skills. Each course is unique, ranging from a highly impractical (and frankly dangerous) museum to a desert oasis complete with pyramids. This results in a variety of different challenges that will test your golfing skills, as well as your patience.
The other major element that the games’ title emphasises is the multiplayer functionality so that you too can play golf with your friends. There’s also an online mode, which is possibly the intended multiplayer experience. Unfortunately, I was unable to find a single game to join, nor did I have any online friends with the game to try it out.
Instead, I was able to try out the local multiplayer, which only supports one controller, resulting in some hot-seat action of passing around the controller. Despite the title teasing playing with friends, the local multiplayer component of the game feels overstated compared to its functionality in practice. That’s not to say that it’s bad, but it is surprisingly simplistic. This by no means a deal-breaker, but it is disappointing. In practice, the multiplayer really is no different to that of playing single-player; ultimately, it is just about who can get the best score (remember with golf, the lower the score the better). This also slows down the pace of action, having to wait for each player to take their turn, which can seem like an age when you just need to make a small tap to pot your ball.
It isn’t all just your typical mini-golf action, as there are a couple of other modes that can be played to switch up (pun intended) the traditional golf play. One mode – Dunk – replaces the hole with a basketball net, requiring you to bounce the ball before the final shot so that it drops through the net. The other as its namesake of ‘Hockey’ suggests is just that, in which the hole is instead a hockey net complete with a cardboard goalie cut-out moving left to right in an attempt to block your shot. In this mode, your golf ball is also replaced by a hockey puck, although in practice, this makes little to no difference.
Regardless of what mode you play, you can customise the look of your ball/puck with different colours, as well as hats and motion trails that you randomly unlock after playing a complete course. These are purely cosmetic, but my top hat ball looked rather elegant. The graphics might be a bit simplistic, but the courses still manage to exude a fun and playful style.
Golf With Your Friends is a perfectly adequate mini-golf experience. There is a suitable amount variety on offer here, with the main excitement and diversity coming from the large number of courses, each complete with many holes.
Golf With Your Friends £14.99
Golf With Your Friends might not be the ultimate multiplayer golf experience but there is still enough variety here to have a good time. Even when playing single player the intricate courses will keep you entertained.