We here at TheJournalix.com have been very lucky to get our hands on the recently launched console release for CURSED TO GOLF by Chuhai Labs… Thank the lord and baby Jesus – it’s very good!
Why the sense of relief? Well we’ve followed Chuhai Labs closely these past few years since Kinsey Burke (aka Kinszilla, member of the Metal Jesus Crew) joined as producer back in 2020. And although this has resulted in less frequent appearances on the Metal Jesus channel (sad face) she has maintained her presence in online content with the fantastic weekly podcast put out by the Chuhai Labs team from the heart of Kyoto, Japan. Thus proving this to be a very cool bunch of developers with an infectious passion for gaming! But likeability doesn’t always transpire into quality work. We needn’t have worried…
They appear to have the perfect blend of experience and enthusiasm and this video game proves it. From company founder Giles Goddard (the man behind Mario’s interactive face in Mario 64) and a relatively young director in Liam Edwards, clearly drawing on all his experiences at Rockstar Games, overseeing a team of developers that have such an obvious passion for gaming. Mark Sparling is another clever addition to the team, providing a classic soundtrack – after his fantastic work on quirky indie title A Short Hike.
GSOH and VERY PLAYFUL
What shines through is that celebration of gaming. There’s a big nod to games of old, immediately notable with style of graphics on display; the beau-tee-ful pixel art and this dungeon-like golf course our hero finds himself on. Not only that but there’s a lovely level of humour (akin to the aforementioned podcast) which carries the story on throughout the game. Think more Happy Gilmore than Tin Cup.
I actually got a lot of flashbacks to Bill Murray (a very good golfer it should be noted) and the opening scenes of Scrooged with the ghost of his ex-boss who was struck down on the golf course. Cue the mouse pushing the golf ball out of his zombie skull…
A REAL HOLE-IN-ONE
And in a similar vein this game sees you take control of “The Cursed Golfer”, navigating his way through 18 hellish holes with innovative gameplay. Are you up to par with the mythical challenges of Golf Purgatory and will you become a true Golfing Legend…? Or will you forever be… Cursed to Golf?!
ON THE LEADERBOARD
This game more than holds it own in the company of classic golfing video games that has gone before it. Whilst being like no other you’ve played before it manages to still include all the elements that makes golf (and golfing video games) so good. But it goes further, even answering some of this reviewers personal gripes with the most popular titles on offer. When I play Mario Golf what I actually want is Crazy Golf. I’m not aiming to join the pro tour, I want fun. Fun is TNT and trick shots throughout!
And generally golf games are puzzle platformers. You’re not relying on reacting to the elements, it is all about executing your actions with precision, consistency and good timing. So whilst this is still a key factor, thus making it worthy of inclusion in any “great golf video games” list, there are things that will happen here that you will not be prepared for – and I won’t spoil the fun. But you will be kept on your toes and it no doubt makes this the MOST enjoyable game I’ve played in 2022.
CURSED TO GOLF – FINAL SCORECARD
We’re giving this game a strong 8 haunted golf balls out of 10 – what a romp! Easy to pick up, super difficult to master but ultimately fun, fun, fun!