Mashing up gaming genres can be a tricky tightrope to try and walk. If successful, you have the potential to create something new and unique that can transcend the trappings of a specific type of game and create a whole new, hopefully awesome, experience. On the flipside, however, if the experiment doesn’t work then you can create something that’s a major mess. Death Golf, the new game from Ayopa Games, proves that old Jurassic Park adage: just because you can do something, doesn’t mean you should.
Playing Death Golf is a lot like going to your local mini putt-putt range. You play through a series of crazy golf courses, avoiding all kinds of traps and enemies, trying to sink your ball. Death Golf features four different “worlds” or courses spread over 30+ levels. You’ll find yourself playing through murky swamps, arid deserts and fighting against things like cannon-balls, deranged ducks, knights and alligators, all of which are designed to stop you from making par. Instead of playing through a castle, you’ll actually play through a castle. Which is kind of a cool idea.
Between levels you can upgrade your golfer with better pants, shoes, clubs and balls with gold you get while playing throughThe problem with Death Golf is that it tries to do too many different things, and it doesn’t do any of them well. As a golf game, it’s pretty simplistic. All you do is drag your finger in the direction you want to swing, and then let fly. Wind supposedly plays a factor, but we didn’t notice it making much of a difference.
Death Golf also tries to be an action/platformer game, but it falls way short in this aspect as well and this is mainly because of the down right terrible controls. You’ll frequently have enemies attacking you, and you have to tap on them to smack them with your golf club. The monsters move fast and targeting them doesn’t work all that well. Combat becomes a real nightmare when you’re attacked while teeing up to take a shot and the game can’t decide if it wants you to swing at the ball or at the bizarre looking tar-crab thing that’s coming at you. You’ll either die an embarrassing death, shank a really terrible shot, or sometimes both.
Movement is done by dragging your finger along the screen making a path for your golfer to follow. This is terribly imprecise, and your golfer will frequently wander aimlessly in directions you don’t want him to. Running into traps, monsters, falling off of cliffs and failing to walk in a straight line will haunt you for the entire game. And trying to make the precision jumps that the game wants you to make almost seems like a cruel joke.
Death Golf just isn’t that much fun. It’s an awful mish-mash of half baked ideas that don’t work well at all. The concept is a fun thought, but the execution here is terrible. If you really want to play this, we recommend waiting for an update.