As with any popular sport there have been several golf titles with “Mario Golf” and “Hot Shots Golf” keeping it traditional and others such as “Golf Story” and “100ft Robot Golf” that change it up. “RPGolf” takes inspirations from classic adventure games and creates a golf title around it, with the addition of saving the golf course from a dragon.
In a kingdom far away, people reveled with the land’s greatest pastime: golf. Peace has endured thanks to the sport, but because of their fixation there was next to no one to be on guard to repel an invasion. Monsters started to emerge from every dungeon and fairway, and it didn’t help that a dragon came into the picture to take over the entire golf course as his own.
Enter Leiah, a young woman who wants to be a professional golf player, even with the nine-hole course kingdom under the terror of the dragon’s horde. The young golfer sets off to play the course while honing her skills by slaying monsters with clubs and arcane golf gear.
The story is really absurd, though it can’t be easy to make a story about golf with demons running around. Besides, it’s more about Leiah’s goal is to be a professional golfer; slaying monsters is a side objective let alone a reason to get better at the sport via leveling up.
“RPGolf” is an adventure/RPG game that plays closely similarly to the 2D Zelda games (minus “The Adventure of Link”) but with a golf theme. The entire map is huge to explore, but many of the cooler secrets are behind obstacles that can be removed with magic items, which are spread so far in-between that you may forget about them.
Just getting around the map is a long trek, but you can find the key to the golf cart (a late game feature) and get around more easily. Plus the monsters won’t aggro if you’re riding in the cart so you’ll be spared from a lot of hassle when backtracking.
During combat you either swing the club or use magical gloves (two of which aren’t combat associated) very much like a Zelda game. There’s even a spin attack you can charge, with better damage with special clubs you buy from bars (shops). There’s also a blocking mechanic where you have to time your parry just right when the enemy comes right at you. It’s easy to learn though the monsters are quick to tackle you.
The golf mechanics are what you would expect if you played a title like “Kirby’s Dream Course”. Choose a club for distance, position a spot on the ball for spin and curving while considering the wind’s direction and strength, and time the hit on the power meter. Of course, you may need to kill some monsters since they can block the ball.
Leiah’s stats goes into her combat and golf proficiencies, simplifying both gameplay aspects in one mechanic. You’ll be given 2 points to allocate per level to make Leiah any build you want, though you should consider her golf skills as a priority after leveling up.
“RPGolf” obviously took notes from Nintendo’s popular adventure series and puts golf into the mix, but you’ll be spending more time wondering aimlessly to level grind opposed to playing golf. The dungeons offer some miniature golf challenges in the shape of puzzles which make dungeoneering interesting, but it takes some patience to find them in a large overworld that’s filled with hordes of monsters.
Speaking of the nine-hole course, the kingdom has a bit of everything, including lava hazards. Each bit of terrain on the course will also have an effect on your golf ball, such as a distance penalty when in the rough. The dungeons with miniature golf puzzles are simple, but their design fits how a putt-putt course would work, just with evil creatures as obstacles.
Magic effects are simple, but it’s enough to distinguish what element they are. The monster designs range from simple to quirky, even throwing some Stalfos in there. You’ll see more of the same enemy type with stronger variations in their ranks, though these power indicators come in palette swaps.
Most of the human cast is fairly simple, but their graphics look a bit off when compared to Leiah and her teacher. Speaking of, the Golf Sensei (yes, he calls himself sensei) looks that part of the old man golfer, so he’s seen things well after his caddy days.
Leiah, a cute blonde with golf appeal down to a pink visor, looks the part of a professional golfer, or at least, that’s her goal in life (even if she has to whack enemies with her golf club).
There’s a small selection of music tracks in the game, but you’ll hear one for most of your adventure. It’s not a bad tune to listen to while putting, but it’s not the sort that goes with bludgeoning a monster to death. Thankfully, the music does change when you enter a dungeon, but if you’re still roaming the course riding the golf cart will play a different track as you cruise around in style.
The controls are easy to use, especially if you’ve played a Zelda game before. Menu navigation is awkward, however. The basics are left and right to select the menu tab and up and down to choose an item or option. What’s awkward about it is that the menu tabs are vertical on both sides of the window so you’ll be thrown off a bit.
There’s also the issue of enemies still attacking you even when you’re looking at the menu, which you might think the game would be put on pause. However, it is manageable once you get the swing of things.
“RPGolf” is a good golf adventure game, but you’ll spend more time level grinding than exploring dungeons or playing golf. There is some entertainment, however, as the story can give some interesting character dialogues and there are more secrets in the post game.
+ A Zelda-esque adventure RPG where you go clubbing on the green and monsters
+ Multifunctional character stats for both slaying and golfing
+ Cute golfing protagonist
– Level grinding overshadows golfing experience
– Game doesn’t pause when in the menu, leaving you open to attacks
– Dungeons and secrets are far in-between holes
Replay value: 3.5/5
”RPGolf” is a doable golf RPG/Sport/adventure to spend time on, even with more to do after your adventure on the nine-hole course. The fairways may be green but there’s going to be some red when you’re slaying the dragon.
Genre: RPG Sport Adventure
Resolution: 1680 x 1050
Release date: 2018-05-09
Spent time: 5+ hours
Average grade internationally: 40.00% Gamerankings.com
PEGI/ESRB age rating: PEGI 7/Everyone+
Robin Ek – Editor
The Gaming Ground
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