December 4, 2022

Cursed to Golf – PS5 Review

Cursed to Golf looks cute and fun but in reality, it despises you and everything you stand for so will trap you in an eternal cycle of puzzle golf, rage and tears of inadequacy.
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by Lord Badger

Regular readers of Stoffel Presents will already know I love a good indie Golf game. Just take RPGOlf Legends for example. In the case of Cursed to Golf, I didn’t actually go looking for it. Cursed to Golf found me!

I accidentally came across Cursed to Golf at WASD back in April 2022 and instantly fell in love with it. Created by Chuhai Labs and published by Thunderful Games. Cursed to Golf is beautifully deceptive in its simplicity.

Story

You play as The Cursed Golfer, trapped in Golf Purgatory after a lightning strike stops you in your tracks just as you are going to take the winning putt in an acclaimed golf tournament! Unfortunately, there are no mulligans in life, so to lift the curse and ascend back to the land of the living, you’ll need to play through the 18 dungeon-like holes in Golf Purgatory

Sounds pretty simple right? You are a champion golfer. You got hit by lightning and died. Complete 18 holes of Golf and you will come back to life. While we are here what kind of Golf game only has 18 holes? Surely that is too short?… Yeah, you would think that.

Gameplay

The tutorial starts out incredibly simple. You have three clubs to choose from. Driver, Wedge and Iron. A simple three-button press mechanic to take your shot. It’s golf, what more do you want? Oh, you actually want more! Ok then, how about cards?

Cards can be used before taking any shot and there is a wide range to choose from. Some allow you to retake your shot, others add shots to your par counter. Some scatter the ball into three so you can pick the most favourable to continue with. The list goes on and on. I don’t wanna spoil too much but cards make a massive difference to your round of Golf.

So let’s recap. We got a simple single-button control scheme and some extremely useful cards. Are you ready to play those 18 holes of golf and return to the land of the living? MWHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA saying yes was the biggest mistake of your afterlife!

Cursed to Golf isn’t 18 holes of par 3, hole-in-ones with a few par 5 doglegs thrown in for variety. There are no 300-yard drives here. Greens in regulation? You are dead! You cant even regulate your breathing.

The true curse of Cursed to Golf is that the 18 holes are made up of fiendish platform puzzles that easily invoke pad-breaking levels of rage. By now you have probably realised Cursed to Golf isn’t a regular round of 18 holes. Look at the image above. Your progression through the course is more akin to a rouge-like dungeon crawler than a round of Tiger Woods.

There is money to collect, cards to buy (which you can use on that run or put in a binder for future runs) oh and curses to compete with. Cursed to Golf does try to be generous with the help it gives you. Each hole has statues that when hit reward you with more shots to complete the hole. Silver statues add 2 shots and gold statues add 4. You just have to decide whether it is worth using shots to get them sometimes.

The word puzzle hardly quantifies just how bloody difficult some of the holes are. Originally I was saving cards for when I really needed them. Hoping to have just the right card to get me out of a jam. Now? I use the cards like they are about to expire at any second. Any and all help I can get is gleefully accepted if it can give me just the slightest advantage and get me through the hole.

Oh Yeah, circling back to that whole “clear 18 holes and get your life back” thing. While true, all you have to do is clear 18 holes. Each run is a new set of holes put together at random from a list of 80+ holes! Good luck trying to remember how to beat each and every one!

Final Thoughts

Back in April when I first came across Cursed to Golf I was able to play a hands-on demo of the tutorial and the first hole. I was intrigued. Here is a cute-looking golf game with an indie game twist. When my review code arrived I quickly found out just how evil and rage-inducing Cursed to Golf is. I can’t even tell you if the whole “beat 18 holes and get your life back” thing is true. The furthest I have got is 8 holes! Not even halfway!

I have lost count of the number of hours I have dropped into Cursed to Golf. It is incredibly easy to pick up and play but so infuriating sometimes you just have to walk away for the sake of your own sanity! It is addictive yet also abusive. Cursed to Golf looks cute and fun but in reality, it despises you and everything you stand for so will trap you in an eternal cycle of puzzle golf, rage and tears of inadequacy. It does however love your wallet and will only cost you £15.99

I absolute adore Cursed to Golf for the amazing and unique game it is. I also hate it for how difficult and frustrating it is. Now please excuse me while Cursed to Golf calls to my sadomasochistic tendencies and I try just one more attempt…

Final Score 8/10