Let’s face it. Golf can be boring. So the concept of a miniature golf party game is a pretty decent one. Golf with Your Friends tries to fill that niche.
First off, Golf with Your Friends is not intended to be a very serious game. That much is obvious from the course design and the silly game options that the developer gives you. It’s really meant to be a casual party game.
The game has both online and offline modes. The online mode lets you host a public or private match. You can also join an existing lobby. The host sets options like the game mode (i.e. classic, hockey, etc.) and course. If you want a private match, you can set a password.
The offline mode can be played either alone or with friends. There are a number of different options to choose from including the type of game, the course, and various settings. For instance, you can make the ground bouncy, change the shape or size of the ball, and set the max number of strokes, among other options.
Both the online and offline multiplayer allow for up to 12 players. At least with the offline mode, the only way that this works is to share a single controller. When you’re playing with just two people, I find it to be quite annoying handing the controller back and forth.
Courses and modes
Golf with Your Friends has a number of different courses. The Forest course is a fairly standard miniature golf setup, at least until the last few holes. Most of the others, though, are quite over-the-top. These include a candy-themed course, a haunted house, and a space station. There’s even a Worms-themed course, which is apt since Team 17 is the publisher.
It’s fair to say that the courses fit the casual spirit of the game. So do most of the modes – aside from the main one, which uses the classic rules of golf. There’s not much more to add than that. But there are zanier modes. These include Dunk, Hockey, and Party Mode.
In Dunk, the hole is replaced with a basketball hoop. After you hit the ball, you are given the option to bounce the ball. This is a pretty difficult mode as you will often find yourself going off of the course.
Hockey is a fairly interesting mode. The ball is replaced with a hockey puck that glides along the course, while the hole is replaced with a net and goalie. The size of the net means that this mode is significantly easier than Dunk. It makes for a friendlier and less stressful game. And it’s just kind of silly.
Party Mode is a return to a standard golf ball and hole, but it has the twist of Mario Kart-like power-ups. I might have played more of this mode, but it glitched on me and wouldn’t allow me to hit the ball.
Speaking of glitches, that was not the only one we encountered in several different playthroughs. While the basic mechanics are decent enough – the game has a standard power meter to determine the strength of your shot – it’s not uncommon to encounter glitches. Some of them are game-breaking.
Also, this game has a god-awful camera. It makes finding the hole impossible. To add insult to injury, the ability to pan the camera around on the course has a time limit. In fact, unless you disable it, each hole has a time limit. If you don’t complete the hole within the time limit, you automatically forfeit the hole.
This isn’t a horrible idea for a party game. The idea is to encourage players to get a move on it and not delay play. However, combined with the camera issues, it can really detract from the overall experience.
Golf with Your Friends is a better concept on paper than it is as an actual game. The gameplay mechanics work (usually), although some of the levels are outrageously difficult, the camera is annoying, and the framerate drops at times. Plus, the graphics would look bad running on a PS3.