The Apple Arcade List: What the Golf?

Next up is What the Golf? I originally reviewed this game back in 2019 and gave it an 8.5/10. My full review is below. After that will be my 2022 update. My 8.5 was definitely wrong.


What the Golf is a weird and quirky game that is available on Apple Arcade. I kept hearing about this game when Apple Arcade came out, so I couldn’t wait to jump in, but is it a hole in one?



Gameplay

I want to keep this whole review as vague as possible; it needs to be experienced for the full effect. There are ten worlds to play each with its own game mechanic but the gameplay is relatively consistent across worlds. You pull back to adjust your power and aim and then release to shoot. Even though it was the same mechanics, the different levels kept it fresh and it never felt stale.



Campaign


As I mentioned earlier, there are 10 chapters, and they all have different mechanics. I don’t want to say much since the game just continued to surprise me. You putt around an overworld, going from area to area to play the holes. There are so many levels that are based on other games, and a lot of it will have you laughing out loud as you are playing.


Each hole has three parts to it. The first part is all you need, but the last part awards you a crown that’s needed to unlock everything to 100% the game. When I first started playing, I would not move on until I got the crown on each level. Some of the later levels become challenging and frustrating to get the crown and took away from my enjoyment. My advice to you is to move on and keep playing if you get stuck and come back later. Once I started doing that, I started to enjoy the game much more.



The only one that I want to touch on is a first person AR mode. This game was played great in short bursts. Have a few minutes, play a few levels. This was not possible when it came to the AR levels. You have to hold your phone up and physically move around to see what to do. Playing in bed or a seated position is just not possible for this. When I first got to these levels, I was playing in bed and had to stop for the night, since I had to spin around. The way it moves also gave me slight motion sickness. As a whole, the AR works and is done well, it just wasn’t for me.



After you beat an area, you have to gain access to the next one. You put your ball into the big red button. You then have to play a strange mini game where you have to putt your ball in a heart several times. There are different obstacles in your way while doing this. I never found these enjoyable and couldn’t wait to get past them.



Modes


There are two other modes besides the campaign. One is the “show to a friend” mode. The game knows how crazy it is, and knows it needs to be experienced, so they put together a few levels to show you what the game has to offer. It starts out normal and gets more and more abstract.


The other mode is a daily challenge. I don’t really understand this mode. It gives you a random level from the main campaign. If you play this before you have completed the main campaign it will spoil some of the later levels. There are also no leaderboards with this. I don’t understand the point of a daily challenge without a leaderboard for it.


Verdict



What the Golf is an amazing and funny game that continued to surprise me for around the 6 hours it took me to complete it. Getting to 100% can be a chore — if completionism is your thing — but playing through the campaign is a joy. Some weird mini-games and an AR mode that can be hard to play are not enough to stop this from being a great game. I give this one two thumbs up and a score of — 8.5/10 —.


2022 update


8.5/10? What was I thinking?! To address one concern from my initial review was the lack of leaderboards. This has been resolved and now the daily challenges have leaderboards to try to climb.

When I picked this game back up I was at 97% completion. I have now got 100% completion and replayed every hole in the main campaign. I still do have a problem with some of the AR levels but they seem to be more responsive now.



There have been several updates that added more holes to play. I have also 100% those new areas and I can not wait for them to add more! Most of the new holes were just as fresh and enjoyable as the main campaign was.

2022 Verdict


This game is going to stay near the top of this list and maybe even take the number one spot by the time I’m done. This is not a perfect game but it damn sure comes close. If you have not played this game yet, you are doing yourself a disservice.

Final score 10/10


The List

  1. What the Golf?

  2. Where Cards Fall

  3. Word Laces

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