What the Golf? is a recently released comedy golf game that was developed by Danish team Triband, crowdfunded though Fig, and released for PC on the Epic Store. It’s a rare breed of game that that just keeps making you smile, presenting you with pleasant surprise after pleasant surprise, constantly topping itself and keeping you engaged. It’s a very funny comedy game, a very fun sports-type game, and a solid value for money considering how much content comes in the package.
Triband is made up of a lot of people, and none of them like golf. Their goal in making What the Golf? was to take the simple concept of golf – that is to say, putting a ball into a hole or towards a goal – and go abstract on it. Start with the idea of golf ball and a hole, then just skew it a little and you end up with a football and a goal. Then you skew that a little further the next level, then a little further the next level, and eventually you’re playing as a swivel chair jumping gaps or paying homage to Portal and Super Mario Bros. That is the magic of What the Golf?. It is a very silly idea, and you could say it often breaks it’s own rules of being a golf game, but that’s the point.
The fact that the game breaks the rules of golf so often and gets extremely loose with it’s definition of a ball and a hole are all part of the joke. Plus, all rules broken and minor mistakes made – such as the odd graphical glitch or finicky controls – are easily forgiven when you’re hopping from level to level, playing golf in first-person one moment and playing Superhot-style slow-mo golf the next.
The presentation is a real treat too. The simple, smoothed out models and deep, bold colors make the graphics feel vibrant and alive, while also being dopey looking enough to add to the comedy before the golf aspect even gets involved. The soundtrack is simple, but often catchy and charming, with lots of upbeat “doot-doot” A cappella tracks full of joyful, silly vocals that make the whole thing feel like an elaborate performance piece.
Adding to the base content that is all the different levels with their different gameplay twists, each level actually has two additional versions of itself that you can complete in order to unlock bonuses and more hidden levels, as well as the added benefit of more solid gameplay that puts a twist on the first run through the level. This is all completely optional, but if you want to find any sort of major challenge in What the Golf?, this is where you’re going to find it, because the base game is admittedly very easy. And if you ever feel as though you’re running low on levels to complete, the game offers level layouts for streamers to try, and daily challenges with leaderboards for people to compete against each other’s par and time globally.
As an added bonus, the structure surrounding all the levels has a great deal of care and personality put into it as well. There is a top-down overworld that is a level itself, somewhat similar to Yooka-Layle and the Impossible Lair, which has loads of secrets and shortcuts laying around just waiting to be discovered. A map would have been nice for getting around once a lot of the overworld opens up, as it is quite large and getting lost can be easy to do at times, and the previously mentioned finicky controls do make precise navigation somewhat iffy. But it is overall a welcome addition that I was not expecting and was happy to receive nonetheless.
What the Golf? makes minor stumbles in small technical and control fumbles, but it delightful in basically every other way. It’s successful comedy game full of surprises and engaging if simple gameplay. For $20 I would absolutely say this game is worth it for the several hours it will likely last you. This game is a hole-in-one success.
Greyson is an aspiring author and YouTuber with dozens of consoles and hundreds of gaming hours under his belt. He’s always looking for something new to play, and is always happy to share it with other people. He also likes the Shantae games, like, a lot.