Cheap Golf is about as apt a name as you could get for this fairly delightful indie title. Made by Pixeljam, a developer known for their embrace of lo-fi, sub-bit experiences, this game drowns itself in wacky irreverence. This works for many of its oddball aspects, and below the surface is a solid game, but at the end of the day what you get is about what you'd expect from such an affair.
Any person with a familiarity of your basic video golf game will understand how this works right away. The game is simple and straightforward, and legitimately feels like your memory of old Atari games when viewed through rose-tinted glasses. This certainly works in its favor. The nostalgia is thick, the sound effects could have been ripped straight from all the 2600 classics, and the color scheme gives me that same headache I used to get as a kid.
Ah, the good old days.
The story (if you can sincerely call it that) is where this boop-fest really shines. I was just as enthralled with figuring out the level I was on, as I was with looking forward to where I, the indomitable Susan, would end up in the great scheme of things. I really can't tell you any more without ruining the experience, but suffice it to say it's hilarious.
There are just enough levels to make it worth the "Starbucks-coffee-like" cost, and some of them are real brain-busters. I like to think of myself as good at puzzle games. This one had me pinned quite a few times.
Many of the levels have moving parts, deadly walls, and other perennial puzzle/platformer mainstays, and unfortunately this is where the game becomes a little frustrating. While the aiming is quite precise, the controls are occasionally spotty, and trying to gauge your shot correctly while the level auto-zooms and pans can cause some unnecessary derps. The squareness of everything also doesn't play to the idea that this is a ball, but it sort of had to be that way I guess.
The game comes with a level editor which should extend the life of the game for some, though I feel like my time with Cheap Golf can be considered satisfying enough in its own right now that I've completed its main levels. If you like cheeky-yet-deep throwback golf games (that's a real niche if I've ever heard one) then this game is for you. If you came here looking for the next Call of Duty, well then you're real lost there Susan.
I feel like you know what you're getting into with this game so it's hard for me to rate the graphics but there you are.
Faithful recreation of old Atari noises that will send you straight back to your childhood...provided you're in your 30s.
The screen to often zooms or pans while you're trying to control the ball power. It's not a dealbreaker, but just annoying enough to bring it down below the average.
PROS / CONS
- Wacky and zany do not describe the half of it
- Enough challenge to keep me going while providing plenty of head-scratchers
- Nostalgic yet modern
- Perfect value for the price
- Screen zooming and panning can be irritating
- People with epilepsy will not want to play this