Vertiginous Golf (Hands-On) (PC) Preview

By Javier Jimenez 26.04.2014

Review for Vertiginous Golf (Hands-On) on PC

Think of golf games right now and likely the first thought is of Mario Golf for the 3DS. Makes sense, given that the game is from a long running series, its release is a couple of weeks down the road, and it's just received a very solid eShop demo. There's another mini-golf style game out there though, called Veritiginous Golf, from Aussie publisher Surprise Attack. Vertiginous Golf is a Victorian steampunky sort of mini-golf game set on floating islands in the sky. There are steel cages and glass houses, floating islands, ramps that move, and treadmills. Heck, there's even a mechanical golden hummingbird!

Mini-golf really is the best description of the activity in Veritiginous Golf. Whereas Mario Golf, Hot Shots, and other such series imitate "real" golf courses, with long drives towards a green and a hole at the end, Veritiginous instead imitates mini-golf. Holes are disjointed, there are "tricks" everywhere - such as moving ramps, angled banks at the end of channelled lanes such that the ball travels a sharp 90 degrees, even fans that blow the ball to and fro and treadmills that send the ball flying off into the air.

Vertiginous Golf is mini-golf taken to the extreme, though. Hole design is almost Rube Goldbergian; a hole might have moving ramps to launch the ball from, treadmills to shoot the ball hundreds of feet, giant curved dishes to catch a ball and guide it towards some hole, greens that consist of several consecutive levels of ramps up to the flag, fans that blow the ball this way and that. In short, level design is great, fantastic stuff.

Real golf can only go so far, as after all a long stretch of grass and then a hole is the whole game. Veritiginous Golf goes so much further, to the point that reaching the end of a hole feels like a real accomplishment, even if it takes 37 strokes. One more note about level design is that tamer "mini-putt" levels are being developed, sans crazy treadmills and island hopping - just good old fashioned mini-golf.

Screenshot for Vertiginous Golf (Hands-On) on PC

All of this would be painful if the gameplay was not good. It is solid, though. Pull back on the stick and the club draws back smoothly, whilst a bar on the side of the screen tells the player exactly how much power they are applying. Release and the club strikes and off the ball goes with good physics simulation providing accuracy and predictability (meaning learnable and reproducible, rather than boring).

Smoothing the way to the flag are some helpers. There's the mechanical hummingbird, which the player can jump into it at any time to fly around the course and check the lay of the land. Then there's the bug, a device that sits on top of the ball and allows ball's course to be changed with a limited jet stream. With a chipper and a putter, that's plenty of ways to get around a course, even the mad courses of Vertiginous Golf.

Some catchy art and relaxing audio round out the game, with the art easily being the more impressive of the two. Victorian is the best description; great glass towers and metallic frameworks everywhere, lush carpeting drapes the islands and holes, and archaic brass ans and phonograph horns adorn towers. It's a visual treat and well fit to the hole design style.

Screenshot for Vertiginous Golf (Hands-On) on PC

Final Thoughts

Needless to say, Vertiginous Golf is a promising title. It plays well, albeit with some finnicky camera issues, and it's fun. Course design shows a lot of promise as well, if the designers can continue to design such creative, infuriatingly fun holes. It's also a lovely looking game, stylistically eclectic and amusing, everything mini-golf should be.

It's difficult to say much more than that given the game is still in an alpha state, not feature complete, with plenty of development time to go. At present there are only 18 holes to be played over three courses. Online multiplayer and leaderboards are not implemented yet, either, along with a host of other features, including a "full blow mystery" story. Given how active the developer team is on the game's forums, there seems to be little doubt this will all be pulled off in good fashion, however. Therefore, when the final game is ready, Cubed3 will be there, clubs in hand.

Developer

Application Systems

Publisher

Application Systems

Genre

Sport

Players

1

C3 Score

Rated $score out of 10  n/a

Reader Score

Rated $score out of 10  0 (0 Votes)

European release date Out now   North America release date Out now   Japan release date None   Australian release date Out now   

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