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Dangerous Golf

Dangerous Golf

Sub-par pitch and putt, or glorious destruction for fans of golf?

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Shot. Destruction. Highscore.
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It's too bad that there's just so much twiddling your thumbs, because Dangerous Golf is actually a very enjoyable game when you're not waiting for it to load. The basic idea is to cause as much chaos and devastation as possible in a room (or several rooms), or inside various fixed locations (like, for example, a petrol station), using only a golf ball. It's largely about the simple satisfaction of destruction, but there are of course points to be earned for everything you smash into pieces, and bonus points for destroying specific objects in the level.

Of course, after teeing off, you have to put the ball in the hole, either straight in as a hole-in-one (although you'd better not, because you lose points for being so direct) or by a decent putt that creates some carnage along the way. If you fail to sink the ball you'll lose at least 50 percent of all your accumulated points. Even if it's dangerous, it's still golf.

Before teeing off the game distributes a set of action cards that activate special conditions within the level. These may be additional holes that give bonus points, or timed tasks, or sticky golf balls, or even a bucket full of water that needs to be knocked over. There are special objects in each level that provide extra points: champagne bottles, chocolate cakes, copper pots, and so on and so forth. You always have to cause a certain amount of damage before triggering the mighty Smashbreaker. This allows you to explode the golf ball and produce a manually-controlled fireball that can be precisely (but sadly a bit sluggishly) manoeuvred in super slow motion through the chaos for a few seconds of more purposeful damage.

Dangerous Golf
Dangerous GolfDangerous GolfDangerous Golf

So that's actually everything you need to know. And as lite on depth as this might sound, there's enough here to keep you playing for a good few hours. The 100 holes in the solo mode will keep you in good spirits for the most part, almost all of them are available in co-op play, and there is a Party Golf mode for up to four players (unfortunately it's offline only). It's a bit silly that these multiplayer modes are only playable with two or more controllers, and an option to pass the controller around would have been great. When playing multiplayer you compete across three holes, and in the end the player with the most points in total wins. It's quite simple, and often very funny, because despite good tactics and a knowledge of the level, something always goes wrong, often to hilarious effect.

Three Fields Entertainment were established by Alex Ward and Fiona Sperry, both of whom have recently worked for Criterion and there produced the original Burnout. These roots are clearly visible and are tangibly felt throughout any time spent with Dangerous Golf, and that series' ability to revel in wanton destruction is evident here. However, in this instance we were left frustrated by the loading times in the solo mode, and given the nature of the gameplay loop, we think more work should have been done to optimise. These frustrations are joined by opaque rules and little in the way of explanation (although given the simplicity of the concept, this is less of an issue).

However - and this weighs heavier as we sum up - Dangerous Golf is a very fun experience. The senseless destruction in combination with the physics in play, and chasing high scores through all the chaos, had us enthralled. Sinking a putt using six walls is always satisfying for perfectionists out there, and the big explosions will keep those who enjoy chaos happy too.

07 Gamereactor UK
7 / 10
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Fun destruction, satisfying physics.
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overall score
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Dangerous Golf

REVIEW. Written by Christian Gaca

"We were left frustrated by the loading times in the solo mode, and given the nature of the gameplay loop, we think more work should have been done to optimise."



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