Golf Peaks Review
So close, yet one card away
Available on: Steam/Switch/Mobile
Genre: Puzzle Card Game
Man, sometimes I do miss playing mini-golf. It was always a fun experience whenever I was able to go as a kid and bonus points if the place had it themed (one time, a local indoor mini-golf place had everything glow-in-the dark). Going with some friends to see who can get the best score made it even more fun than just going with one of my parents. And fun fact one of my birthday parties was at a local indoor mini-golf place. Now, I can really only get it through video games. And this time, it’s going to be through a little game called Golf Peaks.
Golf Peaks is simple, but unique. While going into other golf games will try to simulate how it is in real life, giving you control of the direction and how hard you’ll hit the ball, this one puts a spin on it. A puzzle-mixed-with-card-game-elements spin. Featuring 120 levels between 10 worlds (or courses), you’ll be challenged to get your ball to each hole. However, you won’t be setting the strength of your hit nor will you have full control of the direction the ball will go. The level is on a grid, and no going diagonally for you, and your hits are dictated by cards. No need to worry about finding that perfect balance to avoid hitting your ball too hard or too softly. You’ll be getting a hand of pre-determined cards and will have to figure out what order, and in which direction, you’ll need to use them in. The cards you’ll get will vary between just rolling through, hitting them in the air and landing a spot or a couple over, or hitting them in the air and once they land will roll a couple more spaces.
Every course will introduce one or two new mechanics you have to take into account. It can be obstacles, like a small wall meant to redirect your ball, or hazards that may appear on a real course. Like a sand pit that will stop your movement unless you have a card that will hit your ball into the air, water that will put your ball at the spot your ball last past, or even mud that will swallow your ball if it stops on that spot. Of course, you can undo your previous action or just restart the whole level if you find that you messed up somewhere.
Golf Peaks make look simple, but the puzzles do get challenging and pretty intimidating to look at. The first course is mainly used to introduce you to the game’s mechanics, while in the other courses, the first level or two will introduce you to a new mechanic. As you continue, the levels get more complex (either using just the mechanic they introduced or combining mechanics from different courses) and you’ll have to plan ahead and even think outside the box.
You only need to complete 9 levels to continue onto the next course, but there are bonus levels. These levels are significantly harder than the ones you’re required to complete. There are even some courses that is just filled with bonus levels if you’re up to the challenge. It does look like the bonus levels aren’t required to continue to a normal course.
If you want to play a golf game, but at the same time in the mood for playing a puzzle game, Golf Peaks will scratch that itch. Paired with the calming music, this did turn out to be an interesting and fun puzzle game. Though, those that like to skip around levels when stuck will find themselves not being able to do that. For the price of $5, I’d say Golf Peaks is worth getting.