Cursed to Golf is a pretty good game of golf. It's 2D and side-on, so aiming is simplified, and once you've selected your club from a limited range, it's one click for power and then another for the angle and you're off!
But that's not the entirety of it. Really it's just the start. Because in Cursed to Golf you're dead - is it a spoiler to say you die halfway through the tutorial? - and your mission is to play your way out of golfing purgatory.
This is a clever game, I reckon. A spin on a platformer that feels nothing like a platformer. It turns out that purgatory golf holes are tough. They zig-zag up and down, so the fairway you want to land on with your first shot might be below you. Or it might be blocked off by TNT. Or a fan might push the ball out of the way.
In the recent Steam demo I had a chance to try all of this out. I navigated the hurdles as best I could, starting at a tee off that was high, high above the hole I was aiming for. I had five shots to get there, but it wasn't possible. Instead I could earn more shots by knocking over little Oscar statuettes as I went.
Helping out in other ways were a selection of cards I could play. One of them stopped time, which meant that when I played it I could stop the ball mid-flight and just drop it straight down - useful when navigating water. Another allowed me to send the ball to blow up packs of TNT, opening potentially useful pathways. Yet another allowed me to fire a practice shot, that would not affect my shot count, and would also not mean that I moved to where the ball landed. Perfect for hitting out of the way statuettes to pick up more overall shots.
I think the greatness of Cursed to Golf lies in the fact that while all this clever stuff is going on, it's still a pretty good game of golf. Clubs are simplified but you still need to know when to use a driver and when to use a wedge. Aiming is simplified but you still need to get the right power and the right angle. Cursed to Golf is out fairly soon by the looks of it - the polish is already obvious. It will be fun to get back on to these blasted links.
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