What happens when you mix up crazy golf with Micro Machines? No, you don’t get some golf and racing hybrid (I wish), but rather House of Golf – a fun golfing title that takes place across miniature makeshift courses that anyone could put together in their own home.
So the gameplay: it’s golf, what else is there to say? You’ll line up your shots by moving an arrow, observe the general trajectory of the ball thanks to a movement path outline, and then you’ll hold down and release the power button to give the ball a whack. They’re simple mechanics that’ve been seen in plenty of other golfing games, but why fix what isn’t broken?
I just wish there was a way to slow down the aiming, with the player not always getting the precision to line up their shots perfectly. Sure, it’s not the end of the world and all it takes is a bit of nudging with the analogue stick to get those smaller movements, but if House of Golf just assigned one of the shoulder buttons to slow down the aiming a bit I think it’d make a good improvement.
One thing players aren’t short of in House of Golf is courses, with over one-hundred-and-thirty available across five different environments. There are three different difficulties on offer too, so there’s a good mix of easy courses where you’ll smash in hole-in-ones with ease and tough courses where you’ll have to nail each shot perfectly just to get par. It can be a surprisingly challenging in places, but it’s accessible and easy to get into which makes it ideal for quick ‘pick up and play’ sessions on the Nintendo Switch.
It is very simple though, with the only game modes on offer being single hole or Championships where you play through nine-holes in succession. There are hidden tokens to collect along the way and players will unlock additional golf balls to use too, but House of Golf is pretty bare-boned as far as game modes are concerned. However, there is local multiplayer support for up to six-players, so it’s certainly an ideal choice as a party game – it’s available at a fairly low price too, so it’s not like you’re not getting enough bang for your buck.
My biggest issue with House of Golf was that the physics could be a little inconsistent. Sometimes I’d hit an obstacle and my ball would bounce off it in an unnatural way, whilst I even noticed that the makeshift bridges in courses would completely halt my ball or throw it off track at times too. It wasn’t a super common issue and for the most part everything worked fine, but there were occasions where it could be the difference between a par and bogey finish. It’s frustrating, so hopefully it’s something the developer can fix in the future.
Much like most other aspects of House of Golf, the visuals are all very simple in design. It’s packed full of personality though, with the vibrant courses and environments (lounge, kitchen, bedroom, attic and garage) all featuring the sort of obstacles you’d expect to find around your own home. There are even some unique takes on real-life properties too (game of Streetopoly anyone?), which all add an extra sense of personality to the experience.
House of Golf is a simple yet charming golfing experience that’s easy for just about anyone to pick up and play. There are a ton of courses to get through so there’s plenty to keep you playing for some time, whilst the six-player local multiplayer makes it a perfect party game too. It’s just good fun to play, and whilst it does have some flaws, the core golfing experience remains enjoyable throughout.
Platform(s): Nintendo Switch