Sling Puzzle: Golf Master Logo
Sling Puzzle: Golf Master Icon
Sling Puzzle: Golf Master

Developer: Happy Tube

Action
Family
Puzzle
Sports
  • Price: $14.99
  • Release Date: May 16, 2024
  • Number of Players: 1
  • Last on Sale: -
  • Lowest Historic Price: -
  • ESRB Rating: E [Everyone]
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    A decent semi-casual puzzle and sports hybrid of sorts, but even being unique it has enough troubles to hold it back

    Whether it’s more traditional titles like the classic Madden series, or more oddball offerings that just do their own thing, it’s hard not to see that the Switch library comes up short all around when it comes to sports. With that in mind, I tend to be pretty interested to see anything that even tangentially moves in the genre’s direction, including games that have a more casual bent. It would be fair to say Sling Puzzle: Golf Master fits that description, with its mix of classic arcade mini golf vibes, an element of puzzling, and the unorthodox “courses” it has that are full of right angles.

    As someone who has enjoyed arcade-style mini golf games in the past of various kinds, I’ll admit the look and concepts behind Golf Master seemed inviting. Working carefully to set up your shot, plotting the angles to try to make it around turns and around obstacles, and then attempting to sink the ball in as few shots as possible. There’s no doubt that throwing courses that curve around sharp angles throws an additional complication into the mix, and to some degree that adds a certain fun factor. Since your ball will simply bounce off of right angles, you’ll need to look for opportunities from ramps or even shoot off the edges at times to get to where you need to go. That does add some flavor, but it isn’t quite enough to gloss over some problems you’ll run into.

    One consistent and often pretty major issue is simply the camera, and trying to get a good look at the shots you’re trying to set up. The game does try to be as helpful as possible, even going as far as including an indicator for your ball’s trajectory to assist, but even that can’t always compensate for the obstacles the game’s design and engine run into when trying to get around courses that have right angles everywhere. I suppose you can chalk it up to just being part of the game, but it can be frustrating, especially since knocking over stacks of cans can be so critical to staying alive and yet setting up and then making those shots can so often be tricky for the wrong reasons. 

    It’s one thing when you’ve put yourself in a bad position and need to take it upon yourself to recover, but it’s another when it feels like in the name of being different the developers painted the player into a bit of a corner at times. There’s no doubt that you can choose to overcome these issues, and still enjoy the game. However, it’s also not hard to imagine a better job could have been done to reduce the pain and strain put on what you’d assume would typically be more casual players who’d be attracted to a title like this. Fiddling with the camera to try to zoom, pan, and reposition isn’t something that comes easy to everyone, and for the less skilled gamers out there I’m seeing quite a bit of room for a problem here.


    Justin Nation, Score:
    Fair [6.9]
2024

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