It’s far too often that the games we play take themselves way too seriously. It’s almost like there’s a competition for which game can be the most dark, realistic, gritty, etc. Even games like Player Unknown’s Battlegrounds where players create loads of hilarious situations in-game aren’t necessarily silly themselves. But what about the times when you just want to relax and have a good laugh? When you want to play a game that both pokes fun at you and encourages you to take things a little less seriously? That’s exactly where Golf Story finds its niche.
Made by Sidebar Games, a somewhat mysterious 2-man team in Australia, Golf Story is rife with some of the funniest writing and on-point situational comedy I’ve ever experienced in a game. You can immediately tell that this RPG has been handcrafted with a lovingly weird sense of humor that can only come from a tight-knit indie dev team. Following in the massive footsteps of the classic Mario Golf and Mario Tennis RPGs from Camelot, Golf Story blows the doors wide open and expands upon that formula in both creative and often hilarious ways. Here’s a peek at some of the funniest experiences I’ve had in Golf Story so far.
The Case of the Annoyingly Bratty Boy
In the starting area of Wellworn Grove, you come across a mother standing by the lake who’s terrified that her son, David, will be eaten alive by crocodiles. The kid refuses to swim back on his own, so you’re tasked with cracking him over the head with a golf ball to get his attention. David eventually comes back, but not before whining and moving his head side to side in some kind of painful dance. The mother’s reaction? “His head didn’t used to do that.”
“I’ve never touched a frisbee in my life.”
Every society has a counterculture, and in Golf Story it’s none other than the disc golfers. Outcast and misunderstood, the small crew simply believes that the world has yet to experience the brilliance that is disc golf. Complete with eye-roll-inducing “too cool for school” personas and wildly eclectic styles, their snobbish dialogue is executed perfectly and makes every encounter with them a memorable one.
The Art of Pulling of a Successful Plot Twist
As you go through the game, you learn that a legion of mischievous mole rats are plaguing Wellworn Grove’s already disgusting golf course. They constantly steal balls and act as nuisances for the patrons. As part of your mission to return the course to its former glory, you end up working with the groundskeeper to track the mole rats and see why they’re always stealing golf balls. As it turns out, they’ve been…brainwashed by evildoers to help resurrect an army of the living dead!? Without giving away too much, this twist is indeed as random, goofy and side-splitting as it sounds.
Easily one of the most memorable lines from the entirety of Golf Story is one of the first that you’ll ever read. The game starts with you learning to play golf with your dad as a young boy. While you’re registering for the day, a little blonde kid goes up to the food stand, asks for a malt and when it’s time to pay yells “Sucked in!” and runs away. Fast-forward 20 years and that same delinquent kid is the greasy owner of the golf course. Now instead of stealing snacks, he’s hired a few goons to try and swindle pro players to play on his rundown course. Between him and his brain-dead lackeys, it doesn’t get much better than this.
The Second Coming of the Mole Rats
Part of your duty of bringing back Wellworn to its former glory is helping the groundskeeper trim the wild grass growing throughout the course. After only finishing one hole, however, he stops you and claims that he can take care of the other eight. Suddenly, one of the most offbeat and hilarious montages I’ve ever seen in a game begins. In true cartoony fashion, the groundskeeper does everything from pushing a row of mowers stacked together in a line to recruiting the mole rats to help trim the grass themselves. It’s random, it’s stupid, and it’s a heck of a lot of fun to watch.
This is only a glimpse of the silliness Golf Story has to offer. It’s rare that we see creators just cut loose and have fun with the game that they’re making. Like so many of the best indies out there, Golf Story manages to feel incredibly handmade and personal. While there is indeed actual golf in the game (quite a bit of it, in fact), this is a story-driven game through and through. If you haven’t picked this one up yet, you owe it to yourself to give it a shot.