Dangerous Golf Review
Platforms: PS4 (reviewed), Xbox One, PC
Developed By: Three Fields Entertainment
Dangerous Golf is one of the most instantly ridiculous games I’ve ever played. The concept is simple and brilliant: play golf indoors with a ball that is on fire and explodes. There isn’t any story or pretense. The game just drops you into your first room filled with objects you will never be able to afford and lets you have at it. There are three rounds. Tee off has you smack the golf ball into the room causing as much damage as possible. With that down, you then enter Smashbreaker. This mode sets your ball aflame and gives you control over where it ball bounces. Finally, you have to putt the ball into the hole. This can be tricky if you land far from the target, but you can actually end Smashbreaker early if you find yourself bouncing to far. However, it is possible to make some truly impressive (and lucky) trick shots from clear across the room, so landing far from the hole doesn’t mean an automatic restart.
The developers at Three Fields know exactly what stuff is the most fun to destroy. It’s weirdly satisfying to control a flaming golf ball as it bounces around a dining room filled with expensive china. Levels also include kitchens, bathrooms, convenience stores, and palaces taking place in France, the United States, Australia, and England.
While some levels are tricky, overall progression is pretty easy. The more damage you cause, the higher medal you get, but you only need the bronze to unlock new holes. This is helpful since it is possible to miss the hole completely and still progess (provided you caused enough destruction to survive getting your score halved).
Most levels just have you go through the basic three rounds of tee off, Smashbreaker, and putting. Some levels have extra conditions like needing to cause a center level of destruction before the hole appears, or adding in a time limit. There are also levels that use glue and bombs so you smack the ball from wall to wall causing mayhem as you go. Regardless of the conditions, Dangerous Golf is immediately satisfying. Smacking my golf ball into a chandelier and watching it fall from the ceiling onto the table below and explode was a moment of pure bliss.
However, the game does suffer some drawbacks. Frequent load times are just long enough to be a drag and there are some slowdowns in framerate. Controlling the ball also takes some getting used to as the controls aren't as polished as I would have liked. And while I haven’t experienced it, there have been some reports of game freezes.
Despite all that, none of these things prevented me from having a great time. Dangerous Golf is a silly, funny arcade sports game that can be enjoyed by yourself or as part of a group. Its simple controls can be picked up by just about anyone. I can’t remember the last time a game managed to be this simple yet satisfying. I spent most of the time playing with a big smile on my face, and I’m eager to hop back in for more rounds. It might not have a ton of variety, but for only $20 its addictive gameplay is well worth it.
EDIT: With the recent update, I've decided to bump up the score from a 7 to an 8. Controls are better, the initial tee off actually follows the ball so you don't miss any of the destruction, and you will be prompted whenever the ball is over a splash bucket, making it a lot easier to drop it in.
Note: This game was reviewed on PS4. According to several sources, if playing on PC you will need to use a controller.