MiniMax Games Ltd released an anticipated title into early access via Steam in July this year. That game is in fact Golftopia. The futuristic golf course simulator game that gets you off the green and gives you an arsenal of tools to create and run your own course. I have to be honest here, personally I am not a fan of golf, but I am a fan of a good simulator game! Keep reading to find out how I got on designing and running my own sci-fi themed course.
Having played the older SIM Golf game and really enjoying it I was keen to put Golftopia to the test. The thing with SIM games is ultimately they all have the same storyline of a sort. You are a creator/manager of whatever theme the simulator game is related to. This sounds easy, however, so many developers have got this wrong in the past. Either making the controls too complex or having confusing/contradicting tutorials in place.
However, MiniMax Games Ltd pretty much hit the nail on the head with Golftopia. To start out with you are given various customisation options for your island. You can choose everything from the amount of water to the foliage and even how rocky the terrain is. Personally, I think this is a major first step in the right direction. There is nothing worse than been given a terrain on a sim that is unworkable!
You arrive at your newly created island and currently only have access to build in the centre square. As you progress in the game you can move into the other 9 squares and expand your course. However, to start off with I definitely recommend starting small and getting used to the tools available and how to build. The tools are very powerful so you need to be steady, but they are easy to use once you get used to them.
As you can see from the screen grabs the UI you have for creating your course is pretty self-explanatory. You can design and edit just about everything from the physical attributes of the terrain, including what I would call the top layer which is your green terrain. It also allows you to add overlays which show where your members are getting frustrated, I found this one extremely helpful. There is a lot to start out within this early access title and I have enjoyed every little element of a challenge it has thrown my way. I mean who doesn’t like the sound of a golf course with pinball bumpers!
Sim graphics can usually be a little serious and sometimes boring. It’s safe to say that MiniMax Games Ltd has put a little bit of fun into their work. The graphics are almost cartoon-like with added textures to create an eye-catching experience whilst in game. Alongside this there is also a futuristic sci-fi-esque element with really well-captured neons and glows throughout the course you will be making millions from.
When playing the game I can’t say I noticed the audio all too much I was too sucked into making the perfect course. But for me this a bonus, there is nothing worse on a sim game than overbearing music. You just have a nice synthy electronic backing track which fits nicely with the game. I honestly don’t have much to say about the audio other than it fits the title it has been created for.
With most sim games you get longevity, sometimes this just means you have a long boring bit of gameplay. With Golftopia you can sink hours and hours in. I think I spend about 20 minutes alone trying to perfect my first of many holes on the course. It’s all about getting the right amount of challenge without it being too complex. Golftopia isn’t just a build and let it run either, you have to keep adapting your course to ensure your members are happy! Happy members mean more money and more money means more customisation.
In this space, it would be awesome to see some extra content packs to make your course even crazier. I could imagine some really awesome partnerships as well that would make this game even more interesting. For example how awesome would it be if you saw elements from your favourite titles?
For me, sim games can make or break very quickly. They can either keep you focused on the task at hand or bore you to the point where you think about picking up a card game. Golftopia definitely made it for me, despite me not having any golfing experience IRL I really enjoyed this title. It was super easy to get on with and play alongside my usual online MP games and provided a nice break from intense gameplay. The game itself is still in early access and I think it has a ton of potential for the future. It didn’t feel like an early access title either? I think it would benefit from some more content in terms of customisation of buildings and the types of obstacles for the courses.
I award Golftopia a Thumb Culture Gold Award.
Disclaimer: A code was received in order to write this review.