Who wants to play steampunk golf? More importantly, who doesn’t? Because they need to be ostracized from society. Developed by Kinelco & Lone Elf Creative and published by Surprise Attack Games, Vertiginous Golf seeks to spark new life into virtual mini-golf by adding a steampunk element. While only in Early Access, the game already shows a fair amount of promise. Fans of the Bioshock series will find a great deal of delight in the games atmosphere while sports game enthusiasts will get a good kick out of the game’s mechanics and twists on the cliché date night activity.
Steampunk Aesthetics Meet Mini-Golf Frustration
The art of mini-golf is not one to be taken lightly as Vertiginous Golf will teach players quickly. Moving landscapes, steep hills and endless falls from the clouds will quickly turn a par into an utter trainwreck. Vertiginous Golf does not laugh at players from hills on high however, and does offer a few nifty tricks to help players in their journey for a hole-in-one.
The tutorial is without a doubt one of the nicer gifts from the mini-golf gods as it greatly helps ease players into Vertiginous Golf while not becoming overwhelming. Simple “putt-by-numbers” style instructions run down the basics of switching between clubs all the way to properly banking a shot and making use of the world’s steampunk teleportation machinery.
This coupled with tools such as the mechanical hummingbird (which allows the player to zoom around the map and view upcoming obstacles or just deduce the quickest way to the hole) give players a fighting chance against the many courses’ intense layouts. While Vertiginous Golf does ram up the learning curve pretty steeply, it still remains a fair challenge to the patient gamer. However, let it be known the impatient-putter will suffer most horrendously.
Patience is truly a virtue in mini-golf, but Vertiginous Golf does make being patient a tad easier by providing a series of courses that will delight visually and give even the greatest puzzle solvers a reason to pause at the complexity of the levels.
The steampunk style mixes well with the common green of golf to give an almost “mousetrap” feel to many of the courses as the player must battle not only against the curves of the course, but also the moving walkways in varying directions and even wind machines that seek to throw the ball in a most unsporting manner. If Fink himself had made a golf course in Columbia, it couldn’t have been any more spectacular than what Vertiginous Golf offers.
And More Green Yet To Traverse
While keeping some of the “story” in the dark, the game does offer a fair amount of flavor storytelling in juxtaposing the dreary dystopia of the surface world from the glamorous golf course in the clouds, which adds a lot to heighten the player’s overall experience in Vertiginous Golf. More is to come with the story upon release, but how much remains to be seen.
Some of the controls are a little hard to handle (namely the mechanical hummingbird), but aside from that (and of course the often times seemingly taunting difficulty) the game holds up well and offers great promise. A well put together world along with a growing online community (with a development team with an ever open ear) show great promise for Vertiginous Golf as a game that will not only delight players upon release, but also grow with them and hopefully allow for user-created content. Surprise Attack Games encourages players to sign up to the game’s community hub at verti-golf.com and help influence the world of Vertiginous Golf.
As a final note, the promise of multiplayer does hold a great deal of excitement as what is a good sport game without some “friendly” competition? All of these aspects make Vertiginous Golf, which stands as a birdie, look to have a fair shot of being a hole-in-one come it’s release via Steam.