Hot Shots Golf: World Invitational

Common Sense Media says

Now on Vita, golf series fans can have fun on the go.





What parents need to know

Positive messages

This game promotes fun, healthy competition. Players can have a virtual caddy who shouts encouragements during gameplay, congratulating them when they make a good shot or sympathizing with them if they end up in a bunker or the rough.

Positive role models

Players can look up to the virtual avatars as role models. Although the avatar characters are an incidental part of the game and they are not fleshed out enough to embody any kind of strong message, they all come across as friendly and nice. On the negative side, females are shown moving provocatively when players get a birdie, eagle, or hole in one.

Ease of play

To master this game, players will need to not only have incredibly precise reflexes but they will also have to become accustomed to the advanced controls that determine how far the ball rolls and how it interacts with wind, course topography, etc. This is one of the most sophisticated entries in the Hot Shots Golf series to date. As a result, the physics involved have been improved, making it that much more important to pay attention to detail when lining up a shot.

Violence & scariness
Not applicable
Not applicable
Not applicable
Privacy & safety

Some safety and privacy concerns. This game is playable online, with players able to join in tournaments against dozens of players at a time. There is a text chat feature that may expose players to content that is above and beyond what is otherwise presented in the game, but profanity is prohibited from being used.

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that Hot Shots Golf: World Invitational is the latest entry in the highly successful Hot Shots Golf series, which dates back to the days of the original PlayStation console. Players work their way up through various golf courses, competing to become the best player in the virtual world. To do this, they will need to upgrade their golf clubs and golf balls by collecting points, and unlocking new, more powerful avatars along the way. There is an online mode, with a filtered text chat feature, that allows players to compete in tournaments. Parents should also know that if this game is purchased online through the Playstation Vita's Playstation Store, or at a used game store, players will also need to buy a $9.99 unlock code if they want to play online. New copies of the game bought in a store contain a code that unlocks the online mode for free.

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What's it about?

HOT SHOTS GOLF: WORLD INVITATIONAL is the latest entry in what has become one of the Playstation brand's most recognizable sports franchises. The formula in this title differs very little from what fans of the series have come to expect -- players compete in a series of challenges to unlock new golf balls, golf clubs, courses, and avatars. There is also an online mode that allows players to compete against other Hot Shots Golf fans from around the world. The online mode is quite robust for a portable game.

Is it any good?


Hot Shots Golf: World Invitational will not seem that different to longtime fans of the Hot Shots Golf franchise. It is literally the exact same style of gameplay as the previous entry on the PSP, with players working their way up through various challenges so they can unlock powerful upgrades and become a master golfer. The most noteworthy new feature is the online tournament play, which lets players compete against players from around the world. The graphics are also brilliantly done, and the physics involved in the way the golf ball interacts with the wind and the layout of the course has been significantly improved. In short, fans of the series will need little convincing to pick this up. Even players who have not played a previous Hot Shots Golf titles will quickly find enjoyment with this accessible game -- a key feature that has made the franchise so popular.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about the flirtatious female avatars in the game. What do you think of the way the female golfers are portrayed?

  • What countries did you notice being promoted in the game?

  • How do you handle being frustrated when you miss a shot?

Game details

Platforms:PlayStation Vita
Available online?Not available online
Developer:Sony Computer Entertainment
Release date:February 22, 2012
Topics:Sports and martial arts
ESRB rating:E for Mild Suggestive Themes (PlayStation Vita)

This review of Hot Shots Golf: World Invitational was written by

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  • Best: Really engaging; great learning approach.
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  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

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