Vertiginous Golf

Game review by
Christy Matte, Common Sense Media
Vertiginous Golf Game Poster Image
Colorful, quirky golf puzzler has dark story, iffy controls.

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this game.

Educational Value

Kids can learn basic physics and geometry concepts. Vertiginous Golf isn't intended as a learning title, but, much as in other physics-oriented games, the possibility is there for kids to use what they know about angles, momentum, and the like to enhance their scores. They also can set their creativity free by designing their own courses and sharing them with the greater playing community. Vertiginous Golf lets players explore physics and angles in a fun, mini-golf-like environment.

Positive Messages

Story mode involves classic tale of powerful vs. oppressed. Player has option of helping those who are oppressed to progress the story.

Positive Role Models & Representations

Only characters are those heard in a broadcast. There are some who fight for equality, while others represent propaganda of those in power.

Ease of Play

Controls are straightforward but not very easy.


A murder mentioned in the story line, multiplayer mode allows players to use "weapons" such as explosions, tornadoes, slime to derail opponents. 


Additional content available for purchase appears in areas of game, primarily the clothing store, as locked.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Vertiginous Golf is a downloadable mini-golf puzzle experience set in a steampunk dystopian universe. What looks on the surface to be a whimsical game of mini-golf soon reveals itself to be a dark mystery that slowly evolves. The wordy story line is told through a series of verbal and written "broadcasts" (without imagery) and involves both a murder and a conspiracy. The golf holes are convoluted and devious, requiring the help of your clockwork bird to plan out your moves. Vertiginous Golf offers both local and online multiplayer, which can expose kids to inappropriate content. Young kids probably will struggle with the controls and the fine adjustments required just getting the ball to the hole, possibly leading to lots of frustration.

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What's it about?

VERTIGINOUS GOLF invites players into a strange and mysterious world. After working through some initial tutorials, players can enjoy a variety of courses, each one more convoluted than the last. They are multilevel holes, spanning numerous floating islands. You'll find hills, spinning discs, fans, ramps, moving walkways, and all manner of obstacles standing in your way. You can fly your clockwork bird through the course to try to find the best path, but coming in under par will take practice and patience. Some courses allow for use of a putter or a special chipper, while others allow you to rewind an incorrect stroke. There's also multiplayer and a level editor for players who want to create their own courses.

Is it any good?

Vertiginous Golf has a lot going for it. The holes are like works of art, and there's a silly fun in competing against friends with the odd assortment of "weapons." The story may be difficult to follow since it's told by different characters in a formal manner over dozens of individual broadcast points. Unfortunately, the controls may not feel intuitive (and may be nearly impossible for some kids), since some obstacles require frustratingly exact aim and power. It's possible to end up in locations you can't escape from, requiring that you restart the hole (while retaining the strokes you've already taken). In Story mode, you can easily miss a checkpoint that's nearly impossible to return to. You can keep playing, no matter how far over par you end up, and the creative holes are engaging so long as you have the patience to work through the challenges. The game editor is tricky to master, but the bonus is that there's a steady supply of community-created content to enjoy. With that and the various multiplayer options, there's a lot of replay value for those who enjoy this sort of quirky puzzle game.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about how the two distinct societies in Vertiginous Golf are similar to and different from groups in our society.

  • Discuss technology. How does it help us? Are there ways that it hurts?

  • One of the broadcasters has a surprise identity. What would people be surprised to know about you?

Game details

  • Platforms: Windows
  • Subjects: Math: geometry
    Science: momentum, physics
  • Skills: Thinking & Reasoning: hypothesis-testing, solving puzzles, strategy
    Creativity: developing novel solutions, making new creations
  • Price: $19.99
  • Pricing structure: Paid
  • Available online? Not available online
  • Developer: Surprise Attack
  • Release date: May 21, 2015
  • Genre: Puzzle
  • Topics: Magic and Fantasy
  • ESRB rating: NR for No Description
  • Last updated: November 11, 2020

Our editors recommend

For kids who love golf

Themes & Topics

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