What the Golf?

Game review by
Paul Semel, Common Sense Media
What the Golf? Game Poster Image
Goofy, fun, and inventive all-ages game of golf.

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A lot or a little?

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

Positive Messages

With no timer or lives to lose, players can keep trying -- and trying different ways -- to figure out these puzzling golf courses.

Positive Role Models & Representations

There are no positive or negative role models in the game.

Ease of Play

The game's controls are simple and easy to learn. There's no score card or timer, and so while many of these holes need to be figured out, there's little in the way of stress or pressure.

Violence & Scariness

Hitting large oil drums will cause explosions that will send nearby animals flying, and on a couple holes the ball isn't a ball but a person who may be unconscious (or worse). But the game's cartoony look keeps this from being graphic or gross.

Language
Consumerism

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that What the Golf? is a cartoony golf game available for download on Nintendo Switch and Windows PC. Like in real golf, you have to get the ball into the hole, except here it's more that you have to just hit the flag. Also, the ball may not be a golf ball -- it might be a soccer ball, or a couch, chair, or a pile of golf clubs. Granted, there are explosions if you hit an oil drum, which will send nearby animals flying, and a couple holes swap the ball for a golfer who's unconscious, but the game's blocky, old school visuals make this far more cartoony than grotesque. There's also no inappropriate content to be found in this game.

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What's it about?

In WHAT THE GOLF?, you play golf. Though it's more like mini-golf, since the courses are small and have hazards. On the other hand, it's also not really like mini-golf because sometimes the ball isn't a ball, but a couch or a soccer ball or a golf club. Also, as you finish holes, you'll unlock new ones, all of which seems to be so you can impress a computer for some reason, but it's never really clear what the point is. No matter, you'll be having too much fun whacking the "ball" around to really care why.

Is it any good?

While serious golfers will find this to be an affront to the sport they love so much, fans of mini-golf, goofy puns, and physics will chuckle repeatedly as they play this fun "golf" game. Like the real sport, or the miniature version, What the Golf? has you trying to get balls in holes. Well, okay, not holes -- you just have to hit the flag. And also, it's not always a ball. Sometimes it's a couch, sometimes it's a house, and on a couple of occasions it's a golfer who, well, let's just assume he's fallen asleep. There are also courses where the ball is Mario from Donkey Kong and Super Mario Bros., others where he can spin a web, any size, like Spider-Man, and still others when you're in outer space. Though no matter what it is, or where, the objective remains the same: get the "ball" to the flag.

Now, those serious golfers mentioned earlier will also not appreciate that this game doesn't keep score or have you on a timer. That does, admittedly, cut the challenge out of some of these holes. But for every hole that just requires you to smack the ball a couple times, there's another where you have to contend with, say, some kids getting in the way because your golf ball is actually a soccer ball. Or maybe your ball is a vase that can't hit anything without breaking. Or you have to use a bubble to pick up your ball and bounce it to the flag while avoiding bubble-breaking spikes. But whether it's a hole that requires some brain power or good timing or luck, or none of the above, you'll find What the Golf? to be an engaging, addictive, and even giggle-inducing game for all but the most stoic of sports fans.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about physical exercise. What the Golf? is based on a real athletic activity, but does it make you interested in trying the real thing, either for fun or for exercise?

  • In What the Golf?, the ball moves differently than the house or the chair or the floppy guy, but why do you think that is? How does it make you play courses differently?

Game details

Our editors recommend

For kids who love sports

Themes & Topics

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