Cursed to Golf review for PlayStation, Xbox, Switch, PC

Platform: PS5
Also on: PC, PS4, Switch, Xbox One, Xbox Series X
Publisher: Thunderful
Developer: Chuhai Labs
Medium: Digital
Players: 1
Online: No

Cursed to Golf is kind of like the old adage about golf ? that it?s a good walk spoiled ? taken to extremes. After all, you?re playing as a golfer who, on the verge of winning a championship, is struck down by lightning and sent to purgatory, and the only way for him to escape is to golf his way through it. If that doesn?t ruin a good walk (on top of the golf, obviously), I don?t know what does.

Jokes aside, Cursed to Golf is an interesting take on the sport. On one level, obviously, it?s a golf game: you hit the ball towards the hole, and you try to sink it in as few shots as possible. Do that for 18 rounds, and you?ve got a game.

But Cursed to Golf is obviously not your standard golf game ? as if the premise didn?t make that clear enough. It?s also a roguelike, which means that every playthrough is different. There are more than 70 holes here, and there?s no rhyme or reason to which ones will pop up next in any standard, 18-round game, so it?s not the sort of golf game where you can just memorize the holes and figure out the best way to approach each one. Cursed to Golf constantly tries to keep you on your toes.

What?s more, it keeps you on your toes by being ridiculously tough, with holes that aren?t just linear progressions towards a hole. Rather, it features holes that play out across enormous vertical levels; sometimes you have to work your way up, other times you have to get down to the bottom. Along the way, you encounter not just your standard golf hazards, but also bombs, transporters, curses, blowing fans, and other obstacles that make the holes here far more challenging than even the toughest golf course on earth.

Adding to the challenge, you don?t have many shots to get to the end of each level. You start out the levels with a par-five, and if you don?t make it within that number of shots, you have to start over back at the first hole, going up a completely different set of holes. While the game gives you extra shots for knocking over Oscar-like statues along the way, and also gives you power-up cards to help make your task easier by doing things like blowing up barriers, making your ball stop on a dime, or giving you a practice shot, make no mistake: Cursed to Golf is incredibly difficult.

So difficult, in fact, that I?d say it?s more for people who love extremely hard roguelikes than for anyone who just likes a day on the virtual greens. Cursed to Golf is designed to challenge you, frustrate you, and punish you ? and even if real golf does that, this game takes it to a whole other level. If you?re the kind of person who doesn?t usually give sports games a second glance but loves difficulty ramped up to an insane degree, this should be the one sports game you make an exception for.

Thunderful provided us with a Cursed to Golf PS5 code for review purposes.

Grade: B