Golfinite review for Nintendo Switch, PC

Platform: Nintendo Switch
Also on: PC
Publisher: RedDeer.Games
Developer: Pmurph Games
Medium: Digital
Players: 1
Online: No

Not to get all meta, but the strangest publisher in the entire eShop has got to be RedDeer Games. They put out their fair share of legitimate games (like Golfinite, which I’ll get to in a moment), but they also flood the eShop with shovelware. Take Bit Orchard, for example, which we reviewed a few years ago. Since we gave it a decent score, RedDeer have re-released it on the eShop approximately 17 more times, with names like “Ultra Edition,” “Magnificent Edition,” “GOTY Edition,” and “Complete Edition.” And this is no one-off example: they’ve also released 17 versions of Piano: Learn and Play, 18 versions of Clumsy Rush, 19 versions of Brain Memory, and an absurd 45 versions of AAA Clock. The eShop has largely become a sea of shovelware at this stage in the Switch’s lifespan, and RedDeer are one of the biggest reasons why.

And yet, as a game like Golfinite shows, you can’t just automatically dismiss every game published by RedDeer, because on occasion they release solid games. In this instance, they’ve brought a decent, golf game to the Switch that does enough things right that if you’re after a retro-tinged version of the sport, it’s worth checking out.

Of course, that’s with some caveats. First and foremost, it’s awfully barebones. There are only four courses here, and you don’t seem to be able to name your character, and you can’t save your progress partway through a tournament.

On top of that, Golfinite can be awfully frustrating. The four courses are littered with traps and hazards, some usual – trees, sand traps, ponds – and some not (for example, turtles that love to knock your balls into the water). Given that the order in which you play the holes seems to be randomized, it makes it very difficult to figure out a course by heart and pick up a tournament win.

Still, if you’re okay with a bit of a challenge, Golfinite offers a decent enough golf experience. While there are only four courses to play, each has its own set of minigames to help you get a feel for the course, if not the specific layout. In fact, given how hard some of the holes are, it’s kind of welcome to be able to learn the idiosyncrasies of each course via those training sessions before you go out and get crushed in a tournament.

It’s also worth mentioning that the whole package very much evokes the ‘80s and ‘90s. Much like the courses are a little barebones, so too are the sound and visuals – though where that’s a minor drawback for the courses, it works to Golfinite’s advantage in the aesthetic department. It makes it feel like a throwback to the era of golf games it’s trying to emulate, which is why it scratches that particular itch if you’re in the right mood.

Of course, I’m sure I’ll regret complimenting Golfinite a few months from now, when there are half a dozen different versions of the game clogging up the New Releases section. But for now, before we get the rush of “Ultra Deluxe Summertime Fun Editions” that are surely in its future, I’ll say that golf fans could do a lot worse than checking Golfinite out.

RedDeer.Games provided us with a Golfinite Nintendo Switch code for review purposes.

Score: 7