Switch version tested
Review code provided
If you want to be like Tiger Woods….then this probably isn’t the game for you. However, if you are a fan of simple to play but tricky to master puzzlers then Golf Peaks is definitely the game for you. Coming to us from our friends in Poland “AFTERBURN” this simple but engaging golf inspired title was originally released on STEAM and Mobile but now comes to the Nintendo Switch. Golf Peaks challenges you with 109 levels across 9 words of escalating difficulty with the basic task of getting a ball from the Tee all the way to the Flag.
Unlike traditional golf you are not relying on shooting in any direction at varying power levels. Instead, the mazes are formed in grid-based layouts and you are given a number of move cards to complete each hole. Being allowed to move up, down, left and right, these cards will give you a set number of move options to help you solve each hole. Some will allow you to move a number of spaces in your chosen direction whereas others will allow you to hop a number of spaces. These come in handy as the levels increase in difficulty with a selection of hazards and vertical sections being added to the mix.
Hazards range from sinkholes which swallow your ball if it stops on one, gritted areas which will stop your ball in its tracks, water swallows the ball but will also place it back on tile closest to where it went in, ice will see the ball slide along, directional moving pads speak for themselves and jump pads which will bounce your ball into the air if you roll over them. These hazards are well designed, each serving to help or hinder you depending on the hole and are introduced at a steady pace, allowing you to get the hang of them one by one before mixing them together in the later levels when the challenge really kicks in.
As mentioned before, Golf Peaks introduces its mechanics at a steady pace. I found myself getting through the first few worlds swiftly until the difficulty started to increase at world 4 then steadily increased through to the final hole. At no point did I find this frustrating, some holes took a good few attempts to figure out but luckily “AFTERBURN” allows the player to go back as many moves as they may need or reset the hole with the touch of a button allowing the trial and error puzzle solving to feel more like a help than a hindrance.
Presentation is clear and crisp throughout the game with simple user-friendly controls. Some nice ambient music is on hand to, these themes change to suit each world, going from soft melodic tunes to some almost 80’s sci-fi techno which also suits the colour and vibe of each level.
When it comes to puzzles the best are often the simplistic ones that just do everything right, doesn’t have to be overly complicated or riddled with deep physics and confusing controls, just needs to be simple, to the point and something anyone can pick up and enjoy. Golf Peaks is one such! I thoroughly enjoyed my time with this title, it’s perfect for handheld on the go play as well as being a title you can come back to for replays down the line. Hopefully “AFTERBURN” continue to create more fun puzzles or even more in the series.
Beard Score: 8/10
Nintendo Switch Essentials:
Platform: Nintendo Switch, PC Steam, Mobile
Release Date: 14/03/2019
No. of Players: 1
Publisher: AFTERBURN / 7Levels
Download link: eShop