Putt Panic Party
Switch version tested
Review code provided
Barry Bradford offers a warm welcome to the lighter side golf on the Nintendo Switch with Putt Panic Party. Clean your balls and polish your shaft as you play with up to three friends in this alternative take on the classic sport. Published by TACS Games a small indie developer focused on simple and fun gameplay while delivering the highest quality products. Let’s tee off!
The premise is simple, pick a character and select a set of courses with the aim of finishing each under par (the number of shots allowed). The shot count varies from hole to hole depending on the difficulty and as you progress new obstacles are introduced to get you thinking strategically. There’s nothing quite like a water hazard to leave you with soggy balls.
From the main menu you are presented with the option to play in single or part mode with a third being tutorial mode to cover off the basic mechanics. Each of the game modes contains a number of sub-menus that help define playtime. Initially, many of are locked but through progression and hitting specific criteria everything from overall difficulty, the direction you play each course (forward or reverse), course type and avatar can all be customised. It would be nice to have everything available from the off in party mode but absolutely gives you a reason to keep playing to unearth all that lies within.
Each course consists of 9 holes that need to be completed, there is a quick overview of the layout before the camera zooms in and the timer starts ticking. Shot one gives you a healthy ten seconds before the ball is automatically hit, with each subsequent shot reducing in time by one second until you have nothing left. Panic is certainly the order of the day!
The visual design is simple but elegant. There is a crispness to every single detail and the colours burst from the Switch screen even in handheld mode. It shows that although Putt Panic Party won’t be a test for any system, even the mobile platform, a lot of care and love has gone into the finished product which is important. When playing you don’t see a visual representation the avatar on the course, it would just be cumbersome so instead you have a circular target that surrounds the ball. By default the marker points directly at the pin indicated by a small arrow but that doesn’t mean you can necessarily reach it. A quick press of the Y button will temporarily zoom out so you can adjust the heading accordingly, A and B then act to increase or decrease the power.
Surprisingly the soundtrack is spot on even though it is very much elevator music. Funky and catchy melodies that blend with the gameplay and enhance the experience. The inclusion of key phrases to cheer you on or berate you work well completing the package. Where Putt Panic really comes into its own is in the multiplayer department because playing with friends is all the more fun. The simultaneous play will definitely bring out the competitiveness as the timer decreases and mistakes are forced.
Putt Panic Party does exactly what it says on the box, it offers a fun single-player golf-like experience on the go and really shines in multiplayer. The inclusion of an ever decreasing timer mechanic certainly helps add the panic element into the forefront. There are four unique courses and some fun avatars to chose from. I’d like to have seen more game modes and hopefully, through the power of updates these might be added. Barry Bradford whoever he is, and I googled a lot, is right on the money.
TBG Score: 6.5/10
Platform: Nintendo Switch
Release Date: 26/09/2019
No. of Players: 1-4
Category: Sports, Arcade, Party
Developer: Thomas Hopper
Publisher: TACS Games
Download link: eShop