I’ve often wondered when the world would be getting a golf game where you control gargantuan mechs in a quest for victory on the fairway. I remember watching Bagger Vance back in the day and wondering how much better this film would be if you weren’t humans, but giant robots instead. Well, it seems as though No Goblin has found a way to tap into my noggin and read my mind; 100ft Robot Golf is a game where you play a very flamboyant and extravagant game of golf, destroying surroundings, beating up your opponent with your golf club and watching it all unfold in a wonderfully shit 90s-inspired anime.
In all seriousness though, 100ft Robot Golf is decent; it may be a weird amalgamation of sport and sci-fi, but there’s something about it that keeps you going back for more. There has been plenty of sports games in the past that don’t really offer much other than playing the sport itself, but they don’t need to (Rockstar’s Table Tennis comes to mind) because they’re fun. It’s clunky, messy at times and the way it looks as you destroy the various buildings and bridges looks cheap compared to its peers, but the controls make it easy to pick up and play with a difficulty level far too easy to struggle with and opponent AI that is laughable at times.
You can control plenty of different robots all assigned a similar mechanic to hit the ball. Manage the power at which you hit the ball, adjust the spin you place on it and then just belt it down the course. Sometimes you’ll have gauges where you’ll need to stop the dial in the correct place, but generally they all follow a similar pattern. You have the choice of three clubs (driver, wedge, putter) and three ranges of hitting the ball, so getting a bit of extra height when in some lava sand can be vital for getting the ball back onto sturdier ground, or hitting a solid mid-range drive will get you closer to the putting green than maybe a low or high shot would. You can’t see the whole course at any given time, but there is a marker for you to see where the ball needs to go, and you can look where your shot will land depending on whether you get the right amount of power and accuracy in the shot.
In an attempt to win, you can block the shots of your opponents by standing in the way or moving into the ball’s path. You can also destroy scenery with your club, rockets, power swords and other weapons and in turn, block your opponent’s shot that way. Golf normally consists of making par, but that’s not always the case. It’s more of a race between you and your foes and reaching first place will guarantee you the win. Sometimes you’ll be against one other player or three, and the more you play the trickier it gets.
The story is over-the-top and littered with poor acting. The main character’s voice is really irritating, and even the supporting character’s performances begin to grate on you after a while. The commentary team tries to lighten the mood of the matches and normally succeeds, but even then they begin to repeat themselves, even before the games have finished. Bog standard animation aside, the visuals are pretty weak. It’s very blocky and void of proper details, making it feel like a last gen title as opposed to something fresh out of the gate.
The multiplayer lets you play locally with up to four players as does the online game, and there’s a challenge to complete all of the courses in the fastest time, called the Hall of Fame. It doesn’t have the widest range of modes or options, even when customising your robot, but the basic gameplay helps to hold your enjoyment, even if the campaign is comprised of some bad visuals and voice acting. Playable in VR, you’re probably better off only trying it once, because it’s pretty awkward to control from the viewpoint the VR provides.
Despite everything, after a few rounds 100ft Robot Golf grabs you despite its flaws. It may be rife with idiosyncrasies and some questionable gameplay, but it’s by no means dull.