Rocket League has a solo mode of course, but the ranking system always seems to let me down. I’m either 5-0 or 5-0 in a matter of minutes, and I’ve never met a player of the same skill level. That’s why I love Turbo Golf Racing, a solo PvP carball game that’s similar to Rocket League, but without your annoying teammates.
Obviously, there is a fundamental difference in the goals of Rocket League and Turbo Golf Racing; It is noticeable that the former is a football (or hockey, or basketball) match where you have to score more goals than your opponents in the allotted time, and the latter is a more time-consuming trial rapport where you have to race opponents to get your ball around the mini golf course And in the hole. The games are fundamentally different when it comes to objectives, but from a design perspective, they are all about cars hitting balls.
This is not a bad thing. Using cars to hit the balls is great fun. This is why Rocket League is so successful. Sure, using this basic idea with a mini golf theme would be fun, but would Turbo Golf Racing be as repeatable as Rocket League? Will it be fun? It’s hard to tell from the demo – the real test is whether you want to play a few more rounds every day for a month or a year – but it definitely scratches the single-player itch when your teammates are getting too much and slick solos don’t happen.
The phrase “mini golf” is a bit of a misnomer, but it’s the best description I have. This is because the holes are meandering and weird like mini golf (as opposed to the straight edge fairways of regular golf), but because your car and ball are so tiny, the courses look huge from your point of view. Each hole takes a minute or two to complete, and each round consists of playing three holes against seven random opponents. There are also MarioKart-style power-ups and weapons you can use, which can turn the tide of a hole punch in a matter of seconds. A well-timed missile and a quick boost? First place for you, baby.
The courses themselves are well designed and fun. Each has multiple paths and options, which is important when you replay them often. There are snails, cannons, gates and bunkers, everything a good Carpal Fantasy golf game needs to be fun. Combine creative levels, power-ups, and items, and you’ll have a massacre.
It’s worth noting the power-ups, as they are more Rocket League than Mario Kart. While you can hit missiles and boost each hole, power-ups are unlocked through challenges, battle passes, or the in-game store, and some are much more powerful than others. I unlocked a lock that made my boost better while playing, but other players who bought magneto power in the store (with in-game currency, not real money) were much better and it was completely beat up. Miss the hole? Magnet the ball with it. Heading to a shelter? Magnet the ball towards you.
It didn’t appear in store rotation anytime I was online, despite having enough currency for it, and losing such a strong power was too bad. I like the idea of customizing your car to suit your own playing style, but locking some of the gameplay-affecting elements behind checkout walls or storefronts wasn’t very good. New wing or decoration for your car? surely. amazing. As you wish. A magnetic power that everyone seemed to possess but I didn’t find through bad luck? Not nice.
Despite my magnet-based issues, I had a lot of fun with Turbo Golf Racing, and it felt like the single-player Rocket League experience I had always wanted. I may not have realized it before, but the slot demo race, the rocket and the armed magnet, is the perfect antidote to his toxic mates. The real test will be when the game is fully released, as you will need to maintain a strong community of casual players to stay afloat. If this initial player base is maintained, the game will need regular and engaging updates, new courses, and exciting limited time modes. It’s too early to tell if Turbo Golf Racing is a hole-in-one, but it’s resolved incredibly well.
Next up: The Plucky Squire is an action-adventure game from a former Pokémon art director