Turbo Golf Racing is the latest and largest title from indie developers Hugecalf Studios, based in the UK. The team has only developed two other games, which both focused on snowy sports and capitalized on the humor of ragdoll physics. Turbo Golf Racing includes just as much enjoyable chaos, but instead relies more on legitimate competition.
The core premise and playful art design of the game add up to an undeniable blend of Rocket League and miniature golf.
In Turbo Golf Racing, players use specially equipped cars to push giant golf balls through an obstacle course in order to reach the hole first. You must compete in 3 Rounds, featuring 3 different courses, and whoever earns the most points overall will be the winner.
This gives the player more opportunities for a comeback, since the courses are wildly different, and will drastically play to various strengths or weaknesses. Some are also much longer or shorter, and the sprints can be pretty exciting.
Turbo Golf Racing is more like a Kart Game than Rocket League, where the ultimate goal is to master the courses rather than develop careful sports tactics.
Starting off, players are led through a basic tutorial, which immediately brings up the biggest flaw in the game—its movement and ball control.
The movement is truly disappointing, regardless of the terrain, where sand and grass can decrease your speed. This is a fun Kart Game mechanic, but feels very frustrating due to the steering, which is far too choppy or “sticky”. It feels similar to the Nickelodeon Kart Racers series.
Players can build and spend boosts through the course. But the physics are questionable at best, and very unpredictable in the middle of the game. The golf ball does include an arc, which tells you where it’s headed, but the game is usually moving too quickly to make use of that.
Worse, your golf ball can suddenly freeze in position given the right circumstances, particularly if it runs into things. It’s easy to blaze right past the ball, and difficult to reverse. Some courses even have downhill levels, so if you missed your ball a moment ago, there’s almost no feasible way to recuperate.
There is a gravity well that can suck in your golf ball if it’s close enough to the hole. Unfortunately, it’s still surprisingly easy for the ball to come to a dead stop just beside the well, and you can even knock out your own ball if you aren’t careful.
It’s surprisingly easy to knock your golf ball out of bounds, since it can bounce at odd angles, and there are plenty of ramps with no barrier for either of you. In this case, players restart in a neutral position with the ball sitting just ahead, but the time lost is agony.
If you’re lucky enough, and skilled enough to score, you don’t just have to sit there. You can watch your opponents struggle to catch up, although more than a few are bound to leave before the final round if it’s clear they can’t earn enough points.
Ultimately, players will need to learn how to keep their eye on the ball while making the most of a given course. For example, there are rockets (wink) that you can acquire and shoot at opponents who are ahead of you, as well as defensive pickups.
There are also two main paths to choose from. Firstly, you can try your hand at the side lanes, which are smooth but make the ball bank wide, so you’ll have to volley it back and forth between side lanes to keep your momentum going.
Then, there’s the center of the course, where the acres of grass slow you down, but strips of glowing road can speed you back up. Combining these two paths is ideal, but the odd physics often results in disaster, where you end up forcing the ball to the goal by any means necessary.
Equipment can help your vehicle stand a better chance out there, giving a clear advantage to players that have invested more time than you. The equipment includes Power Cores, which must be unlocked by completing specific tasks.
There are both Passive and Active Power Cores, where the latter must be triggered in-game. Possibly the most crucial core, the “Magnet” Active Core, pulls the golf ball towards your vehicle in a pinch. The Magnet can only be unlocked by earning 30 purple stars in Solo mode, which means you must completely finish one of the three Solo courses. Fortunately, it won’t take too much gameplay.
For now, there are simple Quests to complete. They refresh daily, and may only ask you to play multiple matches, or get 1st place a couple of times. Completing these Quests will reward the player with Gears, in-game currency that can be spent in the Shop. It’s honestly too easy, but the broad demands are better than impossible specifics.
Turbo Golf Racing definitely gets the cosmetics right, offering many similar options as Rocket League. You’ll be able to customize your colors, wheels, decals, spoilers, avatar, and even your golf ball. Right off the bat, you can spend 3,000 Gears to turn your ball into a baseball. Most of the rewards have a decent sense of personality.
The game also has a built-in season pass, where you can earn more cosmetics or Gears. You can climb this prize track by earning XP. It’s pretty easy to get XP and Gears in this game, since they can be acquired by earning Badges.
After every match, players are rewarded with Badges for certain heroics in-game, such as firing the most missiles. It’d be nicer if there were a library of Badges to check beforehand and aim for, since they offer varying amounts of XP.
The Final Word
Turbo Golf Racing has satisfying ideas, but it’s hardly revolutionary, and the execution of its mechanics isn’t always up to par. The art design is colorful, most of the courses are interesting, and the pacing is fun. Sadly, the physics and controls can be a mess sometimes. This title offers just enough content and chaotic fun to balance that out, resulting in an enjoyable yet average experience.
Our Turbo Golf Racing review was written based on the Xbox One version of the game. Find more detailed looks at popular and upcoming titles in the Game Reviews section of our website!