Galaxy Golf by developer Liftoff Labs disguises a fun physics puzzler as a game of arcade golf in virtual reality.
Galaxy Golf Details:
The courses in this game are actually 3D planets. The player is able to manipulate the planets around them by pulling the trigger on the motion controllers and grabbing the surface, pulling themselves around in order to look and see the best possible route to the hole. You can adjust where you want the ball to go by simply grabbing it with the trigger and moving the controller up or down. A translucent blue line will indicate the trajectory of the ball.
The player must utilize the planet’s gravity in order to get the ball as close to the hole as possible. So, rather than hitting forewords like in normal golf, the player must send the ball into orbit around the planet and avoid obstacles along the way.
As the levels progress the holes get more and more difficult, slowly introducing water features, asteroids, lava and several other obstacles. When combined, these planetary features offer an interesting challenge for the player and add a nice variety to the gameplay. There were several tense moments where I was sure my ball was going to be intercepted by an asteroid, but then it just barely squeaked by.
There are two different courses with 9 holes each: Pleasant Hills and Frosty Brimstone. Each level has their own unique style offering different challenges.
Overall the gameplay is fun and challenging; it can be frustrating at times but when you finally figure out how to knock a stroke off your game it can be rewarding.
When you first boot up Galaxy Golf you’re immediately surrounded by cartoonish miniature planets floating in 3D space. Melodic celestial music plays in the background as you float above the planet sized golf courses. After being inside the game for about 10 minutes I felt relaxed and absorbed as I tried to figure out the best way to the hole.
Floating in space with the hypnotic soundtrack is a great way to unwind. For many players, myself included, this is what VR is all about. You come home from a long day at school or work and sometimes you just want to launch a giant golf ball into orbit around a planet that’s bursting with a massive volcano; it’s an escape to something totally different.
Galaxy Golf was exceptionally comfortable my entire playthrough. The controls were intuitive and manipulating planets was as easy as gripping the planet’s surface and cruising around. Using the motion controls to aim where the ball would go felt natural and easy. Since this game was built for room scale, you can also simply walk around your play space and view the planets that way (walking around the planets is actually pretty entertaining). I expect that most players won’t experience any sort of motion sickness when playing this game.
Overall Galaxy Golf is a well-polished experience. From the sleek user interface to the intuitive controls it’s easy to just pick up and play. However, many VR users are looking for a more substantial gaming experience. The game only manages to serve as a minor distraction for maybe half an hour at a time. It would have been nice to see maybe different ways of manipulating the ball or different kinds of shots that you can take other than just being able to control the height and power you put behind the ball. I found myself wishing it was longer; as I was finally hitting my stride I was sad to see that there were only two levels with nine holes each. Ultimately, Galaxy Golf has a lot of potential and a great concept; at $5 it’s definitely worth checking out.