I randomly came across an upcoming game called Golf Club Wasteland while surfing /r/serbia. The trailer (I’ve embedded it at the bottom of this blog) included some Serbian/Balkan buildings and monuments and it really caught my eye so I decided to look more into it. I found out it’s a ‘golf game’ developed by Demagog Studio, a small team from Serbia. Luckily, it also has a playable demo on Steam, so I downloaded it and started playing. While it’s still early, this is an interesting take on golf that had me more intrigued by its music and commentary.
Everyone’s on Mars and the rich play golf on Earth
Golf Club Wasteland takes place here on Earth in the distant future. Earth is uninhabitable but the wealthy who now live on Mars come to the planet to play golf. The demo allows you to play six ‘holes’. Think more mini-golf than standard golf. These are courses with obstacles, triggers, and different areas that you’ll need to play through to reach the tee.
On PC, the game controls via mouse. You adjust your shot’s angle and power by holding the left mouse button. The right mouse button allows you to pan the screen, while your mouse wheel zooms the screen in or out. Your golfer doesn’t have that strong of a swing, so it’s really important to line up your shot and hope for the best. There wasn’t any controller support for the demo, but this game is also coming to PlayStation 4, Switch, and Xbox One, so controller support should be coming to the full game.
It took me a while to play through the first few courses. I was screwing up a lot, especially with how I was angling my shots. It takes some time to get comfortable with the controls, especially when it comes to fine-tuning your swing. Even on close putts, I was often over or under-hitting my shot. It got a bit frustrating at first, so I can see that putting off some people early on. However, once I got the hang of things and understood the secrets of each course, I went back and greatly improved my score.
There is a story but the demo doesn’t really get too deep into it, nor is it very clear. If you finish a level under par, you unlock diary entries that seem to explain your background and motivations. There is no sign of just how long the story mode is but I can’t suspect it will be a long, drawn-out experience.
Although the story isn’t clear, what really kept my attention was the game’s audio. The original in-game music really fits the tone of dystopian emptiness and loneliness. The radio also has a DJ and other guests who discuss life on Mars (did you know: because of the limited water supply, people can only take 30-second showers). They also talk about life on Earth before everything went bad. I honestly could have just left the game idling while I let the music play in order to hear more.
I suspect that as you progress, we’ll learn more about how things went wrong. Perhaps, we’ll even encounter those who remained on Earth or maybe uncover some other interesting secrets.
Hope this gets some attention
Even with some of my early control frustrations, the audio does a good job of keeping you interested as you play. The game’s story mode doesn’t penalize you for making mistakes. Once you hit a number of strokes, you can skip the level and move on. You do need to get under par to unlock the diary entries but it really feels like those are just bonuses. Yes, there is a performance/challenge route but I doubt I’d play it unless I got really good at the game.
I randomly found out about Golf Club Wasteland because of Reddit and hopefully, small blogs like mine can help others learn more about the game. I definitely want to play more and will try to pick this up when it launches later this week. Again, Golf Club Wasteland launches September 3 for PC, PlayStation 4, Nintendo Switch, and Xbox One.