Golf Story is a charming indie RPG about a young man’s struggle to become a pro golfer, whose journey is fraught with all kinds of trouble. The player has a wife that seemingly hates him, and a coach who sees him as a no-talent hack.
Golfing professionals and the media seem downright offended by his effort to join the pro tour, and the player is constantly battling with his inner fear of inadequacy.
Golf Story highlights the difficulty of making your dreams come true with a flair and comedic styling that somehow keep the subject matter from being oppressive or bleak. It doesn’t hurt that the game is fun as hell to play, and features some outlandish scenarios like a murder mystery in a Victorian clubhouse, or hitting flaming golf balls at frozen golfers to thaw them out.
These are all surprises, and each one adds something to the character of Golf Story, but the few genuine Easter Eggs the game has are truly something special.
I found the first Easter Egg well into the game. A house in the middle of the world map, just south of the haunted Oak Manor course houses a Galf enthusiast. You read that correctly: Galf.
Playing like a simplified version of Golf for the NES, Galf is a video game, and once the player finds it, they can play whenever they like via the Quick Play menu on the mode selection screen. Galf even comes with an old-school user manual, complete with references of its own.
Players can also find a cartridge for Galf Nights if they find the Legendary Cache and give it to a certain special someone, but that’s not all Golf Story has to offer those with history in video games.
Later on in the game, the player finds themselves in a snowy region, searching for a book of golf rules. It sounds ridiculous, and like most RPG McGuffins, it is. The point is, this is when I stumbled upon a second major reference to classic video games.
Tasked with finding a few special golf balls, players find themselves navigating a maze guarded by “snow bandits,” gathering small white dots that are DEFINITELY just golf balls and not at all a reference to Pac-Man.
Golf Story has a lot of charm, and far more references to other games and genre stereotypes, but I don’t want to spoil the whole game. If you like what you’ve seen so far, then I heartily recommend picking up a copy. It’s only $15 on the Nintendo eShop!
Brian Barnett has loved video games ever since his uncle Jimmy introduced him to them at the ripe old age of five. His wife, Audrey, was also introduced to video games by her uncle, lending credence to Brian’s theory that behind every gamer, there is a cool uncle.
Since playing Super Mario Bros. on the NES, Brian has had a passion for Nintendo games. The first thing he did when he started earning money was save up and buy himself a Game Boy, and they quickly became inseparable. Through the years, this led to his special love of portable game consoles, so the release of the Switch is the perfect storm of Nintendo action he has been waiting for.
In addition to his gaming obsession, Brian enjoys playing drums, writing and listening to music, and hosting a weekly video game and nerd culture podcast.
He is an extrovert, and loves talking about and playing games with others, so let him know if you want to team up and play together!
Plays: Switch, New 3DS, SNES, NES, GBA, PC, Xbox One, PS4, Vita