Golftopia Review – Test

A colorful SciFi Golf game – SimGolf or Golf Tycoon – Golf Topia Review – Test

Golftopia is a golf course simulation game, create golf courses, earn money, level golf club, and all this with a funny SciFi ambiance. In my Golftopia Review, I present you this unusual golf tycoon business simulation, is it a SimGolf or rather a theme golf park in crazy?

Golf Topia Review - Test - A colorful SciFi Golf game
Golftopia Review-Test –
SimGolf or Golf Tycoon

German Version:

This article is available here as text, but also as a YouTube video (German voice-over, many subtitles). This way you can choose how you would like to enjoy it most.

Video:

German voice-over, many subtitles

Golftopia Review – Intro

Hi there, this is Zap. Welcome to the Golftopia Review. I introduce you to this unusual golf tycoon business simulation, show you what’s in the recently released Early-Access version, and in the end, there’s a rating from me. But most of all I want to give you all the information you need to decide for yourself if this fun golf tycoon simulation is for you or not.

Golftopia is a golf course simulation, create golf courses, earn money, level your golf club, and all this with a funny SciFi ambiance. The game is developed and distributed independently by the small Indie Dev Studio Minimax Games from Canada. This studio had previously built Space Pirates and Zombies 1 and 2, which were both relatively successful and popular. Golftopia was released for PC on Steam a few days ago in Early Access and currently costs €/$16,79. I got a free test sample from the developer. But I always try to keep in mind when testing, how would I feel if I had paid the full price?

Golftopia Game Type

Golftopia Review-Test - SciFi Golfer in bunt - SimGolf or SimTycoon 01 Game Type - Spieltyp
Golftopia Review Game Type – Spieltyp

In Golftopia we are the manager of a golf club or you could also say a golf theme park. Because Golftopia goes very much in the direction of a theme park or planet coaster, only that here, in addition to playing golf, a funny science fiction element is added. Our golf paradise is being created on a small island, which is divided into 3 by 3 fields in the current version, of which we only own one at the beginning.

We build a first, very simple golf course, set tee-off and hole, paint fairway and green zones, and decorate it with some landscaping. Here, besides complete terraforming possibilities, a larger selection of stones, trees, and bushes is available. And of course, we can also create sand bunkers or mud puddles in which the balls sink directly.

Every visitor has all sorts of different thoughts that we can look up and thereby optimize our golf courses and the surrounding area. In addition, they have characteristics such as hunger, thirst, boredom, tiredness, or the need to go to the toilet. If they really like our golf park, they will increase their membership rank, which can rise in five levels from basic to bronze, silver, gold, and platinum. And if they are really annoyed, we might even lose members again.

And losing club members is enormously bad. They come to the park, again and again, learn and improve their golf skills. This makes it a bit easier for them to complete our complex courses without getting frustrated. But a player who leaves the club leaves with all his experience and is replaced by a new basic rank member without any golf experience. So one of our goals is to scare away as few golfers as possible but to keep them for the long term.

A very interesting and funny gameplay feature I’d like to mention right here. Because we have a manager character, which we can also customize a little bit optically and give the character our own name. This manager is doing all kinds of tasks in the park when we don’t take care of him. But we can always switch to the golfer mode and then go and hit the balls with the manager himself. So our whole park is playable directly by ourselves, we can try out everything we build directly as if we were our own guest.

Future Golf – Crazy Golf courses

Golftopia Review-Test - SciFi Golfer in bunt - SimGolf or SimTycoon 02 Future Golf - Crazy Gold course - Zukunftsgolf - verrückte Golf Bahnen
Golftopia Test- Crazy Gold course

As already mentioned, Golftopia plays with a science fiction setting. And while our own manager-character flies around with his Hoover-Board together with some drones and destroys weeds, we can also build in some future gimmicks on the golf courses. And here it gets a bit bizarre at times. Our golf courses can also be equipped with bumpers, as known from pinball machines, or checkpoints, target goals, ball teleporters, and huge fans, with which we can blow some wind in the face of the golfers and blow their ball out of the course.

The courses have extensive statistics and rating scores that you can look at to find out how well the course is received by the players. And you should pay close attention to this because boring or too heavy courses make our club members angry and we get paid according to the players’ satisfaction.

Also besides the golf courses, there are some funny future gimmicks. We can build a kind of pneumatic tube in which our golfers can travel through the park, very similar to the cartoon series Futurama. In general, the design of the food and drink shops is also very similar to Futurama or similar SciFi settings. There is a lot of neon advertising and transparent surfaces with integrated tickers.

And because life shouldn’t be that easy, Golftopia also offers a big extra difficulty. Because a strange weed plague is spreading on the island. And this rampant undergrowth feeds on discontent. The more dissatisfied our park visitors become, the faster it grows, and of course, the golfers become even more dissatisfied when they get to see this disgusting greenery.

One of our main tasks is therefore that we urgently need to break this cycle. So we are building drone hubs with weed sensors that will send out flying robots to contain the greenery. And the whole thing can be further enhanced by building laser turrets or even artillery, which adds a sort of small tower defense component to our fancy golf course.

Golftopia Gameplay – Business Sim – Tycoon Game

Golftopia Review-Test - SciFi Golfer in bunt - SimGolf or SimTycoon 03 Business Sim - Wirtschafts Sim Simulation
Golftopia – Business Sim

In this, at first cute looking simulation, the business is really tough. Every action in the park costs money, every component has to be paid and almost every object has maintenance costs. So if we’re not careful, we’ll go bust faster than you can say Hole in One. We depend on our visitors spending a lot of money on us, and the best source of income is the golf courses themselves.

Because the visitors pay for each lane during the putting in. And the happier the golfers are at putting, the more they pay. If they don’t make the hole, or if they have massive problems or are bored during the putt-in, they may pay nothing or only $1. On the other hand, if they are completely satisfied and have a higher club rank, it can be over $100.

Therefore, micromanagement of the environment as well as the courses is a very important point in Golftopia. Decoration and entertainment are just as important as tuning the course to make it exciting and varied, but not frustratingly difficult or impossible. There are numerous parameters to consider and balance. The best courses also receive awards, and on a course honored with awards, our sim golfers play even happier.

If this is not enough as a challenge, you can increase the difficulty level even more, so that even every terraforming action costs money, people have less money at their disposal or the weed plague grows even faster. I haven’t felt the need to do this to myself yet, because in my current playing time of 15 hours I have just upgraded my golf club to rank 3 out of 5.

Gameplay – Golf Sim

Golftopia Review-Test - SciFi Golfer in bunt - SimGolf or SimTycoon 04 Golf Sim Golf Simulation
Golftopia Review – SimGolf or Golf Tycoon

Golftopia does not want to be a hyper-realistic golf simulation, instead many things are meant to be futurama-like futuristically funny. So if you are looking for a true to original golf simulation that simulates an actual golf club accurately and realistically, Golftopia is probably not the right one for you. But if let yourself be drawn into the mix of golf, mini-golf, pinball, and adventure park, Golftopia offers a lot of possibilities.

But still, within the limits of its sci-fi oddities, it’s pretty realistic about the physics calculations of the balls. There are different kinds of grass that influence the speed, there are the typical sand bunkers, but also mud or lava bunkers in which the balls will sink. Balls bounce off all obstacles correctly, no matter if they are tree trunks, leaves, and branches, or stones.

Golfers can hit anything, like ponds, other people, robots, lanterns, garbage cans, or even the hyperloop tubes of the transportation system. This can make them happy when they hit for example the hole, a target goal, or a funny gimmick. But it can also make them angry the other way around if the ball lands in sand or water or if they are hit by another player’s ball.

So you have to fine-tune the tracks again and again so that they offer enough challenge and crazy ideas on the one hand, but don’t become frustratingly difficult on the other hand. Because you can’t make it too easy either, because then the club members will get bored and a course that everyone can manage easily will be branded as a respective noob course and will also turn off the players.

It should also be mentioned that there is a day and night rotation and our park is open around the clock. In order for the neon balls to glow in the dark and for the golfers to be able to see something at night, we also have to provide sufficient lighting, otherwise, there will be bleating because everyone is wandering around in the dark.

The mood of the golfers is a very important aspect of the game. Because, as I said, they pay according to how happy they are, the moment they hit the ball at the end of a course. And there are umpteen different things that can affect their mood and all of them have to be taken into account if you want to make good money. Especially since, as a golf club owner, you actually want the golfers to come back and upgrade their membership from bronze to silver to platinum. This increases the demands of the members, but also the income they generate.

This leads to the fact that you build up more courses during the game, but still, you tinker with the previous ones more and more. There are rankings for scores, statistics, overview screens, and overlays. You can look up information about the economy, as well as about the satisfaction caused by the courses, the decoration objects, and shops, etc. Here Golftopia really goes into depth. Tycoon Game players who are into extensive fine-tuning will find a lot to play around to achieve their perfect golf course.

Tech, Graphics, Sound

Golftopia Review-Test - SciFi Golfer in bunt - SimGolf or SimTycoon 05 Tech, Graphics, Sound - Technik, Grafik, Musik
Golftopia Review – Tech, Graphics, Sound

Golftopia is just fresh in early access, and unlike many other EA titles, it is already very stable. No crashes for me in more than 15 hours playing time so far, and I can count the real bugs on one hand. The balancing and the simulation of guests and finances seem to me already pretty well tested as well.

Golftopia is built with the Unity Engine. This stable foundation and the fact that the studio has already successfully released several titles before is noticeable in the game. There are extensive option menus for graphic settings, from ultra-small to 4k everything is supported. Apart from that, there are hardly any wishes left open in the options area, except maybe that you could adjust the keyboard layout.

The graphics quality is okay, everything is clearly distinguishable. But there are also no moments when you are surprised with extremely high-quality graphics. In the end, the general appearance of the individual objects results in a pleasant overall look of our simulated golf park and it remains concise and easy to overview at all times. Nevertheless, even with a full park on a mid-range computer, there is still enough power in the engine to keep it from stuttering. I think that Golftopia will run well even on very weak computers if you turn down the options a bit.

The sound is a little bit the low point at the moment. There’s some sea noise near the water, the characters make some little sounds, there are some elevator-style soundtracks that aren’t too annoying, but that’s it. The amount of voice output is zero, and also the soundscape is not really detailed or varied. Here I see easy possibilities for the developers to get even more out of Golftopia with little effort. As an extremely positive example, I refer here to the especially extensively set to music Two Point Hospital, which creates a very special atmosphere by its funny way of speech alone. Of course, Golftopia is extremely far away from that.

Everything in Golftopia is currently completely in English. Translations of the screen texts into other languages would certainly open a wider user base for the game. Therefore, there is only one criticism of the quality of the translations, namely that they are simply missing completely.

Golftopia Screenshots

Opinion and conclusion

Golftopia Review-Test - SciFi Golfer in bunt - SimGolf or SimTycoon 06 Opinion and Conclusion - Meinung und Fazit
Golftopia Test – Opinion and Conclusion

Golftopia is only at the beginning of its journey, but I think it has made a pretty good start. There is already a lot of fun in it for fans of tycoon and business simulations. Every Theme Park, Theme Hospital, or Theme anything fan should be able to find a lot of build-up fun. Anyway, I felt very well entertained for 15 hours already, and I think that with the current size of the game, there are at least as many hours in it, and with upcoming updates maybe even more.

Golftopia has just gone into early access, the development will probably continue for a few more months. So I’m hoping for even more content there. But I haven’t been able to find a roadmap or anything like that yet, so what will be coming in the future at Golftopia is not yet public knowledge.

At the moment there is only a sandbox mode. However, this one is well-designed, with numerous options for randomly generating the island landscape. And even with the level of difficulty for the simulation, you get some controls if needed. So at least playing through a golf club several times from empty island to 18 lane golf course and rank 5 golf club is not too boring.

I would like there to be some kind of campaign, though. Pure sandbox-game is always quite funny for a while, but a campaign with tricky settings and a few funny variations is usually better for longer game fun. Whether there will be such a thing, I can’t say at the moment. But you can be sure that the developers will get further feedback from me, and this wish is guaranteed to be on the list.

There is already a good selection of different components, decoration, useful and crazy items for the golf courses. Expanding this repertoire and bringing more items, shops, crazy course components into play should not be too much of a hassle. So I think a certain part of the early access development will go in that direction.

Golftopia Test – Rating (Early Access)

Golftopia Review-Test - SciFi Golfer in bunt - SimGolf or SimTycoon 07 Rating - Wertung with numbers
Golftopia Review – Rating with numbers

So let me summarize these things. For less than $17 you get a well working game, which runs smoothly in the first Early Access version, is fun, and offers a good selection of possibilities. The graphics are not top class, the sound rather at the bottom, but the simulation itself and the Tycoon or Theme Park part works wonderfully.

For this, I would like to give Golftopia an 85% base rating. For the missing translation, for the poor sound and for the fact that there is no campaign, I deduct in total 10% again. I expect and hope that the developers will address these three weak points in the process of the Early Access time, and will take back some of these 10 points.

But at the moment Golftopia has a very respectable rating of 75% at the time of the early access start in July 2020. If you read, watch or listen to this review sometime later, I would recommend having a look at the patch notes in the time in between to see if the mentioned criticism has been removed.

Golftopia

Zap from ZapZockt.de

Golftopia Review-Test - SciFi Golfer in bunt - SimGolf or SimTycoon_q
SciFi Golfers in colorful – SimGolf or SimTycoon – Golf Topia Review Test
Golftopia is a golf course simulation game, create golf courses, earn money, level golf club, and all this with a funny SciFi ambiance. In my Golftopia Review, I present you this unusual golf tycoon business simulation, is it a SimGolf or rather a theme golf park in crazy?
Golf Sim
Business Sim
Graphics
Sound
Scope
Price / Performance

Rating

So let me summarize these things. For less than $17 you get a well working game, which runs smoothly in the first Early Access version, is fun, and offers a good selection of possibilities. The graphics are not top class, the sound rather at the bottom, but the simulation itself and the Tycoon or Theme Park part works wonderfully.
For this, I would like to give Golftopia an 85% base rating. For the missing translation, for the poor sound and for the fact that there is no campaign, I deduct in total 10% again. I expect and hope that the developers will address these three weak points in the process of the Early Access time, and will take back some of these 10 points.
But at the moment Golftopia has a very respectable rating of 75% at the time of the early access start in July 2020. If you read, watch or listen to this review sometime later, I would recommend having a look at the patch notes in the time in between to see if the mentioned criticism has been removed.

3.8

Outro

Are you a semi-professional golfer and have always wanted to run your own golf club? Do you like Futurama and some weird SciFi gimmicks in your golf courses? Or are theme park-like games just not for you? Write me your opinion, I will gladly discuss it with you. More reviews, news, and guides, especially about strategy games and business sims can be found on zapzockt.de or on my YouTube channel.

A subscription of my YouTube channel makes the Zap happy and a Like is like a pat on the back. Then I wish you a great day, have a good time, ciao ciao, see you next time, your Zap

Golftopia Website:
http://minmax-games.com/GolfTopia/index.php

Golftopia Steampage:
https://store.steampowered.com/app/1144020/GolfTopia

Golftopia Facebook Page:
https://www.facebook.com/GolfTopiaGame

Official Announcement on Reddit:
https://www.reddit.com/r/tycoon/comments/hvbcv2/after_25_years_solo_work_golftopia_is_now_out_in/

My Reddit Post about the game:
https://www.reddit.com/r/ZapZocktGamingNews/comments/hxo5vj/golftopia_review_test/

Reading – recommendations:

A lot of detailed games news and information about games and gaming can always be found here at ZapZockt.de

There are also many game reviews that might interest you, and if you don’t want to miss anything, subscribe to the newsletter. As a Google News reader, you can also go there and read the latest articles.

Shopping – Tip:

Advertising / Affiliate Link
Games can often be bought cheaper. You can do this legally, reliably, and safely at my partner site Gamesplanet. This game, all DLCs, many more RPG, tactic, and strategy games, or a lot of titles from other genres are available there and almost always much cheaper than at Steam, Uplay, Epic, or other shops.

Buy steam keys cheap - Game keys
Buy games cheap

For every purchase, via this link, I receive a small commission. So you get games cheaper and at the same time support my work, my thanks in advance for that.

Social Media:


Zap

Dirk "Zap" von ZapZockt.de, 40+ Gamer, zockt seit 1980 vor allem Strategie Titel, MMOs und Rollenspiele. Schreibt Game Reviews, Gaming News und auch mal über Technik, Hardware und YouTube. Mehr Infos findest Du unter Mehr über Zap lesen ◄----------► Dirk "Zap" from ZapZockt.de, 40+ gamer, has been gaming since 1980, mainly strategy titles, MMOs and RPGs. Writes game reviews, gaming news and also sometimes about technology, hardware and YouTube. Click here, if you want to read more about Zap.

You may also like...

scroll to top - nach oben