Rocket League is in the running for the video game that I have spent the most time playing. I have logged hundreds of hours into the game and still play the game pretty regularly. When I first saw Turbo Golf Racing I was really intrigued. The game pretty much looked like what you would get if you combined Rocket League with golf. Turbo Golf Racing might not quite be at the level of Rocket League yet, but it is already quite fun and shows a ton of potential.
The premise of Turbo Golf Racing is pretty straightforward. You are playing a game of golf against a number of other players. The catch is that instead of using a club, you use a car to hit the ball towards the hole. You don’t need to worry about strokes/hits, as time is all that matters. All of the players are competing to get their ball in the hole before the other players. You score points in the game based on what place you finish the hole in. The earlier you place, the more points you score. The player that scores the most total points after three holes wins the game.
There is a little more to the game than just driving your car to hit the ball. The game allows you to jump and dodge while in the air which can help you aim the ball better. You have boost which refills periodically, and there are speed boosts spread around the course. There are hoops throughout the course which you want to aim your ball towards. If you hit your ball through a hoop, it will launch the ball in the direction of the hole. The game helps you out some getting the ball into the hole. Above the hole is a tractor beam. If you hit your ball into the beam it will eventually pull the ball into the hole.
My expectation of Turbo Golf Racing heading into playing was that it would be Rocket League where you are playing golf instead of soccer. In many ways this is exactly what the game is. There are differences which I will get to soon, but the similarities are apparent. This isn’t meant to be taken as an insult. Rocket League is one of the my favorite video games of all time. I mostly bring it up because it does a good job describing what it feels like playing the game.
Anyone who has played Rocket League before should have a good idea of what to expect out of Turbo Golf Racing. If you don’t really care for Rocket League and the addition of golf won’t change your mind, I don’t see Turbo Golf Racing being for you. Fans of Rocket League like myself though will likely really enjoy Turbo Golf Racing like I have so far.
A lot of people are probably curious about what it is like playing golf with a car. It is only natural to wonder how that would work, or if it would be enjoyable. In action I was kind of surprised by how well it works. The game is not exactly golf as it doesn’t matter how many times you hit the ball. Instead the game is all about speed as you are trying to get the ball into the hole as quickly as possible.
The game is quite easy to pick up and play. If you have ever driven a car before in a video game, you can jump right into the game. You just try to drive your car where you hit the ball at the right angle to stay on course. The game gives you additional controls such as a flip and dash that gives you more control over how you hit the ball. If you are a Rocket League player, you can adjust to Turbo Golf Racing really quickly as most of the gameplay is very similar. You will naturally have a built in advantage as the ability to hit a ball with a car naturally translates. The game has some of its own intricacies though, where you aren’t going to be able to jump right in and be an expert.
If I were to directly compare the two games, I would say Rocket League is more competitive while Turbo Golf Racing is more casual (at least at this time). This isn’t meant as a criticism against either game. What I mostly mean is that to be good at Rocket League, you need to play the game a lot and build up your skills. Skill plays a big role in how well you will do in the game.
Skill still plays a role in Turbo Golf Racing as well, but it isn’t the only factor in play. This could change the longer the game is out. The general skill level in the game could get better. At this point Turbo Golf Racing feels more welcoming to newcomers than Rocket League. There is a little more luck involved in the game as no matter how well you aim, a good or bad bounce can have an impact on how well you do. If you are looking for a highly competitive game, this might be a little disappointing. I liked that the game is more approachable for new players where you don’t need to devote hundreds of hours to become really good at it.
Turbo Golf Racing doesn’t quite reach the level of Rocket League yet, but I have really enjoyed my time with the game so far. I am not a huge fan of golf in general, but playing golf with a car is surprisingly satisfying. The game shares a lot of what I like about Rocket League, and yet it still feels like its own game. While the game is simple enough, there is obvious skill to the game. If you keep playing it you will get better at it. There will be holes that you do horrible on, but it is really satisfying when you can win a hole or even the whole match.
Another thing that I like about Turbo Golf Racing is that the game plays pretty quickly. Each online game consists of a small tournament of three holes. It somewhat depends on what holes you are given, but most only take a couple minutes at most to complete. You can complete an entire game within 5-8 minutes. I would be curious to see the option for more holes in a game in the future. I think three is good because it feels long enough, but not too long where it starts to drag. If you have a bad game, you can quickly jump into another game. While I wouldn’t play the game for hours at a time, I can definitely see coming back regularly for an hour or so at a time.
With the game just entering Early Access, one thing I was a little curious about was the number of holes that would be present in the game. Unlike Rocket League where the field never needs to change, the holes in Turbo Golf Racing are a key element in the game. I was pleasantly surprised by the number and variety of holes in the game already. The holes can play quite differently with each having their own little quirks. Some can be really short, while others can be quite long. So far I personally prefer the longer holes, but I generally really enjoyed the variety in the holes already present in the game.
The hole selection is one thing that I am really curious about as it relates to Turbo Golf Racing’s longevity. After a while you start to see the same holes repeated. For the game to remain fun, new holes will likely have to be added to the game semi-regularly. Otherwise it could get a little repetitive playing the same holes over and over again.
One thing that I haven’t talked about yet is the car cores. When you first start playing the game, you will have no cores to equip. Basically your car can equip two different cores. These cores basically give you various abilities to help you do better in the game. Some give you passive abilities like being able to drive through the tall grass or sand traps quicker. Others allow you to hit the ball faster/further or give you other helpful abilities.
In theory I really like the idea behind the cores. They give you a way to slightly alter the game to suit your playstyle. For example if you keep hitting your balls into the sand traps, you may want to equip the corresponding core so it doesn’t hurt you as much. The cores allow you to minimize your weaknesses or further emphasize your strengths. Long term I think they could be a great addition to the game.
The problem with the cores is that they introduce issues for the early game. As I said you get no cores to start the game. You have to earn them by doing certain things in the game. You will eventually start unlocking some of them, but for your first games you will be at a disadvantage against players that have already unlocked them. I can see why the game makes you do things to unlock them, but it does make it really hard to do well in your first couple of games. I kind of wish the game just unlocked all of the cores from the beginning and you got to choose which you wanted to equip.
As for the game’s unlocks/rewards systems, it is very similar to most online games. You acquire gears for each game you play as well as completing various objectives. There are daily challenges as well. If you win a game you also receive a trophy. The game’s currency can be used in the store to buy new cosmetic items. I would say a lot of the cosmetic items are a little more basic than Rocket League’s counterparts. I was genuinely impressed with how quickly you can get items though. After playing for just an hour you can probably purchase one of the cheaper items. It may take a couple hours to get the more expensive items. At least at this point, the game seems to be pretty generous with the cosmetic items that you are able to unlock.
Turbo Golf Racing is not perfect yet, but I really like where the game is at this point. It is expected to stay in Early Access for a year after all. I plan to keep playing Turbo Golf Racing as I am really enjoying it right now. That said there are a couple of things that I hope the game improves upon over time.
First I hope the controls are tweaked a little. The controls for the most part are really good. I don’t think they are quite as precise at Rocket League though. You can’t make the tight turns quite the same which creates some issues when you have to turn around or make a sharp turn to hit the ball. The flipping is not quite as smooth either. The controls are still quite good and won’t cause you many issues. I think they could be even better though.
Second I hope the game includes a little more player interaction at some point. You can see the other players’ cars and balls on the course. You cannot bump or interact with either in any way though. The only way to impact another player is to shoot the occasional rocket at them. Interaction between players needs to be severely limited as players purposefully messing with one another would ruin the game. I think a little more player interaction would be appreciated though.
I don’t know exactly how this would work, but I hope the game can find some way of introducing a team mode. Playing with another player as you work together to get the ball into the hole could be quite fun. Each player could also have their own ball, but you can hit your teammates ball as well as your own. You could set up passing plays of sorts allowing you greater control over hitting the ball. While you can play with your friends, it currently is only a free-for-all as you compete against one another. I would like to see a sort of team mode sometime in the future.
So far I haven’t had many issues with matchmaking. You get put into a game rather quickly, and there isn’t much lag. The games seem pretty fair as well. I usually place at least in the top half of most games. This is with a lot of Rocket League experience though. Players without any experience with these type of games may have some trouble doing well until they get more experience with the game. Most games were pretty well balanced where I had a chance of winning. There were a few though where there was one or two players that I could tell were going to easily win the game as they were considerably better than everyone else. Hopefully the matchmaking is tweaked a little in the future.
Finally I just hope that Turbo Golf Racing keeps adding new holes/courses to the game. The variety is pretty good right now. For the game to avoid eventually becoming repetitive though, new holes will have to be periodically added to the game. I don’t think this is going to be a problem for Turbo Golf Racing, but I hope the game has a steady stream of new holes to keep the game enjoyable.
Turbo Golf Racing is not a perfect game, but I was genuinely pretty impressed with where it is at this point. As someone who has played hundreds of hours of Rocket League, I think it compares rather favorably against it. It is surprisingly fun trying to play golf with a car. The game is fast paced and has a good balance between skill and accessibility where you can enjoy the game no matter how good you are at it. It hasn’t quite reached the level of Rocket League yet, but it is already off to a great start. I am really excited to see where Turbo Golf Racing goes.
My recommendation for Turbo Golf Racing is pretty simple. If you aren’t a fan of Rocket League or don’t like the game’s golf concept, I don’t see it being for you. If you are a fan of Rocket League or think the idea of car golf sounds fun, I think you will enjoy Turbo Golf Racing and should consider checking it out.
Turbo Golf Racing
Release Date: Early Access – August 4th, 2022 | Systems: PC, Xbox One, Xbox Series X|S
Developer: Hugecalf Studios | Publisher: Secret Mode | ESRB Rating: Everyone
Genres: Indie, Multiplayer, Racing, Sports
Official Website: https://turbogolf.racing/
- A fun combination of a racing/driving game with golf.
- A good balance between accessibility and skill where anyone can have fun with the game.
- The controls are generally quite good, but they could be tweaked a little.
- Could use a little player interaction or some sort of team mode.
Recommendation: For fans of Rocket League or those who think the concept of playing golf with a car sounds fun.
We at Geeky Hobbies would like to thank Hugecalf Studios, and Secret Mode for the preview copy of Turbo Golf Racing used for this review. Other than receiving a free copy of the game to preview, we at Geeky Hobbies received no other compensation for this preview. Receiving the preview copy for free had no impact on the content of this preview.