Golftopia is strange. But I think that’s in a good way. On the surface of it, Golftopia is a golf resort development simulator, much like SimGolf of years past, and if you like SimGolf, or other games in the Sim series (SimTower, for example) you’ll have a basic idea of what to expect. You pick a starting spot, place your clubhouse, and make your first few holes. Making the first few holes is simple enough, you just place a tee and a hole, paint your fairway and green, and set the hole to open. That’s all you need to do to get customers to flow in to your course.
But like any good sim game, there’s so much more to the game than just designing a couple holes and calling it a day. Not only can you also add obstacles and adjust the terrain, but you can also add hole side conveniences, course challenges, and bizarre effects like human transport tubes, launchpads and other insane futuristic devices, many of which are available from the start of the game.
“Wait, transport tubes?” you may be asking, and yes, there are transport tubes in this game. Golftopia is a science fiction themed golf sim, where you’re building a futuristic golf course on a deserted island on what I think is an alien planet, and there are all sorts of things in game to reflect that, from the aforementioned futuristic whiz bang enhancements to the multifunction orbital laser, which can do things like suck your patrons’ wallets dry but leave them angry, make them happy, or even nuke weeds from orbit, depending on how much solar power you have banked up.
Weeds? Yes, like any good golf course, you need to keep your links well groomed and free of weeds, though these weeds are a bit more aggressive than most, so you’ll need to make sure you have de-weeding robots and anti-weed cannons on hand to keep them at bay. Golftopia calls itself a “management sim/ tower defense hybrid” and it’s not entirely wrong. Every customer complaint creates a weed somewhere on your property, and if enough weeds form, they mutate into a weed hive and multiply even more rapidly, and did I mention that seeing weeds makes customers complain? It's a vicious cycle. While the weeding has yet to take the focus from building my holes and making sure my customers are happy and paying good money, it has been a factor in where to plan out my courses to keep them safely within range of my grounds keeping robots. I have had one weed hive form in the very corner of my property, and it took a grounds keeping hub the better part of an in game day to get rid of it.
While I do like what of the game I’ve seen so far (I’m still finishing up my front 9) I do have some things that would be quite nice to see improved. The first is that more keyboard buttons to change the viewing angle would be nice. There are already mouse and keyboard inputs for these, but they are set and I’d like to be able to adjust them to my preferences
The next change would be to adjust when certain features unlock and when they get suggested to you in the tutorials. After making three holes, the game suggested I purchase a new parcel of land since I had enough money for it, but since it suggested this and I bought the land before I had upgraded my clubhouse, I couldn’t do anything with that new land for some time. Similarly, when I did get that upgrade, quite a lot of things unlocked all at once, including the driving range and putting green, but also a lot of the course enhancements like bumpers and flaming hoops. Don’t get me wrong, these are absolutely great additions for building up my course, I just got overwhelmed having all of them drop on my at once. Maybe set some of them to unlock at specific numbers of holes built, rather than clubhouse upgrades? Just a thought.
Lastly, my biggest and most outrageous wish, I’d love to be able to play my own course. You can do this in a top down mode, but I’d love to see a mode where you’re much closer to the ground and watching your ball fly around.
This game is in Early Access and I have experienced the odd crash or two, but the game does have an auto-save function, so if golf sims are your thing, definitely give Golftopia a shot.
This preview was based off a code provided by the publisher.