In this series of features Nintendo Life contributors have shared thoughts on their most memorable games of 2017. This final entry by news writer and reviewer Ryan Craddock opts for a lesser known eShop title that showcases some of the biggest strengths of the Nintendo Switch.
Party Golf falls into a category of games that I respect, but usually avoid. Since I can remember I’ve always preferred gaming alone (or at least playing through a solo adventure with my partner watching by my side) and have always fallen in love mostly with games such as Zelda, Pokémon, and the 3D Mario titles. Online gaming isn’t really my thing, and whilst I do love a bit of local Mario Kart or Smash Bros., for example, most party games just don’t do it for me.
Strangely, though, from the moment I first started playing Party Golf (it was actually for review) I thought about the potential it could have with the right group of friends. Luckily just a few days later I was hosting a couple of my closest friends for a weekend – a perfect test, then! Sure enough, as soon as I explained the concept they were on board and we had hours of fun and constant laughter as we played through the game’s barmy level ideas.
If you’re unfamiliar with the game, Party Golf is made up of 100 different levels – and you can create your own customised ones, too – where the aim is to land variously-shaped balls into a hole. Everyone is doing this at the same time and the different physics that can be applied to each player, as well as the different shapes that each player can be, result in absolute chaos as everyone barges into each other. The simplicity of the thing just shouldn’t be as good as it is, but aside from occasional frame-rate hiccups,it turned out to be a total blast.
Despite my personal enjoyment with the gameplay itself, the reason I’ve chosen it as my most memorable game of this year (apart from the obvious contenders, of course) is actually down to the impact it had on my friends. I’ve known them both for years and love them to bits but, unfortunately for me, they’ve never been into the Nintendo family of systems and games. I love video games of all types across all platforms, but Nintendo will always be incredibly special to me for a number of reasons, and not being able to play my favourite games with these friends has always been a huge shame.
Since having the hardware in their hands, and thanks to the huge amount of fun we had on Party Golf, however, both of these friends have since been in touch to say that they are seriously thinking about buying the console for themselves. Of course, the fun we had was partly thanks to just us (party games require good company, after all), and their interest in the Switch will largely be down to the console itself, but it is undeniable that this game helped them to form that decision. It could well be that as we go into 2018, I’ll be playing online matches of my favourite games with my best friends in ways that I’ve never been able to do before and for that, Party Golf, I thank you.