Cheap Golf is both tedious and intriguing at the same time.
It’s tedious because all you do is fling a square golf ball (or a “boop” as the game calls it) over and over again through increasingly tricky and/or trippy levels.
The intriguing part is everything that happens between these levels.
For me, actually going through each level was only worth it for another chance to talk with SUSAN – the AI behind the scenes. Well, most of the time it’s SUSAN that does all the talking, but interacting with her can be funny, disturbing and mostly weird.
SUSAN has a purpose. What it is I’m not sure, but it is imperative to her that you continue playing. So I did, and I’m kind of glad about that.
It turns out Cheap Golf has some really neat levels that either challenge you to be as precise and quick as possible, or are just really fun to golf through. Some levels can be annoying and even frustrating, but you still find yourself trying, again and again, to not only finish them but to do so in as few moves as possible.
There’s something appealing about the game’s simple gameplay and old-school graphics. It helps sell the game’s premise of a “newborn” AI creating strange games to try and learn more about humans, the internet and the world in general.
The game also has a level editor that let’s create levels of your own, if you feel like reading 14 pages of instructions (I didn’t). The editor isn’t very user-friendly at the moment, and you can’t easily share your creations anyway. However, there are a few features currently in development that might make the whole thing more approachable.
Right now, Cheap Golf has two different episodes with about 100 levels total. A third episode will be released on November 5 when the game officially comes out of Early Access.
I do see myself coming back to the game once the new episode is released if only to see what SUSAN has planned for me next.
Truthfully, I find it a bit hard to recommend Cheap Golf. Yes, getting to know SUSAN and her crazy plans is pretty fun, and I always enjoy a game with a good meta aspect to it. However, flinging boops gets stale fairly quickly.
I’ve played better games about AI and video games, like Pony Island or The Magic Circle. If you already tried these two, and need your meta fix, then Cheap Golf should do the trick. And say hey to SUSAN for me.
Cheap Golf is available now on Steam Early Access and will be released in full on November 5.Some of our posts include links to online retail stores. We get a small cut if you buy something through one of our links. Don't worry, it doesn't cost you anything extra.