House of Golf 2 is simple, charming fun | Hands-on preview

by on July 1, 2024

Earlier this year I reviewed Hypercharged: Unboxed, a game about toy soldiers going to war in bathrooms, toy shops, and garages – among other places. It put me in mind of games like Tinykin and It Takes Two. There’s something very cool about running around gargantuan interpretations of mundane places, and it’s a wonder that more games don’t do it. Though, while it’s usually actrion or adventure titles that do, we’ve only really had Micro Machines to fly the flag for sports games. Until, House of Golf and House of Golf 2, of course, the latter of which I recently had the chance to play.

It doesn’t waste any time dropping you into the action, either. In the build I played there were a few championships to play through, and it doesn’t really need to tutorialise anything. You load up, press start, and you’re in. Holding down the left mouse trigger will apply power to your swing, and driving forward as you release will hit the ball.

House of Golf 2

It’s essentially like a game of minigolf, but you play it in places like bedrooms and workshops. You avoid hazards like toy trucks, walking robots, or tools. It’s remarkably easy to whack it out of bounds, and I spent most of every tournament painfully over-par, but it’s certainly fun. I found that the accuracy is just a little too on-point though, as it’s easy to spoon a shot with very little effort.

Had you only been knocking balls around the floors, though, it might still have gotten boring, but House of Golf 2 compensates early on by leaning into the wackiness of it all. So very quickly you’re not just contenting with ramps and turns, and simple obstacles you need to navigate to collect the hidden gold medal in each course.

Rather, you’re hitting the ball into portals to come flying out on the other side of the room, or getting scooped up by cannons and launched over obstacles – unless you roll into the wrong kind of cannon and get yourself flung the other way. There are some great details in each course that make the environments feel very real, something that juxtaposes nicely with the bizarre elements like claw-grabbers and launch pads.

House of Golf 2

Each championship contained multiple courses in multiple rooms of the house, and it was always charming and creative, although I did find myself playing in short bursts rather than for long periods. It is a game prone to becoming frustrating, and ultimately plays far better against other people. Solo, I ran out of steam fairly quickly, as even with the addition of creative hazards, it’s always quite a straightforward challenge.

But ultimately House of Golf 2 is a fun little distraction. From the build I played I can tell it’s designed to be a game you pick up and play with friends, and it deliberately avoids overcomplicating its core formula. You hit the ball until you pot it, and laugh at your friends when they spoon it into the cornflake bowl. It’s simple, fun, and likeable, and could prove super popular as a party game when it launches.

House of Golf 2 is developed and published by Starlight Game, and is due to launch on PC and console on July 25th 2024.