House of Golf 2 Preview – Minigolf meets Micro Machines

House of Golf 2 pufferfish screenshot header

There’s two types of golf games out there: those that take themselves very seriously and try to be like big boy golf, and those that are in it for all manner of silly shenanigans, taking much more inspiration from minigolf in the process. House of Golf 2 is definitely in the second camp, combining minigolf with Micro Machines for something that you might like to call microgolf.

What’s that? You wouldn’t like to call it that? Well… to each their own, I guess.

The fundamentals of House of Golf 2 are pretty similar to the menagerie of other minigolf games that have teed off in recent years – your Golf With Friends, and your Golf Gang, and all the rest – as you are represented purely by a ball in the game world, pick a direction and strength, then tap to send the ball flying in that direction. It’s far less technical than a PGA Tour game with multi-tap shot power, spin and all the rest – that said, a pull back to power option is there in the options for those that want it.

Outside of that, though, the Micro Machines inspiration and parallels are clear through the environments. Each hole takes place in a room from the titular House of Golf, and the course is defined by a mix of real-world objects for set dressing, and custom ramps and elements to help join things up. Compared to the leaning toward low complexity graphics and cartoony visuals, they’re using Unreal Engine 5 to give House of Golf 2 more of a premium feel.

House of Golf 2 loft setting

It also gives you oil slicks and puddles of PVA glue, in classic Micro Machines fashion, but there’s a few other gameplay elements thrown into the mix as well. Big cannons can suck you in and shoot you out if you get into their radius, there’s boost pads to speed you up, portals, and even cranes that can come along, pick you up and then drop you off somewhere else. Just beware of hazards, like remote control diggers going round in a loop, which can easily push you out of bounds.

The way that each track is laid out with the realistic world objects also leaves plenty of gaps and places to get a bit creative with your shot selection. Sampling the opening few courses from the game, anyone with a keen eye will spot the tactically placed rubber that acts as a mini ramp to kick you up in the air for a chance at a hole in one, or the gap behind an open laptop that can skip a tricky half pipe. Heck, there was even a shot I took simply from spinning 180º at the tee – oh, and you can pick the spot within a tee box that you want to start from.

House of Golf 2 disco ball

This game will absolutely be best enjoyed with friends, and while there’s sadly no support for online multiplayer, four-player couch multiplayer will be there from the start. Aside from that, regular leaderboard competitions will be held, and together with collecting medals within the stages, will reward you with a bunch of custom ball skins to show off.

Really, the only complaints I have are that Mulligans are a bit too powerful, the limited use ability to retake a shot penalising your trick score, but making it feel a bit too easy to get a low shot count. Combine that with the aforementioned shortcuts, and I feel for the level designers and artists who put plenty of work into arranging all the game assets for holes that zig and zag and sprawl all through a room, only for some jerk like me to immediately spot and use a shortcut on the first go.

House of Golf 2 bee ball cosmetic

It’s not the zaniest minigolf game out there, but If you’re looking for that next hit of minigolf to satisfy your needs, then House of Golf 2 should absolutely be on your watchlist for later this month. It’s coming out for PS5, Xbox Series X|S and PC on 25th July.

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