by William Thompson
previewed on PC
Welcome to Rapture...oh, wait...
You walk down the paved street, rain falling rather heavily. The streetlights in the Victorian-age London inspired town glow through the falling mist. A piece of paper flaps on the footpath, advertising a new store. You notice the store nearby and walk in. It doesn’t seem too fancy, but at least it keeps you out of the rain. Rows of seats line the walls as you are drawn towards the strange looking contraption known as the Vertiginousphere at the end of the hall. You press a few buttons and are directed to one of the many seats along the walls. You pull the handle on the seat. An electric current races across your eyes and your vision becomes blurry. And next you know you are standing at the first hole of a steampunk golf course in the sky. If ever they played golf in Bioshock Infinite’s land of Columbia, I’d imagine it would look and play something like this.
Vertiginous Golf could be described as a steampunk mini-golf game on steroids (or Tonics for those familiar with the Bioshock universe). The aim, as with all golf games, is to hit your little golf ball in a small round hole at the end of the fairway. Though, with Vertiginous Golf, the fairway is quite disjointed, with the course located throughout various horizontal plains in the sky. There are currently three nine-hole courses to choose from. The Initiation course is basically the tutorial, giving you a run-down of the controls and the game mechanics. Despite its name, the initiation course is quite difficult, especially on your first couple of play-throughs. The Continuation course requires you to put what you have learned into practice, without any extra tuition.
Although the tutorial is set out in the Initiation course, I found the Mini-Putt course as a gentler introduction to the game, as the holes are shorter and more reminiscent of actually mini-golf courses. The rules of the mini-putt have been adjusted so that the replay feature (more on this in a minute) has been turned off and only the putter is available to use. A Driving range has also been added to the game in recent times. But unlike a standard driving range where you attempt to fine tune your swing, the driving range in Vertiginous Golf acts as a single hole mini-game where you have three attempts at getting as close to the hole in each of the three attempts. A score is calculated for each and is displayed on the leaderboards.
Be Kind, Rewind
Getting a shot wrong is not a cause for concern...you can simply rewind it – hopefully allowing you to play better the second time. It still counts as a shot, but if you are heading for a bad lie, the rewind function can be advantageous. Unfortunately, replaying a shot is not endless, as replaying a shot expends your limited Rewind Power. You can also use your Rewind ability to change the course of your ball after hitting it. This can be especially useful when putting for the hole if it looks like your shot is headed wide of the mark. You can regain some of your Rewind Power by using your putter. Long putts will result in greater gains in Rewind Power.