Xbox Game Pass First Impressions: Turbo Golf Racing

By Tom West,

Turbo Golf Racing blasted down the fairway and into Xbox Game Preview this week, offering up a turbo-charged experience for up to eight players on Xbox Series X|S, Xbox One, PC, and Xbox Game Pass. Here are our first impressions.

This week marked the release of Turbo Golf Racing from Hugecalf Studios and Secret Mode, and while it currently offers a fairly barebones experience as an Xbox Game Preview title, there must be a little magic whipped up in its code because it has been hard to put down. I had a chance to play the game's solo mode slightly before launch, and as much as it offered me a fair amount of entertainment, it's been the game's multiplayer chaos that's had me hooked — as well as my six-year-old son. If you have an Xbox Game Pass subscription and have enjoyed the likes of Rocket League, this might be worth your time.

Turbo Golf Racing game preview launch trailer

Immediately upon starting the game, you're met with visuals and a soundtrack that would comfortably sit as a side mode in Psyonix's Rocket League. It's colourful, the music is, while not exactly my cup of tea as you might know by now, energetic and fun, and the simplified menu makes it easy to navigate without cluttering the screen. It's the simplicity of Turbo Golf Racing that has had me spending quite a bit of time on the fairway with my son this weekend, which reaches far beyond the game's main menu.

Currently, you only have two modes to play: Solo and Multiplayer. Solo acts as a time trial and challenge mode, which pits you against the clock to putt your ball into the vortex-like hole in the fastest time possible for a rating of one-to-three stars. The fairways twist and turn their way from your starting point to the end hole across various themed maps, and offer the usual golf-related hazards of sandbank and woodlands to slow your roll, as well as an out-of-bounds area on each side of the fairway that drops you into an abyss of nothingness — before resetting you back onto the fairway, of course... it's not an un-fairway. Along the way you have the ability to use boosting strips reminiscent of Mario Kart, floating circular launch pads, and other fun ways of making your ride a damn sight more fun than real golf. Plus, your car has special abilities, turbo, and wings that let it glide, so there's also that.

turbo golf racing first impressions

To truly experience Turbo Golf Racing, though, you'll need to venture into multiplayer, as that's exactly where the game comes into its own. Matches consist of three rounds for up to eight players, and each round rewards you with points depending on how fast you can get your ball into the hole before everyone else. The match winner is, yes you guessed it, the player with the most points at the end of the three rounds. While traversing the multiplayer fairway performs much like that of the single-player portion of the game, multiplayer also adds in the fun of rockets to fire at other players to slow them down, as well as defensive shields to block such callous behaviour.

The shining feature of the multiplayer mode is that other than the rockets you can shoot at other players, the entirety of the match is non-contact. You can't ram them, hit their balls, or perform any other antagonising acts, and I absolutely love the idea. It gives you chance to do exactly what you feel like you need to do without the added worries of potential griefers, and when you're playing with your little ones, which they'll surely want to partake in once they get an eyeful of the game, it's easy for them to enjoy along with you. Even the controls are simplified, with only the boost, jump, special ability, and rocket buttons requiring any additional thought to perform. It's just really easy to hop into, and I found that it was fairly hard to put down after playing my first few matches.

turbo golf racing first impressions

Completing matches rewards you with Turbo Golf Racing's in-game currency, Gears, to spend in the shop on various cosmetic upgrades for your vehicle such as body styles, spoilers, turbo colours, and the like. Winning matches also grants you trophies to spend on higher-quality cosmetic items as an added bonus on top of your Gears. As with any and all live service games now, there is a Season Pass, but currently, it's all free, and no paid track has been mentioned as of writing. Each day offers you a selection of Quests to complete to progress through the pass, and as an added challenge, you can complete a number of objectives to unlock upgrades called Power Cores for your vehicle, which act as permanent bonuses that can enlarge your ball, make it more bouncy, or give you abilities like extra jumps, a magnet to pull the ball towards you, and other wacky ways to enhance your experience.

Fun, easy to pick up, and hard to put down are my current feelings about Turbo Golf Racing. For how long I'll feel this way is down to Hugecalf Studios now, which has said that the game will be in a preview state for around 12 months, and we can look forward to a host of content updates along the way. The lack of achievements is currently my only turn-off, though it's a fairly rare occurrence to see a preview title offering a list anyway, and the one style of multiplayer is offering a wildly fun experience now but could stagnate in time. Either way, I highly recommend you hop in and try this fresh little game, even with its lack of achievement support — sacrilegious to say, I know!
Tom West
Written by Tom West
Tom has been playing video games since he was old enough to hold a controller, experimenting with systems like the Nintendo 64 and Playstation until he eventually fell in love with the Xbox 360. With a passion for the platform, he decided to make a career out of it, and now happily spends his days writing about that which he loves. If he’s not achievement hunting, you’ll likely find him somewhere in The Elder Scrolls Online.
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