Looking back to 2020 and the awful time it was for everybody, there were a few success stories. Videogame related, Animal Crossing: New Horizons released at the perfect time and what was a niche series became a system seller overnight thanks to being able to connect friends during a period of isolation.
Golf With Your Friends also benefited thanks to lockdown, not least because it dropped straight into Xbox Game Pass as a surprise Day One addition. It meant groups of friends could gather online with a game that offered some pure and simple fun without being overly complicated.
Now though, the game remains in Game Pass, but for the first time, some new courses and cosmetics have been released as premium content. For someone who has spent many sessions online cursing myself and berating others in equal measure, these extra bits of content are no brainers. And after my time with them, I am here to convince you the same.
The new course is called Bouncy Castle. I am pleased to note that this doesn’t involve whacking away with a pitching wedge on an inflatable monstrosity; it is much better designed than that.
Once again, all game modes are playable on the new course. That means Dunk and Hockey. Dunk – as it was for the main game – is still the weakest mode but Hockey essentially reinvents the course. The placements of the goals breathe new life into the course once you have exhausted Classic mode. And yes, as always, the little goalie is there. And yes, they are once again far better than they have any right to be.
Bouncy Castle is pitched somewhere in the middle in terms of difficulty. Certainly not up there with the likes of Space Station or the Worms courses, but also a bit trickier than Forest and Haunted House. Though there are still a few tricky holes towards the end. One hole in particular features three doors and picking the right one is crucial. One leads to a flat surface making your next shot easy, one a bumpier surface, and one leads to a trap door. You could be safe on the trap door, but only if you are very, very quick when taking your next shot.
Another tricky one involves timing several shots to perfection to avoid plenty of rotating obstacles, before greeting you with a very large travelator for your last shot. Successfully get up it though and a very welcoming funnel will guarantee your ball lands in the hole.
Shout out as well to the 18th hole which in terms of length is one of the longest in the entire game but can be easily managed in two shots. You will struggle to see it all on Classic mode with your fifteen seconds of free cam but trust me when I say you can hoof it and it will be safe.
There are some texture pop ins however, and if we are being honest, they are quite bad too. The Bouncy Castle course feels much more open like the Ancient, Candyland and other courses do, with lots of decoration in the background. But it is this that all too frequently pops in and out when rotating the camera.
A new course isn’t the only DLC recently released for Golf With Your Friends. There are two new cosmetics packs called Racing and Summer Party.
Racing is centred around all things speedy. Somewhat counter intuitive to the way you should play golf but who are we to say. The Racing pack allows you to adorn your ball with crash helmets and engines on top. The engine one appears to be channelling Dom Toretto and his Dodge Charger from the Fast & Furious franchise. There are also a couple of floaties included: one shaped like a car and the other a donut.
Then there is the Summer Party pack, which also features ten new cosmetic items. Hats this time include a birthday cake, paper crown, clown and party hat. There are also some neon shades if you want to party like it is the early noughties again.
Buoyancy aids in the Summer Party pack come in the form of a flamingo or a unicorn. I can’t help but feel the unicorn is a nod to England’s World Cup 2018 campaign, and to be honest, I am all for reliving that particular summer.
Interestingly, a new cosmetic has also been added with these new packs, allowing you to completely change the appearance of your ball itself. Previously, you could only change the colour. Now you can have a purple marble ball or one like Earth itself if you choose the Racing pack. Choose the Summer Party one and you can have a disco ball or an ice cream.
Even if you just plump for the Bouncy Castle course DLC, you won’t be missing out on cosmetics either as that has four all to itself. Within here you can find a new floatation device, two new stickers to change your balls appearance (Inflatable and Hard Candy) plus even a new Balloon trail.
It’s always contentious judging a game or DLC by its price, but it does need mentioning here with the add-ons. And that’s because it is so darn cheap! Both the Racing and Summer Party cosmetics packs will set you back just £1.69 each, and the new Bouncy Castle course is a steal at £2.49.
But perhaps the best deal is that if you have a regular group that plays Golf With Your Friends online together, only the host needs the new course DLC for everyone to access it. And we can confirm that those joining the game can still unlock the four new achievements for the DLC. There is still the obligatory achieving par in Classic mode however, which will take a few attempts.
We’re big fans of Golf With Your Friends, and this new DLC has only rekindled our enjoyment of this brilliant party game. The Bouncy Castle course is a great new addition and one of the best courses in the game, and the new cosmetics allow for much greater customisation with the stickers transforming the balls. If you are a fan, this new course will be an excellent addition to Golf With Your Friends when game night rolls around again.