David Bowie might once have asked if there is life on Mars, but Desert Golfing developer Justin Smith is quite confident that – if there is – they’ll be well up for a round of the king’s game. Six years later, and Golf On Mars is swinging onto Steam with a more alien take on the 2014 golf ’em up’s peaceful procedural putting. It’s more golf, it’s extraterrestrial golf, but is it better golf?
Following its early debut on phones, Golf On Mars arrived on Steam this Friday. It is, very much, more Desert Golfing’s wonderfully simple click-n-drag swinging – but a little cleaner, a little smoother, and with what feels like a slight floatiness to account for our crimson neighbour’s lower gravity.
It does appear the procedural holes have been pushed further this time ’round, mind. Terrain is smoother, weirder, and players won’t be progressing together through the same sequence of holes. But as some unfortunate Golfstronauts have discovered, the game has a tendency of throwing impossible holes in your direction from time to time. Oddly, the emphasis golfing has also been scaled back a bit. Thwack your golf egg off-screen and the camera will keep following it across the entirety of Mars, regardless of how many thousands of shots-above-par are racked up.
I’m not sure these really add much to Desert Golfing’s lovely simplicity, but sure, I’ll put in another ten, hundred, thousand rounds of golf. According to its store page, Golf On Mars boasts a practically-infinite golfing odyssey of 25,770,000,000 holes. But then, so did Desert Golfing, and yet that game did very much have an ending. Mars does tempt with an achievement for golfing every hole on the red planet, mind – teasing some sort of closure, if not flat-out lying.
Golf On Mars is currently 15% off on Steam, at £1.77/€2.03/$2.54, though it’s also available for $2 on Itch. Earth-bound predecessor Desert Golfing is also going for 25% off during the Steam Summer Sale.