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King Of Clubs Review

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Wacky it is. Essential it ain't.

★★★★★

While videogames are adept at conveying drama, horror and roller coaster-style, edge-of-your-seat excitement, most attempts at bringing humour to the world of console entertainment have fallen flat on their face; and while Grand Theft Auto, Conker’s Bad Fur Day and a handful of other titles have contained moments of genuine hilarity, any game that’s billed itself as ‘wacky’, ‘zany’ or ‘crazy’ has come across as just plain irritating.

So spare a thought for anyone intent on cracking King Of Clubs…

A cross between a sports simulation and a puzzler, King Of Clubs is a crazy golf game where players must negotiate 90-plus holes across a variety of themed courses, including Egyptian, prehistoric and medieval worlds. Like most golf sims, shots are unleashed by stopping a fluctuating power bar at the right moment, but KOC’s difference becomes apparent when you choose a ball; the game features a wide selection of balls that each boast special powers, including spheres that can stick to walls, bounce around corners, or travel much further than normal.

The challenge then comes from choosing the right ball for the course and, as you can’t reclaim balls after you’ve taken a swing, success depends on spending your winnings on the right selection of balls before you hit the fairway.

But while the game does a decent - if a little pedestrian - job of blending brainteasers with ball-whacking, KOC’s pitiful spoof of redneck, trailer-park-trash culture, personified by the course owner and Elvis impersonator Big Bubba King, is cringey, embarrassing and guaranteed to alienate the traditionally cynical gaming crowd who have no time for bad jokes.

As a skewed take on console golf, King Of Clubs is far from a disaster and worth a rent if you’ve already trashed console favourites such as Tiger Woods PGA Tour. But unless you think films such as Epic Movie and Harold And Kumar Get The Munchies are works of comedy genius, the game’s unique sense of ‘humour’ will drive you doolally.

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