Turbo Golf Racing Review (for PC)

It’s hard to ignore the similarities between Hugecalf Studios’ Turbo Golf Racing and Psyonix Entertainment’s Rocket League. Both PC games feature cartoon karts that push balls into a goal, and the vehicles are aided by boosts, missiles, and other power-ups. But where Rocket League aims to emulate football with motor vehicles, the $17.99 Turbo Golf Racing aims to do the same with golf. Hugecalf Studios does a good job of implementing the “golf with cars” gimmick, but it falls short of its full potential in a few areas.

(Credit: PCMag)

Golf with battle karts

Turbo Golf Racing takes a lot of liberties with the sport of golf. To start, the game is divided into three round matches. You complete a lap by kicking your ball (each kart has one) into the goal as fast as possible, with the fastest player scoring the most points. As is popular in multiplayer games such as Destiny 2 and MultiVersus, Turbo Golf Racing features daily challenges that award in-game currency for purchasing cosmetics (more on that in a bit).

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In multiplayer matches, you play against seven other players. You can’t interfere with other players’ balls when they’re rolling on the track, but you can interfere with their karts by catching missiles and other bonuses scattered all over the place. Conversely, a shield protects you from opponents’ attacks. These power-ups include boost pickups that allow you to chase your ball faster. In a way, Turbo Golf Racing reminds me of Mario Kart’s Battle mode, because you can cause other players a ridiculous amount of car-based grief. That said, the game can use a wider variety of power-ups.

Boosting isn’t your only way to catch your ball. You can also deploy a set of wings at any time in the air to glide towards it. These wings automatically extend when you catch a draft, but retract the second you step out of them (causing you to fall to the ground). It’s a minor annoyance that can be avoided if you know how to control your car on (or off) the track.

Hitting your kart against the ball sends it flying down the track, your speed and angle of approach determining its trajectory. Additionally, you can use the boost meter to slam the ball at high speed to make it go even further. Boosting just before hitting a ball gives you back some of it, making following your strike much easier and faster. Boost pads are scattered across the tracks which help you gain speed without spending your boost gauge. Hitting your ball into the track’s floating rings and air currents gives it a bit more distance and time in the air.

The Turbo Golf Racing Track

(Credit: PCMag)

It’s all in the name

You find joy in a traditional game of golf by lining up the perfect shot, learning every curve of the course, and taking advantage of wind speed and direction to cut your strokes. Like Mario Golf: Super Rush, Turbo Golf Racing aims to speed up the game of golf. For example, you only have a split second to line up your shot before your kart launches at the ball. Also, a regular game of golf calculates your score based on the number of strokes you make. Not here. Turbo Golf Racing awards points based on how fast you put the ball into the net.

It doesn’t matter how many times you hit the ball; you just have to put it in the hole. This approach leads to faster play, with a typical match lasting around five minutes. That’s fine for a minigame as part of a major sports title, but not so much for a standalone game. The short time frame limits the amount of happy, but randomly selected mayhem the tracks keep things interesting. Unfortunately, there is no penalty for people who disconnect from the game before officially losing a match.

Turbo Golf Racing has a single player mode where you compete in timed trials for experience points (EXP). This acts more like a practice mode, as the main focus of the game is online multiplayer action. The lack of local split-screen multiplayer is a shame, as it would make a great party game with friends crammed into the same room.

Turbo Golf Racing Customization Options

(Credit: PCMag)

Turbo Golf Racing Customization Options

The game has a season pass which contains rewards given out at different stages. Most of these rewards are cosmetic items, such as new kart models, spoilers, and bumpers. A few reward items, called Power Cores, impact gameplay. They include passive abilities (your ball doesn’t jinx in sand traps) and extra powers (creating a shockwave that pushes your ball forward). Still, I would have preferred abilities that affect others Mario Kart-style, like using shockwave to knock other players back.

Turbo Golf Racing includes a shop to purchase profile avatars, bonus EXP and additional cosmetic items. It’s unclear exactly how many purchasable items the developers at Hugecalf Studios have planned for the future of the game, but if more titles are on the way, you can expect this store to expand its offerings. Cosmetic items cost between 1,000 and 40,000 “Gears”. In my first hour or two of play, I racked up almost 8,000 gears, so you don’t have to grind too much to unlock cool additions.

The game is in early access, but the developers are committed to adding more content. The latest update adds a new purchasable kart model, six new tracks, more cosmetic options, and two Power Core capabilities. Global leaderboards, private lobbies and additional bonuses are expected to arrive in the future.

Can your PC run Turbo Golf Racing?

Given the fast-paced nature of the game, you’ll want to play on a PC that can handle the action while maintaining a stable frame rate. According to the system requirements listed on the Turbo Golf Racing Steam page, you need a PC that hosts at least an Intel i3-2100 processor, 4GB of RAM, 8GB of storage, and an Nvidia GeForce GTX 460 GPU.

These are by no means outrageous demands. On a gaming PC with an i7-9700f processor, 16GB of RAM, and an Nvidia GeForce RTX 2060 Super GPU, Turbo Golf Racing averaged 60fps without any noticeable issues. The game supports controllers and is listed as “playable” on Steam Deck.

PC Mag Logo Why should you play on PC

on the green

Turbo Golf Racing is a fun arcade-style sports game, but it’s hard to see its competitive edge in esports so early in its lifespan. There’s engaging, second-by-second play that involves maneuvering your ball and blocking attacks, but it goes by so quickly it’s hard to build momentum. The promise of new features and items over time gives us hope that these issues will be addressed by Hugecalf Studios as it continues to listen to player feedback.

For more PC game recommendations, take a look at our selection of the best PC games. If you want more reflex-based competitive games, check out The Best Esports Games. And for a rich discussion on video games, head over to PCMag’s Pop-Off YouTube channel.(Opens in a new window).

Turbo Golf Racing (for PC)

The essential

Turbo Golf Racing from Hugecalf Studios is an entertaining party game with cool art and fun bonuses, but its short matches and similarities to other kart racers might hamper its longevity.

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