“Golf is so popular simply because it is the best game in the world at which to be bad.” – AA Milne
Mage Drops combines elements of traditional golf and minigolf with puzzle platforming and a twist of fantasy and enchantment! Putting a fun twist on the basic premise of golf with an interactive game environment, magical abilities and a variety of worlds to explore.
Developer: Orchid of Redemption
Released: 20th March 2021 (early access)
Platforms: Windows, Mac, Linux
Available on: Steam
Mage Drops is much like a game of golf in that player’s primary move is to putt a ball and it uses traditional strokes/pat scoring. However, the game also factors timing into the final score and includes abilities such as braking and reducing drag and adds puzzle-platformer mechanics to the mix making for an interesting game concept.
There will be eight unique courses in the finished game, each with a number of holes that will be scored gold, silver or bronze. They are filled with a variety of platforms and obstacles from clouds and flowers to mechanically moving platforms and bouncy bubbles, some environmental elements can even be interacted with such as platforms that can be used like pinball paddles. These must all be overcome in order to reach the end goal within the time limit, bearing in mind that certain collisions will cause a loss of health and dying will restart that hole.
There are also a number of water droplets that can be collected throughout each course, these are often very tricky to get to and reaching the last two courses will require players to collect a significant number of them.
The developers describe Mage Drops as accessible and simple enough for beginners and while the premise and mechanics are easy enough to understand the game starts getting challenging almost as soon as the tutorial (qualifier) is completed. The game’s multiple components, along with the scoring system, could easily lend themselves to a game where each level can be completed relatively easily, but medals, timers and collectables provide a challenge for more competitive players. However, this is not the case at all and the whole game is really quite difficult!
Narrative and Styling
Mage Drops utilises simple shapes and models to create a variety of 2.5D environments including forest, aqua, caves and celestial golf courses. While there is nothing exceptional about the visuals, they are vibrant and clean making the courses easier to navigate. The individual visual elements are unremarkable but they are combined to create an eclectic mix of playing environments. The audio features ambient nature sound effects and relaxing background music in the form of ethereal drones that help bring the courses to life.
There is little to no narrative aspect to Mage Drops but it has prominent themes of nature and magic that give it a bit of a distinct feel.
Mage Drop uses its simple styling and serene audio to give an almost relaxing feel to a pretty tough game. It is an interesting mix of golf and platformer mechanics with a magical mix of obstacles that are ultimately satisfying to overcome. It provides players with a number of ways to challenge themselves but its difficulty is understated and speed and precision will be required to progress in the game and reach the final courses. Whilst I personally struggled to get very far, this could be a winner for skilful fans of precision-platformers or anyone who likes to really test themself!
For more golf based antics, why not check out:
Golf Peaks Review: Cards-and-Ball!