Traditional golf video games rush players from hole to hole, giving them little time to take in the scenery. With free-roaming online courses packed with places to run, drive carts, swim and fish, PS4 exclusive Everybody's Golf is definitely not a traditional golf game.
While normal single and multiplayer tournaments ferry players between holes to keep the game on track, Everybody's Golf's Turf War and Open Course modes give players the freedom to explore the game's courses as they see fit.
The more focused mode, Turf War separates players into teams and sets them loose on a course, tasking them with completing as many holes of golf as they can within the time limit.
When the time is up, the team that's taken the most holes wins.
Open Course is where the real fun begins. This online mode transforms each available course (or half course, as each nine holes are their own thing) into a virtual playground, where golf is just one of several ways to pass the time.
Players are free to explore to their hearts' content. Initially this means running about, hopping over fences and scouring the grounds for hidden gems, coins and other items.
The action speeds up quite a bit once golf carts are unlocked, though getting there takes time and skill. In order to ride, a player must defeat the third "versus character" of rank two, which involves several hours of play.
Once unlocked, players can press a button to spawn a cart in their home area or in an online course. The default cart has two speeds, fast and why bother?
I suppose slowing down might have helped here. Oh well.
Players can also purchase special carts via the game's online store, with prices ranging between three and five dollars.
Another way to get around the open courses is swimming, an ability that is unlocked by defeating one of the game's secret versus characters.
Once unlocked, swimming allows golfers to wander the waters of Everybody's Golf, a boon for courses like Kanaloa Beach, where just about everything that's not sand is liquid.
The ultimate distraction from whatever it was this game was all about is fishing. Fishing unlocks after defeating the kindly old man who serves as the second versus character of rank four. Getting to him takes approximately all the hours.
Once unlocked, fishing opens up special places in the home area and online courses where players can rent a rod and bait (using in-game coins) and spend a relaxing several minutes partaking in another sport involving swinging a skinny stick about.
It's a pretty basic system. Press X to cast, press X when a fish bites, mash X to reel the fish in without overloading the tension meter and snapping the line.
It's engaging, possibly even relaxing, and there's just something strange and wonderful about sitting in the middle of a golf game trying to catch trout.
Check out the video below for an overview of the best non-golfing bits of Everybody's Golf.