The specific humor
What would you get if you'd make a game situated in an amusement park with a golfcourse as main focus, a guy that's obsessed with keeping his golf gear sparkling clean, two nerds and two punks? You'd get The Great Stroke-Off.
In this game, you play as Ned Flooblid, a sixteen-ish boy. Your parents gave you the choice: summer-school or having a summer job at your uncle Ernie's amusement park. So, you arrive at Stickz'n Ballz for another fun-filled day at work.
After reporting for work, you get a first, small job to do in order to prepare for the contest that'll take place later that day. The Great Stroke-Off is the contest for the golf course. Soon enough, you'll meet both teams that compete against each other: the nerds and the punks.
Here, one of the two most remarkable features of the game show. You have to choose sides, deciding the entire storyline and puzzles for the rest of the game from there on. Both sides're equally challenging and rewarding, and it ensures that, once you've finished the game, you'll quickly restart it to go for the other side, enjoying the same yet entirely different game once more.
The other of the two most remarkable features of this game is its unbelievable amount of jokes and puns, all on the same subject. None of them're even to be called subtle, yet it's never out of the golfing context. If I tell you the amusement park is called Stickz'n Ballz, it'll say enough 'bout what the jokes're about.
This game also features two small side-games inside the game: Redneck Duck Hunt and Drunken Violent Bums. Redneck Duck Hunt's a simple duckhunt game, where you have to shoot ducks to gain experience and shoot bullets that're flying around to gain more bullets. Run out of bullets and it's game over. Drunken Violent Bums's a very, very basic Mortal Kombat-style game, featuring two drunken, violent bums.
Graphics in these side-games're pretty good, but can't match with the graphics of the main game. The simply, colourful style is a pleasure to look at. Animations are expressive and smooth and the overal style reminds a bit of cartoons like Ren & Stimpy.
The music in this game's pretty loungey, even when it gets a bit rocky when you choose the punks' side. It's a nice addition to the gaming experience. Along with the music, the sound effects give the auditive part that extra edge.
Gameplay itself is the usual, intuitive point-and-click interface. One thing that's lacking, is the scroll-buttons for the inventory. They're there, but just aren't visible. Besides that, it's easy to use and self-explanatory.
Puzzles're challenging, but logical. You'll get more stuck on figuring out how to perform the solution you had in mind than to actually getting stuck on how to solve a certain problem. Not that you'd get stuck alot. Got to keep your mind to it and it'll be a pleasant challenge.
All in all, The Great Stroke-Off is a game that'll keep you laughing from the beginning to the end, then play it again, simply to have a good laugh again.
Review by: Kon-Tiki
Safe for ages: 15+