There are few video game releases on the horizon that have me as excited as Mario Golf: Super Rush. Helmed by Camelot Software Planning—the team behind 2018’s stellar Mario Tennis Aces—I was already on board with the promise of over-the-top arcade golf action, but a deeper dive into the title provided last week from our friends at Nintendo of America has me positively buzzing!
At the heart of any Mario sports franchise is a cast of familiar friends and foes exercising their unique strengths and personalities on a novel field of battle, and Super Rush is no exception. You’ll find 16 playable Mushroom Kingdom characters—including newcomers Pauline, Chargin’ Chuck, and King Bob-omb—ready to take it to the links across a half-dozen special courses, from the (fairly) straightforward to the utterly fantastical.
Decked out in their finest golf attire, these characters each have a preferred stat to match their varying playstyles, with DK, unsurprisingly, being a power player, and Bowser Jr. focusing more on spin to fine-tune his landings. Regardless of who holds the club, you’re easily able to get a feel for distance, wind speed, and the curves of the course via onscreen indicators, and a big, beautiful vertical gauge helps you line up that perfect shot.
In addition to the traditional button interface, Mario Golf: Super Rush supports intuitive motion controls using the Switch Joy-Cons across all modes. And series newcomers and golf neophytes alike will be pleased to find that gameplay and lingo guides are always only a button-press away.
Gather coins to fill your energy gauge, and unleash all manner of outlandish special shots—a Mario Golf staple that’s often imitated but seldom duplicated. On its own, this is the kind of mechanic that’s sure to please the most sports-averse gamer, but there’s much, much more to be found in Super Rush.
You can choose from 3, 6, 9, or 18-hole games in the title’s Standard Golf mode with up to four players. In addition to variably skilled NPCs and online play to fill out your party, Mario Golf: Super Rush also ably supports that old family favorite, couch co-op. You can even take the family Switch online with two in-house players using the same system.
Much has already been made about the game’s Speed Golf mode, a manic affair where golfers compete to finish a hole first, but there’s more to earning the best time than just mindlessly swinging your club. Each stroke adds to your overall shot time, so players have to weigh the option of carefully lining up drives versus expediently racing through play. Add to this a dash mechanic—wherein characters can increase run speed by burning stamina—alongside the series’ classic special shots, and things get crazier.
For me, though, the big draw for Super Rush is the return of the RPG-lite Adventure Mode. This story sees your fresh-faced Mii (alongside fellow newbies Toadette, Chuck, and Boo) learning the ropes from the Mushroom Kingdom’s foremost golfers. Along the way, you’ll earn experience, level up, and unlock more clubs and gear all while learning the game’s basics. There are even boss fights to cap off each phase of your journey!
Your leveled-up Mii can also be used in the game’s other play modes, adding yet another layer of personalization to the game’s already ample helping of arcade sports goodness. In fact, my only lingering complaint is that we have to wait until June 25th to get our collective hands on Mario Golf: Super Rush. But, with pre-orders available for both the physical and digital versions, there’s nothing to stop you from picking it up for your Switch-loving dad as a slightly delayed Father’s Day gift.
Access to this by-invitation-only Mario Golf: Super Rush presentation was provided by Nintendo of America. This post contains affiliate links. It’s all about the backspin.