I was first introduced to Golf? at the Independent Games Festival at GDC2005 in San Jose, and again later that year at the IndieGamesCon in Oregon. This game has since found a place in my mind as the ultimate holy grail of bizarre game art, sealed by the fact that it was never officially released.
Created by a joint effort from Detective Brand and Chronic Logic, Golf? is in fact a golf game that features a sort of macabre, misplaced, French art noir film-meets Alice in Wonderland art style. Artist Luke Hetherington stated in a 2006 interview with Gamasutra: “I just tried to think of what [Little Nemo illustrator] Windsor McCay would do if he had to make static objects you run around and stare at.” You play as robot with interchangeable contraptions for a head, cursed with a lazy, drunken caddy who is adorned with the image of Franklin D. Roosevelt. So much of this game makes no sense whatsoever that it’s surprising to find that it’s actually a simple, working golf game at its core.
At the time of this posting, Golf? in a beta form is still available from the Golf Question Mark website. Fire up Golf? for a great example of how fantastic and absurd gaming can really be.