What, exactly, is the weird being known as Rayman? (And no, he's not the autistic character played by Dustin Hoffman.)
Rayman has a strange physique, that's for sure, which marries a dog with a duck, with an added hint of urban chav. But the most disturbing thing isn't that his two eyes are joined as one, or that his ears are actually his hair, but rather that none of his limbs are attached to his body in any way, other than with recourse to his 'special' powers.
It's enough to give a small child nightmares. And to top it all, Rayman now somehow has to swing a club without any shoulders – he's taken up golf.
Given our focus on his surreal physical prowess, you mightn't think Rayman Golf would be a spectacle for the faint-hearted. But in fact it's a cutesy, childlike game of neither epic or miniscule proportions, but rather a decidedly middle-of-the-fairway nature.
All the basics of the fine art of golf are in place, with a choice of over a dozen clubs and power and hook/slice meters that dictate whether you win or lose. There are 18 holes to play, too. Admittedly, most of which have vast untamed rivers running through them. But the central theme of hitting the holes and avoiding the rough, the bunkers, and the free-flowing expanses of water, are all faithful to the traditional game.
Selecting clubs, aiming and then hitting your ball all use a simple routine, which has scope for precisely nailing your shot or sailing it into the depths of the aforementioned wet stuff. Younger players may struggle to grasp the concept of timing the various bars and arrows involved, and even those in the last throws of adulthood may find timing their shots difficult. But it isn't complicated, it's just fiddly and not entirely based on skill. (Shots of a flukey nature often provide better results than scientifically-planned pin-point strikes.)
If you were going to enter Rayman Golf into a beauty pageant, you wouldn't expect to win any rosettes for your trouble. While it's not scary enough to win a gurning contest, the simple overhead design can't be accused of being overly-pretty, but at least it's not overly-complicated or confusing either.
The sound, meanwhile, has a hint of desperation, consisting of random beeps and whooshes. These don't add or detract in any way, they just seem to exist for the sake of it, without making a bid for any Brit awards in the process.
But the sound and vision in Rayman Golf is functional, and, as long as you're prepared to put up with a starring character that brings a whole new meaning to making your head spin, you won't be too put out.
In conclusion, Rayman Golf is a straightforward game that's easy to pick up, even with the occasionally frustrating nature of timing your shots. Die-hard golfing fans may not appreciate watching their ball stop dead as it hits the ground and, as the ripples of discontent work their way through the straight-trouser brigade, Rayman Golf will never stand being compared head-to-head with, say, Tiger Woods PGA Tour.
But while this isn't a classic by any stretch of the imagination, there is a surprisingly innocent charm that younger gamers may find appealing. If you like your golf simple and without any hint of pretentiousness, Rayman Golf is well worth a shot.