Mixed or average reviews - based on 13 Critic Reviews

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 1 out of 13
  2. Negative: 4 out of 13
  1. Dec 29, 2022
    Sports Story follows the lead of Golf Story, keeping the same protagonist and some characters from the nice cast of its predecessor, and improving many elements of its formula. Bugs and glitches of the launch version notwithstanding, Sports Story grants a lot of fun and keeps the players’ attention high, thanks to a humour capable of hitting the mark in the context of surreal situations to be solved with a sporty approach. The art style is great, with a well designed pixel art.
  2. Jan 9, 2023
    There’s enough here for me to offer a cautious recommendation for those willing to forgive its flaws, perhaps with the caveat that it may be worth waiting for one more patch to iron out the last of the kinks.
  3. Jan 16, 2023
    Even if Sports Story was polished and bug-free, it would still fall strikingly short of the first title in the series. The new sports don’t play well, the fetch quests are tiresome, and the story is tedious and less charming than that of Golf Story. What remains of the retro golf experience is fun, but the whole game feels like a textbook example of being unable to deliver on lofty ambitions.
  4. Jan 16, 2023
    Sports Story doesn’t hit the heights of its predecessor, overstuffed with new ideas and sports that probably should have been left on the cutting-room floor. There’s still plenty here to enjoy, both golf and tennis fans will find something to like and fans of the original likewise, but the trophy could have used a polish.
  5. Jan 12, 2023
    Technical wobbliness doesn’t always denote a bad game. The sheer charm of the writing, delightful golfing and the warmth of the world compensate for the rough edges. It’s a generously big game, too – imperfect, but special nonetheless.
  6. Jan 3, 2023
    Sports Story pales in comparison to its predecessor. The plot fails to capture the whimsy which engulfs the original. While I understand Sidebar Games’ decision to go large with its narrative, in doing so, it removes the simplicity which makes Golf Story so unforgettable. Although it expands its gameplay with a number of new sporting activities, the success of these varies. Combining this with the volume of performance issues and bugs means this swing is a whiff rather than a hit.
  7. Dec 30, 2022
    Compared to the unexpected highlight that was Golf Story, Sports Story is damningly mediocre. Although the writing is as good as ever and the visuals have received a nice upgrade, the performance issues, tedious fetch quests, and occasionally confusing gameplay all hold this one back quite a bit. Despite its shortcomings, there’s certainly still an enjoyable game on offer here, but you’ll have to decide for yourself whether it’s worth the negatives, especially given that the Switch eShop is lousy with great games these days. If you loved the original, you'll likely find Sports Story to be a fun-enough follow-up, but there’s no denying that it feels like quite a letdown after years of waiting. Assuming Sidebar can sort out the worst of the technical issues, we’d give Sports Story a light recommendation to anyone looking for a quirky take on a sports RPG, but this one doesn’t deserve a spot at the top of your list.
  8. Jan 8, 2023
    There are times when Sports Story can be fun. The script can be quite humorous. The sprite work is fantastic. The concept is generally sound. Golf Story, only more seems like a winning prospect. It’s that being overambitious undid any goodwill here. I wouldn’t be surprised too if there’s an element of it all being rushed, with the proper amount of time not being dedicated to eliminate issues and more cohesively tie everything together. With patches, there could be something here! While it wouldn’t hit the heights of Golf Story, I think Sports Story could still eventually be an enjoyable game. It will just take two or more months for that to happen.
  9. Jan 6, 2023
    It was always going to be tough to follow-up Golf Story in an interesting manner, and one certainly can’t say there was a lack of ambition in what Sidebar Games was trying to achieve in Sports Story. However, fulfilling that ambition is another matter entirely, and ultimately the game leaves a sense of what could have been. Sports Story still has its moments and those who enjoyed Golf Story will be able to find some enjoyment at least. The game ultimately overshoots the green, but hopefully useful lessons will be learned in time for the next approach.
  10. Jan 10, 2023
    Every so often, a hint of something special glints through in Sports Story's bloated design. A joke or two manages to hit the mark and make me smile, for instance, or a surge of triumph flows through me after a dash of inspiration forms the basis of a strategy that turns a seemingly impossible shot into something possible. But these moments are too rare to adequately alleviate the game's numerous shortcomings, all of which are exasperated by regular technical issues. Golf Story deserved a better sequel than this.
  11. Jan 9, 2023
    Sequels that don’t quite match the lightning-in-a-bottle status of its originator are nothing new. But it’s telling when a game like Sports Story regresses so much that the follow-up to one of 2017’s most charming and delightful little adventures is as miserable and misguided a release as it is. A game far too broad and all-encompassing for its own good, lumped into a progression that lacks cohesion, explanation and even the most basic of design principles. Resulting in an experience, though briefly entertaining by way of some pleasant distractions and spots of similarly-charming writing, technically and mechanically incompetent. How Sidebar Games could put out a game of this quality is puzzling and depressing on top, given how much genuine enjoyment was felt in the 2017 original. But Sports Story is a pale and poorly-constructed excuse of a sequel proving above all else that ambition and scale doesn’t always end well.
  12. Jan 3, 2023
    Sports Story is a huge disappointment, with a ton of technical issues, a lack of tutorials and unenjoyable new sports making it one to avoid.
  13. Jan 24, 2023
    Sports Story is essentially unplayable in its current form, with issues such as softlocking, out-of-bounds areas, and perpetual crashing. Outside of the technical issues, much of the mechanics and story feel disappointing too, with the tongue-in-cheek humour still present but struggling to breathe among the various issues. The disappointment is real with this one.
User Score

Generally unfavorable reviews- based on 40 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 2 out of 40
  2. Negative: 35 out of 40
  1. Dec 25, 2022
    I’m disappointed to have to write this review, as I really enjoyed Golf Story and dropped what I was playing to buy this literally the secondI’m disappointed to have to write this review, as I really enjoyed Golf Story and dropped what I was playing to buy this literally the second I found out that it had been released. However, Sports Story should have been named “Following Directions Story” - there’s hardly any gameplay to be found, with a majority of your time spent running from Point A to Point B and back to Point A, perhaps with an over-long scene of dialogue somewhere in between. When there ARE sports segments the gameplay mechanics are extremely shallow, inconsistent, and very poorly explained, almost like you’re playing an NES game (from which the game draws its gameplay mechanics heavily; golf and tennis are, well, Golf and Tennis, BMX is Excitebike, etc.) All of this would be damning on its own, but the game released with a wide array of glitches and frame rate issues - this would be concerning for, say, a smushed down AAA port from the PS4, but when you’re talking about a pixel-art game that theoretically should be optimized for the Switch considering its exclusive launch, it becomes inexcusable. I have a sense that there are scope creep issues here (the devs are on record as saying the project got more ambitious than originally intended), but the many game-crashing bugs makes it feel like it was simultaneously a rush job, which makes Sports Story a glitchy mess that probably isn’t worth gritting your teeth through unless you REEEEEEEEEEALLY liked Golf Story, especially its sense of humor since in Sports Story you’ll be doing a LOT of reading. I’m willing to revisit my score if the devs really take a look at not just fixing the game’s technical and mechanical issues but looking at quality of life improvements as well, particularly when it comes to speeding up the game’s pace - until then though, it’s disappointingly hard to recommend this game. Full Review »
  2. Dec 26, 2022
    Writing this review to protect consumers. This game was rushed in time for Christmas 2022 and, in it's current state, is broken. NumerousWriting this review to protect consumers. This game was rushed in time for Christmas 2022 and, in it's current state, is broken. Numerous game-freezing bugs and crippling framerate stutters.

    As for the content: The best part is the golf, but that's just copied and pasted code from the original game. The new sports and minigames are poorly implemented. Frivolous fetch quests make up the majority of your time. The story is weak. The dialogue is witty, but text scrolling is painfully slow with no option to speed it up. It's also missing critical game elements like tutorials, tooltips, settings, and autosaves.

    Golf Story was amazing. This sequel has been 4 years in the making, which is stunning considering the quality of what's been delivered.

    Honestly, instead of patching the bugs they should redo the game from scratch. For now I feel ripped off for an unfinished game.
    Full Review »
  3. Dec 26, 2022
    This game is unfinished and is an incredible disappointment for someone who really enjoyed Golf Story. It is fundamentally broken. I playedThis game is unfinished and is an incredible disappointment for someone who really enjoyed Golf Story. It is fundamentally broken. I played for about an hour and a half and lost *all* of my progress after my game soft locked trying to get bees into a bee hive. Be warned that the game doesn’t AutoSave. From the time that I played, the performance has been disappointingly bad, often dipping well below 30fps. The pixel art aesthetic is charming but I can’t even begin to fathom why a game that looks like this performs so poorly. I really hope in a year or two they can fix up this mess, but it should never have been released in this state in the first place. Avoid my mistake and wait until they’ve patched it up a bit before giving your hard earned cash for an unfinished product. Full Review »