From Zen Studios, comes Planet Minigolf – a game dedicated to that lesser golf game, mini golf. Armed with only a putter and placed on some seriously spectacular fantasy courses, Planet Minigolf takes you deep into the fun and frustration that the real game provides.
The art style reminds you immediately of arcade golf titles like Everybody’s Golf (Hot Shots Golf). Suitably so, as you quickly find yourself putting on a fantasy castle, a pirate ship or an arctic station. Realism is definitely not the key here and this is a point further exaggerated when you start hitting your ball into powerups which have all sorts of crazy, wacky and beneficial effects to your shots.
A hole magnet ‘sucks’ your ball in should you come up just short. A lead weight powerup ensures your ball stays low to the ground should you be trying to avoid an air hazard.
The trick shot system awards you for clever shots like long putts, holes in one and you can also activate a one-time “skill shot” if you’re preempting a really slick shot – and doing so awards you extra points.
Where Planet Minigolf falls over a little is the controls. There are three different control schemes to choose from; Easy, 3-Click, and Direct. Unfortunately none of them offer a really sure-fire way of getting your ball accurately to the hole.
In arcade golf titles like Everybody’s Golf, there’s always a distance indicator or at least a rough visual guestimate of where your ball is going to end up. With Planet Minigolf though, its all about learning the courses and learning by sheer, painful error. So early attempts at new courses can be met with frustrating out of bounds shots.
While the camera is generally helpful, there are also odd occasions where you find your ball wedged between two solid surfaces which gives the camera something to think about.
Each of the 9 hole courses are brilliantly detailed and colorful. There’s plenty of variation in regions. Shots will take you over insane drops and through a mess of cluttered holes, but it’s all in great fun.
There’s a solid online multiplayer element to it, including weekly tournaments and a live news ticker that updates the leaderboards, as well as local competitive play. Additionally, you have a powerful custom course editor (start thinking ModNation Racers meets Golf) where you can build, play and share your course creations online.
Planet Minigolf is a fun, colorful foray into mini golf. It’s easy to pick up and play for a few minutes or a few hours. There’s a bit of a learning curve with the uninformative shot controls, but once you’ve found a setup you like and have adjusted to the power required, it’s a title that you’ll most likely enjoy.