After a lot of disappointing efforts, I’ve finally found a good iPhone mini golf game with Glu Mobile's Mini Golf Wacky Worlds [$2.99], a fantasy golf game that delivers some creatively designed golf courses that are as fun as they are challenging.
The first thing that strikes you is the 3D visuals and the bright colors. Mini Golf Wacky Worlds seems to exude the idea of fun, which is essential to a game like this. The 3D animation tends to be smooth, although I did have an occasional lag here and there on my iPod Touch 2G 3.0.
The game offers 4 courses—Tiki Links, Sky Lands, Arctic Nine, and Cheese World—with Tiki Links being the only unlocked course to start. There are also three game modes: Tee Off!, Timed Golf and Gopher Golf, each has different rules and add a bit of variety that should keep you engaged for quite a while. Keep in mind, however, that only when a course is completed on or under par in Tee Off! mode will the remaining courses be unlocked for the other game modes.
The game also has an achievement system and a Pro Shop for buying items and even characters. The four characters that you choose to play as are extremely different from each other and need to be unlocked based on points accumulated.
Besides these characters, additional items can be purchased to customize characters. While clothes and accessories don’t do much to improve your game, the putters can ratchet up swing control and power. I would’ve preferred more items that actually improve the golf game, but then again we are talking about mini golf.
A 9-hole golf game can be played under Tee Off! mode where the objective is to complete each hole on par with extra points are earned for each hole completed under par. In Timed Golf, the objective is to beat the clock with no par for each hole. You can whack away as many times as many times as you want. You start off with 1 minute on the clock on the first hole with more time added based on how quickly the previous hole was completed. Finally, the objective in Gopher Golf is to play a 9-hole round while avoiding gophers that pop up and steal the ball. Points can also be earned for hitting a gopher hard enough with a ball.
The game's controls are intuitive and relatively easy to learn and use. A slider is provided along the right of the side of the screen that controls power, and a single-tap put button is located below that. To shift a golfer left or right, a simple drag of the finger in the appropriate direction will do the job. During the game, you can also angle the ball by dragging your finger with the help of an on-screen guide line showing the direction of your swing. Four different camera angles are also available by tapping the camera icon in the bottom left corner. The camera angles, however, are on the weak side as they only provide an overhead view and tend to just zoom out farther and farther which doesn't usually help.
The gameplay of Mini Golf Wacky Worlds is fun and entertaining. There is a 2-3 second load time in between holes which isn’t long but worth mentioning. At the beginning of each hole, an aerial walkthrough is provided to show the length of the course and the obstacles. As in real mini golf, the objective is not to hit the longest ball, but the smartest one based on the layout. Most will require angling the ball accordingly. There are plenty of slides, slopes, bridges, and even liquid hazards (e.g. lava, fire, water, ice) to keep you busy, and in all cases, you need to be wary of knocking the ball out of bounds.
Ball physics are realistic in terms of bounces and rolls, but of course, the game is intended to provide an arcade experience and not a simulation. What the game doesn’t offer or have is a game mode to play against the CPU or another human player which would add considerably to the replay value.
Mini Golf Wacky Worlds is one of the most fun mini golf games you’ll find on the platform. While a computer/2-player mode and additional Pro Shop items would be welcome, Mini Golf Wacky Worlds in this current release is an entertaining game that many should enjoy.
App Store Link: Mini Golf Wacky Worlds, $2.99