We’ve had our hands on Mini Golf Wacky Worlds on multiple occasions, and each time with quite enjoyed ourselves. Here’s why.
Wacky Worlds is similar to many mini golf games out there, but it gains over them on one important factor: charm. This game is brimming with it. From the wonderfully vibrant and colorful worlds, to the fun character animations, Wacky Worlds is a great looking game that will impress you with some of it’s imaginative holes. Golf holes, of course.
There are 4 different worlds to choose from, each with it’s own theme. As the name implies, these are certainly wacky worlds! They are filled with weirdness and awesomeness, especially the Cheese (aka “on crack”) World. Unfortunately, each of the four courses is only 9 holes, meaning you only have the equivalent of two full 18 hole courses to choose from. Many of the holes you play have multiple ways to get to the flag, meaning you try something different the next time you play through that course. Some of the animations and side trails are pretty crazy, but for the most part, it’s fairly easy to at least par each hole. There are a few that are quite challenging though.
The controls work well, and make use of a pretty standard “tap and drag” method of aiming, setting the power of the shot, and then shooting. Nothing crazy here. A nice feature is the ability to scrub through the opening animation for each hole, which shows the path to the flag from the tee off. I still wish there was a simpler way to see the path, like a top-down view, but the intro animation works well enough to show you what you’re up against. You can also zoom the camera out pretty far over your head to get an idea of where to aim.
There are two other modes of play along with standard golf. “Gopher Golf” is a mode where gophers pop up on the course, and you get bonus points for hitting them as you complete the hole. This seems to mainly be a mode to used to gain extra points to spend in the pro shop, as the gophers don’t have an effect on the
gameplay. There is also a timed mode, which I enjoyed a lot. Rather than counting strokes, you have to play the entire course within a certain time. The first hole gives you one minute, and based on how quickly you complete it, you gain bonus time. So with each consecutive hole, you are (hopefully) gaining more time. This was pretty intense, and I ended up making a lot more mistakes than I meant to. Luckily it’s not a big deal how many strokes you use as long as you have saved up enough time.
As I mentioned above, there is a “pro shop” in Wacky Worlds that lets you unlock new characters, clubs, and accessories for your in-game attire. It doesn’t appear there are any stat bonuses associated with characters or accessories (I found the cute redhead you start out with to be quite sufficient), but the clubs make a big impact on gameplay. Some of them allow you to use after-touch to steer the ball by tilting the iPhone after you swing. Others let you “pop” the ball into the air with a button at your command.
There are also a slough of achievements in the game. The different clubs can assist in gaining some of these a bit easier than without them. I was able to use the after-touch club to get a hole-in-one at one point. Yeah yeah, I know it’s not a “real” hole in one… but I sure felt special! Oftentimes the after-touch club will screw up
your shot because you end up overcompensating. Use wisely.
Although the main golf game is a pretty short experience, 2-3 hours tops, there is certainly a lot more offered to keep you playing a bit longer. Since the game gives you all the achievements up front, you will be able to play to unlock them. Also, since there is more than one way to navigate many of the holes, you’ll be able to experience something different the next time you play through the courses again.
The game is not without flaw, as the frame rate can come under fire due to the richness of the graphics and amount of animations taking place at the same time (using iPhone 3G). It doesn’t effect gameplay at all, but you will notice some choppiness with character animations and camera movement from time to time. The sound is also highly compressed, and is teetering on the edge of being staticy at times. I’m also disappointed that there is no multiplayer to speak of, as that would have really rounded out what would be a solid package. Still, there’s a lot to love about this quirky and creative little golf game!
Presentation & Graphics
Beautiful and creative worlds that practically pop out of your screen. Fun animations for characters and obstacles. Some frame rate issues during animations.
Music is good, and fits each world well. Very high sound compression lowers quality a lot, and it feels like it’s on the edge being staticy at times. Some overuse of just a few sound effects in certain cases.
Very easy to control and play, and more importantly, a lot of fun! Creative courses really keep the game interesting and entertaining. The pro shop, achievements, and trick clubs add a nice element to assisting your game. Occasionally aiming wigs out a bit, but can be brought back easily to center on your target.
It’s too bad there are only 36 holes total for the game. I was hoping to unlock a secret 5th course at the end. There is certainly enough to keep you playing for a while after finishing all courses in normal golf mode, but not a lot. Good number of achievements, and timed golf mode is good fun, although it may be too easy for someone who breezed through the regular mode. There really needs to be some multiplayer in a game like this.
Game Rating – Editor’s Choice
To date, Mini Golf Wacky Worlds is the most fun I’ve had playing a golf game on the iPhone. Sure, there are some frame rate and sound issues to iron out, but you probably won’t notice much, because the game is so pretty to look at. If you’re not into unlocking everything, and tackling achievements, you’ll get a few hours of gameplay to unlock all 4 worlds, and maybe a few more to beat the time challenges. Even without multiplayer, Mini Golf Wacky Worlds is well worth it’s $2.99 price tag.