The cow ate my ball, and got blasted by aliens.
Beautifully animated scenery with a lot of attention to detail, and comedic situations. I can’t help but think of the cunning puzzles, and details in Windosill. Actually this could just as well have been a puzzle game given the presentation, and how the world functions. Instead it is a minigolf game, or rather adventure golf. I have played adventure golf in real life, and I have never seen any aliens blasting cows or birds pooping out my ball. In Wonderputt adventure golf meets art, weird causality and a presentation to die for.
The basic game of aiming, setting the power and striking the ball is really simple. Just touch the ball; hold and drag backwards and then let go to strike. The controls are surprisingly simple considering the overall game mechanic. Adventure golf is usually about a combination of skill, and luck. In Wonderputt you need some skill, some luck and a heap load of patience. The game doesn’t always behave like I want it to, and soon I started to see it as a puzzle game instead of a sports game. That helped a lot.
There is only one huge 18-hole course available in the game, and it is always in view. The game is actually just one scene, but it keeps changing when you go from hole to hole. There is one minor scene outside the main course, but that is rather just a zoomed in view of an object found in the course. Having everything in the same view means that everything is quite tiny. It also means that there is very little variation to what you have on the screen. At times it feels like playing a game from the map screen. Imagine playing Super Mario World from the map alone never venturing into the worlds.
Once the 18 holes are complete you are awarded with a score, and a truly polished game over screen with stats for the holes. After that first playthrough you get to try to fill a rainbow by picking up fragments on each hole. I found it really hard to complete the rainbow, as there is no way to stop a shot that goes into the hole. At times I wanted to take another shot when a fragment has been missed. Replaying the entire course for a couple of fragments lost on hole 15 is not my cup of tea. Overall this is a game with very little replay value. After completing the course twice in twenty minutes there is very little to go back to.
There is a reason to get Wonderputt though, and that is the gorgeous graphics and seamless transitions between holes. It is a great experience, and the first playthrough was a journey of amazement. Having the farmland transformed into a ski slope, or shooting the ball into a hidden Mayan skull are some examples of how the game surprises the player. Everything done with a great level of polish that looks so good on a retina screen. It doesn’t look shabby on the iPad 2 either, but some details are lost in the lower resolution.
Wonderputt is the best-looking adventure golf game ever, and could easily have been a contender to Windosill in the zany puzzle genre. Having only one course hurts the game, and now it feels almost like a tech demo. The holes are a bit hard to predict, and getting good scores are not that easy. Wonderputt is still recommended to those looking for something completely different in the miniature golf genre.
Wonderputt $0.99 iPad only
Seller: Damp Gnat Ltd.