Pocket Mini Golf
Played on: Nintendo Switch, via eshop
A reasonable game of mini golf somewhat spoiled by unorthodox progression.
Pocket Mini Golf is neither a cryptic title, nor a particularly original game, so it’s likely the game is more or less exactly what you’re expecting. However, there are a couple of significant features which add something extra, and the result is a fairly decent, albeit short, game.
The aim is to complete all 50 holes, each of which is always par 3. You can collect stars — strategically placed on each hole — as you go to earn the right to skip a hole or to continue after game over. Every now and again, a bonus hole — with the exact same layout — pops up, giving you a very easy way of picking up lots of stars at once.
The main control involves simply positioning a virtual ‘club’ somewhere behind the ball, then whacking it — hey, that’s golf in a nutshell, right? There’s no real nuance such as skill driving power, or different clubs, but this is mini golf after all. There’s a strange curved trajectory which appears if you’re too close to the ball and I couldn’t really figure out its point.
There’s also a multiplayer option, which is simply two people playing essentially the same game in split-screen — no stars here, though. The game features a handful of options such as a top-down view and the ability to (somewhat) rotate the camera in the default 3d view. Some of the obstacles are a bit confusing, and there’s no explanation of any of this in the game itself.
Some of the physics seemed a bit off — in particular, one shot I hit which rebounded off a wall behaved in a completely contradictory way to what I’d expect. My main complaint is the way the game requires you to play all 50 holes right from the beginning each time — those initial holes get mighty boring after a while. I appreciate the game’s trying to make mini golf even more of an arcade-like experience, but I think the ability to just play through a set of holes and get an overall score would’ve been better.