Infinite Minigolf Review
Infinite Minigolf is, as the name implies, a Minigolf game that could potentially go on forever. One of the big selling points of the game is that it includes a course builder, which allows you to share your created courses online. Is this course building any good though? Moreso, is the resulting gameplay a good experience? Let’s find out, using our unique value-based review system. A video version of this article is also available to you right here if you prefer viewing over reading.
About the game
Why should you play Minigolf? Good question, as Minigolf as a videogame seems to be a bit less flashy than other available titles. The game is quite relaxing, as you simply have to aim and power your shot correctly to win here. As the objects in the game have physics calculations attached to them, it is your thinking skills that are being tested here. However, there are some power-ups present in the game that can spice things up a little and could push you into trying a minigolf video game.
There is a complete lack of story in Infinite Minigolf. The game is 100% gameplay with a little character customization thrown in. A little is definitely an understatement, as the character customization aspect is quite well developed; you have the ability to change many individual clothing parts and your hair and hair color amongst other things.
There is one little thing to mention here though. The game allows you to randomly create your character with your unlocked customization options. However, that randomly chosen character is saved immediately without a way to undo. All in all, the good character customization is already a great start for the colorful atmosphere of the game.
Everything is very well designed; 3D models and textures are very clean and give off an extremely polished vibe. This translates well into the levels, as they are filled with small details that feel like they belong to the right place. Nice background soundtracks along with modern and fitting sound effects further add to the polish of the game. The great physics based simulation of the golf ball and other objects prove that the game belongs in 2017.
The basic gameplay is placing the ball down, aiming the shot angle and then powering the shot. An interesting change in this game to previous golf games is that the strength of the shot is dependant on how far you are pushing the right analogue stick rather than holding the A button for a set amount of time. Releasing the thumbstick suddenly will shoot the ball, but changing its position slowly allows you to finetune the strength of the shot. These basic controls work well and are intuitive. There are however a few things to critize about them.
When playing Minigolf in real life, you can oftentimes attempt to judge the correct angle to get past an obstacle or a corner by standing directly on top of the area. This improvised bird’s eye view gives you a much easier perspective to judge shot angles. While you are able to tilt the view quite far and also get an overview of the current course in the game, the true bird’s eye perspective of the course is missing and would have been a great addition.
The next point of criticism has more to do with the way the game plays in Handheld Mode of the Nintendo Switch rather than of the game itself. It can be quite uncomfortable to charge your shots in this configuration, as the distance the JoyCon thumbstick can move is quite small, making precision charging tricky, in addition to the position also being quite uncomfortable for your hands. This can be alleviated somewhat by swapping to a control scheme that swaps the function of the left and right thumbstick. An option to charge the shot by holding down A for a set amount of time could be a worthwhile addition here.
Onwards to the courses, which give you a really great variety due to each one presenting you a unique challenge. The courses are fully 3 dimensional and are filled with ramps, props and other dynamic elements like pipes. Even boost pads and magnetic fields can be present on a level. The goal in golf is to hit the ball into the hole marked by the flagpole in as little shots as possible. You might want to try and collect some of the gems on the map instead though to bolster up your score. The basic map elements are decent enough to provide interesting levels, but the real fun starts with the power ups.
You can collect those by shooting the golf ball through them. There is quite a few of them and they have some interesting effects that you can unleash by pressing the A button. The most basic one is the rocket, which simply gives you a huge speed boost in the direction the ball is currently rolling. Then there are some really interesting ones like a jump or an ability to fly for a short duration. These open up endless possibilities for really interesting challenges created by the users.
A point to mention here is that the collection of a power-up can be necessary for the completion of a level. However, if you shoot the ball out of bounds you will return to the position that you just took the shot from with that power-up missing. This means, if you picked it up the shot before, you could be stuck at a position where it is hard to efficiently regain the power-up. We believe that the game should also give you your power-up back, if you happen to go off course.
The game offers a total of 108 courses built-in, spanned over three different worlds, which contain four tournaments each. In a tournament, you face off against other players or bots to perform the best over nine different courses. Winning a tournament can give you some nice loot, which contains tickets and coins that you can trade in for further customization options.
Overall, the game has a nice progression and reward system. The game constantly gives you little missions, like punting a ball for a set distance before getting it into the hole. Their completion nets you coins and tickets and makes you feel rewarded for simply playing a couple of rounds of golf.
As the game prides itself on having “infinite” content, it has to contain a level creator. This one is quite fleshed out and offers you all you need to make your own courses. It takes a little getting used to, but it is quite logical from then on out. Making good levels requires a lot of thought, but if you are of the creative kind and liked building stuff in Minecraft and Super Mario Maker, you could find some great enjoyment here. The physics based nature of the game also allows you to use its elements in rather unintended ways, if you find a way how. After you are done creating a course, you can upload it and then have other people playing it, when they choose either quickplay, multiplayer or the level browser.
The only criticism we have for the user created content here is that you are unable to play them when you are offline, which is something that Nintendo Switch users probably care about the most. Unfortunately, you are unable to save courses made by other people locally, which is a shame if your use case is playing games without an online connection. This definitely hurts the value of the game and an option to store some courses locally would already alleviate all the issues here.
Nintendo Switch version
Concerning the Switch version of the game, it runs stable with 30fps at what seems to be 720p in undocked and 1080p in docked configurations. The game looks great and the loading times are short and with the polish the game has, we can confirm it to be a very decent port. One thing we felt was missing though, is that the game lacks support for usage of a single JoyCon.
While the game needs both thumbsticks for all the necessary inputs, the developers could have either utilized gyro controls or a button modifier to enable the use of a single JoyCon. After all, the Shoulder buttons are currently unused during gameplay. This is a very minor issue though, as local multiplayer can be played by passing the controller around.
As Red Value Gaming, we try to review games a bit differently to others, by giving a second review score in form of a monetary value. With this value, we try to give you an objective measure of the content of the game, which is evaluated seperately from the review score we give to the game.
Infinite Minigolf comes with 108 courses out of the box with a lot more of them available online through the virtue of user-generated content. The game features great character customization, a decent course creator and some nice stylized visuals, which overall add to a really good atmosphere for the game. It is definitely worth its price if you will be golfing with a constant internet connection. We are deducting a small amount from the value of the game though, as it really lacks the ability to call itself infinite if you are offline. The total value we give to the game is therefore $13.
Infinite Minigolf offers a relaxing experience and sheer endless golfing content, due to community created levels. If you are up for this then the game is totally for you. Overall, despite a couple of issues, the game does its job really well and shows a lot of polish. The implementation of power-ups really spices up the golfing and taking all this in, we give the game a score of 78, even though there is very little water in the game.
(out of 100)
Infinite Minigolf offers a relaxing experience and sheer endless golfing content, due to community created levels. The implementation of power-ups really spices up the golfing and is especially well-done. Overall, despite a couple of issues, the game does its job really well and shows a lot of polish.
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