Touch Mini Golf 3DS eShop Review

Double Bogey

For about the cost of one round of real-life mini golf, Touch Mini Golf offers players over 1,000 holes to play!  Although Teyon packed a wealth of content in this five dollar 3DS eShop download, players will probably only play through a course of two due to frustrating controls and a totally pointless customization gameplay mechanic.

Mini Golf Resort 1

The compass on the touch screen guides you to shame and despair

As the name implies, the entire game is played by using the stylus on the touch screen.  But before you can start beating par, the player is required to make an avatar which is basically like making a distorted Mii with a Ren & Stimpy art style.  The strangest part, however, is how much emphasis the game puts on these made-up caricatures.  Thing is, you never see your character on screen other than during the awkward and unnecessary loading screen before each hole. Completing each hole rewards the player with money, and money is used to buy new pants and hats for your avatar.  But during actual gameplay, the player controls a see-through club; the character is never on screen!  To make up for this, the player model is shown standing in a tee box (this is mini golf, not real golf) with a panning camera just before each hole is about to begin.  But this pointless transition requires the player sit through an unskippable loading screen – a loading screen that should never occur in the first place. The entire caricature mechanic was designed as an afterthought to give the player something to purchase with the money mechanic earned after every hole.  But in all honesty, this entire concept should have been scrapped to remove the needless loading. It is rather stupidly infuriating.

Mini Golf Resort2

Sometimes the speed boosts actually get your ball stuck

Even if the broken avatar mechanic was overlooked, the gameplay doesn’t hold up much better. Using only a putter, the swing mechanic is inconsistence and loose at best. The player adjusts power by moving a meter on the right side of the screen and brushes the screen upward to mimic a golf stroke motion.  Unlike True Swing Golf on DS, this all-touch screen mechanic is not accurate and will result in many triple bogeys.  Making matters worse, there is no option to pan through each hole and some holes are rather large, with twists, bends, ramps, and even multiple holes.  But without having an option to see what to aim for, players will literally be golfing blind.  Further, the default camera position on most holes actually starts the play facing in the wrong direction.  The lack of common sense in this game is mind boggling.

Mini Golf Resort3

Losing your ball OB is common with the touchy controls

It is almost as if the developers knew they created a difficult to control game because most holes are actually contained within a funneled green.  So if you hit it close enough, the ball will fall in this funnel and it will go in the hole by default.  Trying to sink a one-foot putt otherwise could easily be missed without this funneled green.  Also, there is just so much crap on each green – plants, cannons, fences – it all just gets in the way of the camera.  My ball actually got stuck behind a treasure chest and the camera was freaking out as I tried to line up a shot, in one example.  Also, the ball you putt isn’t even round. It is diamond shaped low-poly blob that further promotes the game’s overall lack of polish and common sense.

Mini Golf Resort4

Good luck trying to navigate this top select screen

If the gameplay wasn’t messed up enough, the course menu selection is probably one of the worst user interfaces I have ever seen.  The player has to stab at the screen to rotate a globe and then very precisely select an available course.  But since all the icons on screen are the same size, shape and color, the only way to find an unlocked course is to tediously highlight everything until you find a winner. It is like they don’t want you to actually play the game proper by putting all these barriers in the way of the content.

Mini Golf Resort5

Some holes get pretty complicated

Even though it is only five bucks and offers a ton of content, there is more wrong with Touch Mini Golf than right. The overall lack of polish and common sense is just staggering.  The game tries to spice things up with purchasable “power-ups” but they do nothing to make the game any more fun. With other golf titles easily accessible on the eShop for a similar price, this game is left in the fairway bunker.

Not As Good As: any Mario Golf game
On Par With: losing a case of new Titleists on the front 9
Also Try: Kirby’s Dream Course (SNES – Virtual Console)

By: Zachary Gasiorowski, Editor in Chief
Twitter: @ZackGaz


Our Rating - 3.5


Total Score

There might be 100s of holes to play through but you will not want to play any of them due to awful play control and frustrating UI.

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