I’m not really a fan of electronic golf games. In fact, the more realistic they are, the less interested I am. Mini-golf games, on the other hand, can be quite entertaining given the right dash of something. In the case of Wonderputt, it’s the way the holes are set up. I’m not just talking about level design, either. It’s great fun simply watching the course get created! Let me explain…
Truthfully, Wonderputt is pretty standard when it comes to game play mechanics. You drag from the ball in the opposite direction that you want it to travel, then release when you feel you’ve given it enough power as indicated by the growing arrow. Just like any golf game each hole has a par, but beyond that you can shoot to your heart’s content until you sink the ball in the hole. Of course you won’t get a good score that way, but that’s okay if all you care about is looking at the game and having fun. Once you’ve completed the course you can go through it again trying to collect fragments of a rainbow, and after that it’s just a matter of getting all the Game Center achievements you might have missed the first couple of times through.
What makes this game so charming is the level design. The entire course is constructed in one gigantic not-quite-cube type of construct. You’ll travel from a farm to an archeological dig to a construction site and beyond, and even get launched into space. Each hole is cleverly designed, and several of them are quite interactive. Better yet, you get to watch as most of them are set up. For instance, on the farm you’ll watch cows graze out a path for your ball, only to get carted off by a UFO before you can play. The game is even cool in how it gets your ball from one hole to the next, whether it’s being blown out of a whale’s blow hole or being dropped off by a passing pigeon. If you’ve ever played the adventure game The Tiny Bang Story (TMA Review), Wonderputt feels like what that developer would come up with if they were making a miniature golf game.
The graphics are quite impressive. Not in a “wow look at that 3D” sort of way, mind you, but more in a “pixel art rocks” fashion. The fact that everything is packed on a single screen means that most things are necessarily tiny, even on the bigger iPad screen, yet the details are still pretty amazing. The animation is top notch as well. To top it off, the sound effects are a perfect compliment to the action. The only thing I’m not particularly thrilled with is the music. It’s not bad, and actually rather tranquil, but it just doesn’t have the same flair as the rest of the aesthetics.
Wonderputt is a great mini-golf game. There are no real frills when it comes to game play, but the presentation more than makes up for that. I’ve played through the course at least four times already, and I’m not even close to being bored with it. Now if I could just stop getting worse at certain holes instead of better!
|Title:||Wonderputt||Developer:||Damp Gnat Ltd|
|Reviewed Ver:||1.0.1||Min OS Req:||4.0|
|Price:||$0.99||App Size:||20.5 MB|