There are three things certain in life: death, taxes, and mini golf is awesome. It’s all the skill and precision of real golf but without the god awful clothing and the inherent snobbery that surrounds a clubhouse. Who cares about etiquette when you can have a few drinks, play a few holes and enjoy yourself? This has been a party political broadcast paid for by The Mini Golf For All Foundation.
Joking aside, mini golf is an enjoyable activity for all ages, and one that appears to be making a resurgence in the gaming world. The last DLC for Dead Rising 4 and arguably the game’s highlight was mini golf, whereas Golf It! and Golf With Your Friends are taking Steam by storm, so where does Infinite Minigolf fit into the equation? And is anyone else sick of the word Golf yet?
Infinite Minigolf from Zen Studios aims to exactly what it says on the tin: mini golf, but infinite. It’s a bold claim, but one that does hold merit when you consider the game’s star attraction is its course editor. So long as players keep crafting new holes and challenges for the community, it will indeed be Infinite.
The game itself is fairly typical, almost pedestrian in its design, but this is mini golf after all. Nobody was expecting a reinvention of the wheel. Aiming is controlled via the left stick, whilst the right stick is the power of your swing. The swing itself seems very sensitive on default settings, and in early sessions you might find yourself overshooting tap-ins.
Infinite Minigolf comes with 3 unique areas, each with 36 holes playable across 4 tournaments on 3 difficulty levels. It sounds like a lot of content, but you’ll storm through the first two difficulty settings without any challenge. If anything, it feels like an afterthought or a distraction from the main crux of the game: creation.
The course editor itself is quite extensive, with the age old adage that “the only limit is your imagination” ringing true here. Your hole can be as easy or as difficult as you want it to be, and the community have already produced holes rivalling those that the development team have made already.
Each hole can then be uploaded to the server and be played by everyone across all modes, but this is where some problems begin to arise. The ranked multiplayer, for instance, randomly selects 9 holes from the server to challenge players. Whilst most holes are unique, creative and innovative, a good portion of the user generated holes are “achievement holes”; easy tap-ins or long distance putts intended to give the player easy achievements and for the creator to get higher ratings and more achievements.
Sure, 6 out of 9 holes will present an interesting contest between the players, but if the rest are these simple holes, it ruins the competition. Imagine if every 4th hole of the Ryder Cup, golfers started right next to the pin. It would be ridiculous, but it happens here. Perhaps Zen Studios need to work on their hole curation programming, or have users rate holes as unsuitable for ranked play. Food for thought.
At the time of writing, Infinite Minigolf offers thousands of user generated holes, and there’s the potential for thousands more. If Zen Studios supports this game with new locations and items for the editor, there’s no reason why this game can’t have the longevity deserving of the word Infinite.
Infinite Minigolf is available now on the Xbox Store for £11.99. Check out the trailer and let us know your thoughts in the comments below.
Infinite Minigolf is a great starting point for a game built around user creation. It’s not without flaws, but so long as Zen Studios have a strategy to introduce more content in the coming months, Infinite Minigolf will be a success.