Review: Planet Minigolf
Developer: Zen Studios
Publisher: Zen Studios
Release Date: June 1st, 2010 / June 2nd 2010
Price: $9.99 | £6.29 | €7.99
Players: 1-4 Offline / 1-4 Online
- Solid Controls
- Packed Full Of Content
- Great Hole Creation Tools
- YouTube Functionality Is Great For Showing Off.
- Forgettable Presentation
- Learning Curve Is A Tad Aggressive
- Sixaxis Integration Feels Forced.
Zen Studios is on a roll with its PSN games. The studio has been pumping out game after game for the service, and its latest title, Planet Minigolf, shows us that the studio clearly has no signs of stopping now. Planet Minigolf is a game packed with ambitious ideas, such as a fully featured course editor, and an absolute load of content that certainly makes it worth the price of entry.
The game features a robust feature set, with over 100 holes, multiplayer both offline and online, a course editor and scoreboards divided by nation, just to add to the spirit of competition. The interface itself is well designed, with clear signposting and an attractive look to it all, which certainly helps the game make a good first impression.
Once you actually play the game for the first time, however, you realize that you’re going to have to try a little bit harder to master the controls than you would in most other gold games. Planet Minigolf uses the left analogue stick for shot control, and it works well, once you get a handle on it. The learning curve here is slightly disheartening, as a small mistake can lead to you missing the hole entirely, which can get extremely annoying until you learn how to properly control your putter. However, the game also includes other options for putting, with “Direct” being the one I stuck with, out of it’s resemblance to EA’s golf games. The other options make the game somewhat easier to pick up and play, which means that every player here will likely find a control scheme that suits how they want to play the game. It must be said, however, that the game includes Sixaxis functionality, which comes across as forced and arbitrary. I was certainly surprised when it was used for controlling the ball in one of the on course power-ups the game lets you mess around with.
Planet Minigolf also includes YouTube functionality, which makes for a great way of showing off to all your friends when you manage to get that illusive hole in one. However, they may be put off by how the game looks. Planet Minigolf is, by and large, not a great looking game, with an overabundance of bloom somewhat ruining a solid presentation, with plenty of variety to the environments and customizable character being somewhat sullied by the haphazard lighting. The music is somewhat soothing, with a “surf rock” vibe emerging from the game at every conceivable angle.
Planet Minigolf proves that you shouldn’t judge a game based on looks alone, as it’s a great golf game, and presents fantastic value for money and, with online users having already created over 3000 new holes for you to play around with in the game’s built in course creator (which is surprisingly easy to use!), has more than enough content to keep you entertained for quite some time. Ignore the visuals, and concentrate on the game underneath, and you’ll find more than enough fun here.