Whether or not you are a fan of golf, it’s unlikely you’ve never gone to a miniature golf course. Most everyone has played minigolf at some point, be it for a birthday party, a date, or just something different to do. Regardless of the reason, it’s always an enjoyable experience with the creative courses and a good group of friends behind you.
Well, the latest title from Playfish, Minigolf Party brings that experience to Facebook. Okay, so it lacks the teasing you get from your friends when you shoot 20 over par (at least in the conventional sense), but the game itself certainly captures the quaint creativeness of minigolf. Long story short, this game is fun. No, not just a little fun, a lot of fun, and is arguably the best Playfish title to date.
The game combines the 3D style of Bowling Buddies with the caricature look of Word Challenge and Who Has the Biggest Brain to create a whole new look and feel. You start off as a male or female character, but you can’t really do too much yet with the look until you can afford new clothes and items. First, you have to start golfing.
Playfish has done a great job of making the core game play fantastic. You can choose to golf one hole or all nine, and each course has a different theme from an international location and creates unique obstacles that reflect that theme. The game is also very easy to pick up, as you intuitively aim your character’s shot and power using the mouse and let the ball fly (in some cases, quite literally).
This is where earning money comes into play. Littering the golf courses are coins that if you touch with the golf ball, magically enter your wallet. This creates an interesting challenge in order to gain money. Where other games just gave you money for repeating the same exact thing, Minigolf Party gives you a choice to either go for coins or increase your score (yes, eventually it will get repetitive, but at least it isn’t after the very first try). If you’re good enough, you can do both, but considering the difficulty of some shots, you will have to be very good due to the difficulty curve.
The difficulty of the later holes is a refreshing, yet frustrating love-hate relationship. Most Facebook games are far too easy to play through, but Minigolf Challenge has a nice difficulty curve to it. It doesn’t get distinctly hard until the last two holes and their plethora of water hazards, but while quite tough the first time through, there is a feeling of satisfaction when you finally make par (something that cannot be said for most Facebook titles).
Once you have finished a round of golf, you can use the money you earned in order to buy new clothes and items to further customize your character. Also, as expected, the game utilizes the familiar Playfish social elements of friend (or world) rankings, challenges, and achievements. While this is nothing to write home about, the achievements are more interesting than previous games, as it employs a more Xbox 360-like approach such that when you earn an achievement it pops up during the game and you find out what it is you finish a hole (i.e. hitting a water hazard over five times in a row).
Ultimately, Minigolf Party is a phenomenally fun game. It looks wonderful, it’s easy to learn and play, and it’s longer lasting than a lot of games on Facebook. The game does still call itself “beta,” so one would wonder what else is going to be done. Most likely, it is just some bug fixes here and there, but hopefully, in the future, more holes and course will be added, because as good as the current nine are, players are definitely going to crave more.