Since the beginning of this year, I’ve been doing what I like to call the ‘mobile port scam check’. And it involves researching each and every obscure indie title which I’m reviewing, for any evidence of it ever being available on mobile devices. Because with each passing month, mobile games are growing stronger in terms of visuals and gameplay mechanics, and it is becoming increasingly difficult to determine whether a title is just a cheap port, or if it has been built with consoles in mind. And I am happy to announce that the recently released Infinite Minigolf has passed the said test with flying colours.
At the first sight, Infinite Minigolf appears to be a yet another port of a free-to-play game, which on mobiles is likely to be riddled with adverts for questionable home screen themes, and gambling sites. However, the final product itself appears to be nothing like what the interface suggests, in fact it is one of the few low-tier indie games which delivers on all its promise, and one that surprisingly matches its in-store description.
At its core, Infinite Minigolf is a rather simplistic title which revolves around the titular activity. But where majority of contemporary Minigolf games concentrates on real life settings, Infinite Minigolf prefers to take things in a little more light-hearted direction, and allows players to go against each other in oversized bedrooms, Halloween themed courses, and Winter Wonderlands.
The main premise of the title is to allow players to play others both off and online, however, those who prefer to experience games alone, will not be starved for content. And this is because each of the three aforementioned locations features tournaments. And in total, solo players will be able to test their skills on over 360 tracks, as each location features 120 tracks laid out across four stages, and three difficulty settings.
The number of single player tracks may seem overwhelming at first, but in truth, Infinite Minigolf only features 40 unique tracks per stage, as the additional 80 only vary in very small detail. For example, the very first track of the title on easy difficulty, features a straight path to the hole, but on medium, the only difference is that it features a wooden block right in the middle, as an obstacle.
After one realises that the tournament mode is not as expansive as it initially comes across, he/she might be significantly disappointed. But Infinite Minigolf possess one feature which allows it to bear the name Infinite, and it is the track creator. And by being an online title, all tracks, created by all users, are accessible at all times. Meaning that even if you don’t want to play against other players online, you can simply pull whichever track you want from the browser, and play it to infinity.
In addition to the seemingly infinite amount of tracks, which of course depends on title’s community’s commitment, Infinite Minigolf also allows the player to do something, which not every title allows. It simply lets you cheat, openly, and in front of everybody. Yes – each and every player can cheat to win, on every single track in the game. And this is because Infinite Minigolf features a plethora of boosts and bonuses which allow one to play outside the box, or in this instance, outside of the track.
While on the course, or track if you prefer, you can come across a multitude of different modifiers. Some allow you to manually control the ball with the analogue stick, others allow you to jump from one lane onto another, whereas some can make your ball stop at a press of a button. And when you get to grips with all of them, you can hit holes in one, without even touching majority of the track, as by combining multiple modifiers you can jump into the air, grab onto a modifier which allows your ball to fly, then in air you can hit a weight gain orb which makes your ball fall flat straight onto a boost pad, which then sends you directly to the hole.
Combining modifiers can seem unfair to players who have just started playing Infinite Minigolf, but with time, all who decide to buy it will simply cheat to win. And one could argue that referring to modifiers which allow one to manoeuvre outside of the track, defies the point of Minigolf. But as it happens, this particular title features levels for everybody, as in majority, all the levels are made by the players. Who maybe, just maybe, dislike modifiers as much as you, and have created an abundance of levels devoid of jumps, speed boosts, and other gimmicks. And this makes Infinite Minigolf a title which is seemingly perfect for everybody, but perfection in this particular sense, doesn’t spread to other parts of the game.
At the beginning of this review, you had a chance to read that Infinity Minigolf is a ‘simplistic’ title, and after hours spent with it, I must admit that the simplicity may be a cause for concern to some. The core gameplay of the game, arguably the most important part of every video game ever made, in case of Infinite Minigolf, is incredibly underwhelming. The core putting mechanic feels weightless, and inaccurate. And once it combines with bafflingly strange ball physics, it is downright infuriating. At times, the ball will refuse to go up an incline when struck at full power, but can easily climb up a 90-degree pipe, when at near standstill. And issues such as this come out to the light of day on nearly every single more complex track, and often lead to disappointment.
Disappointment, seems to be a reoccurring theme when it comes to the latter stages of Infinite Golf. And the irony of it all stems from the fact that despite of its name, and the ‘infinite’ number of tracks, the title in question simply lacks content. Victory animation is nearly always the same, in-game clothing is mostly alike and commonly only differs in colour or pattern, and despite of its ‘zany’ design, there are no alternate skins in-fitting with game’s themes. So, you can’t play a snowman, or a werewolf, but just as a prepubescent child, and this is a thing that is most likely going to stop a large number of people from buying Infinite Minigolf, as the childish aesthetic will simply put off majority of the potential mature customers.
In conclusion, Infinite Minigolf is a title of sound structure, and one which is surprisingly filled with an overwhelming amount of core content. But unfortunately, the package within which the said content is stored, is simply unappealing. And this is because ultimately, lack of interesting skins and other aesthetic related quirks, leads to a lack of goals, which many players use in order to keep themselves playing. And if there’s no factual and rewarding goal, then there is no point in playing. And after one comes to such realisation, he/she will notice that Infinite Minigolf may be full of tracks, and interesting mechanics, but ironically, it lacks the hypothetical hole, and therefore itself has no point.
REVIEW CODE: A complimentary Sony Playstation 4 code was provided to Bonus Stage for this review. Please send all review code enquiries to firstname.lastname@example.org.
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