3D Ultra Minigolf Adventures

Xbox Live Arcade

Review by Matt Paprocki

Sierra Online


Graphics: 8

Sound: 5

Gameplay: 7

Overall: 7


While initially feeling like a fairly standard minigolf title, the outrageously long title 3D Ultra Minigolf Adventures quickly picks up with a number of goofy courses, leading up to a final challenge in space. Four courses cover a decent array of locales, and every hole provides a specific feel, along with sharp graphics amazingly crammed into a 50MB download. Online play for up to four players further enhances this nicely laid out Arcade addition.

3dultraminigolf1xbox360.jpg (145397 bytes)Options are prevalent from the start. Three different swing options exist, the default being a single press of the button, which is released when you’ve found the sweet spot on the power meter. A right analog based putt system works like many other golf titles these days, pulling back and then pushing forward at the right moment. Finally, the most challenging is the three click, requiring a set up for power and accuracy.

Four characters with four different clothing options offer enough variety to pass as a Live Arcade title. There are no statistical advantages of choosing one over the other, and you’re choosing purely for the look. Single player provides a set of tournaments to conquer, many which cross courses sending the player onto a wide array of holes.

Course design ranges from brilliant to “controller tossed through that new LCD.” Almost all offer a risky way to gain a hole in one, while players heading for a simple par can take their time and avoid the shortcuts all together. Specific holes, particularly one on a spinning asteroid in space are apparently the creation of some sick developer who finds a gamer's pain amusing. These holes break down the fairness barrier and head into sheer luck territory.

Thankfully, power-ups littering the courses can save a particularly nasty hole. Some provide assistance to the player, others can knock an opponent's ball completely off track. Used properly, they add to the quirky nature of this one, and in a crowded multi-player match up, create some true chaos on the miniature links.

A surprise feature is the hole creator, allowing anyone to quickly put together a monstrous hole using basic features. These can be used in online matches when selected by the host, or in local competition when friends visit. Sadly, the limitations mean they fail to generate much excitement, and none of the cool hazards from the included courses (such as the giant ship, UFO, etc.) can be used. A user generated hole and one that was included with the download will never be confused.

Minigolf Adventures, at a fair $10 price, is a worthwhile download. The solo campaign is limiting, and there’s nothing to unlock aside from some challenging achievements. Online is where Adventures is allowed to become what it’s meant to be, and with four players and a bomb power-up, this becomes as addictive as Worms.


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Last updated: Wednesday, May 30, 2007 09:49 PM