Zen Studios has a bit of history when it comes to minigolf. Myself and the boss of my house (read: my lady) spent countless hours playing through Planet Minigolf on PS4 via PS Now. Usually it was because neither of us could sleep, though in hindsight I’m not sure playing a few rounds of nail-biting/frustrating minigolf helped a heap…
The studio is now taking another stab at the sorely under-played genre with Infinite Minigolf. It may sound like a dud, but trust me when I say that it couldn’t be more accurate. See, the big draw here isn’t in what the developer has put on the table. There’s a single-player mode with a variety of courses, standard for the par, but the real meat and potatoes comes in the form of player creations. Think of it a little like LittleBigPlanet’s user-created levels, except you’re limited to minigolf courses.
Personally, the big draw towards Infinite Minigolf was that fact that it’s PSVR compatible. You can play the entire game from start to finish, back to front in regular 2D, but it’s in PSVR where this one really shines. It’s not that it adds a whole lot to the experience, though being able to look around the different environments is pretty cool, it’s that it looks so damn clean. Like, really, really clean. It’s up there with the best of them in that regard. I’ve played a fair amount in both PSVR and with a regular TV setup, and I have to say that I greatly prefer it in PSVR.
The gameplay is simple. It’s minigolf, what more do you expect? You need to get the ball into the hole in as few shots as possible. Oh, and you can use magical power-ups. Alright, it’s not quite as simple as the fun fair, but it’s still easy to pick up and play. The controls are as basic as you could imagine: pull back on the right stick to increase power, release to what the ball. Press the cross button to activate power-ups. It’s easy and within my first 60 seconds I was comfortable.
When I say it’s easy, what I really mean is that it starts out easy. I was jamming hole-in-ones every other course when I started playing, but then my score dropped like a rock in the later stages. It’s not so much a test of your minigolf skills as it is a test of your ability to solve a puzzle. Some courses will need you to activate a chain of power-ups after having knocked the ball just the right way, others will have you pulling your hair out until the simple solution presents itself by accident. I have to say, I did feel very clever when I managed to solve the harder stages. What? I like it when games stroke my ego…
If the single player content is an ego-stroker, the user-created stuff is a nightmare – if only because it makes me feel like a dumb idiot. Seriously, the game hasn’t even been out for a day, yet there are people creating elaborate mazes for my balls to get lost in. Reminds me of a party when I was youn – er, nevermind.
Despite there being some really top-notch creations, there are also more than a few crap efforts. Thankfully the game does have a filter of sorts that’ll help push the junk to the bottom and the gold to the top. This is essential, in my opinion, as this where the longevity will come from for Infinite Minigolf. If the community stands behind it, we could be playing new courses everyday for the rest of our miserable little existences. Yippee!
There’s a surprisingly decent amount of content on offer with Infinite Minigolf, considering the very low price. For your money you get a full-on single player mode with plenty of courses across three beautifully realised environments. There’s a messy kids bedroom to play around in (don’t tell the BBC…), a spooky graveyard, and even a winter-themed course that got this Frozen fan excited. Yes, I love Frozen, but only because it’s the movie that sends my kid to sleep and stops him destroying my games…
You also get local multiplayer which got an actual “WOOP WOOP” from the Lady of Harding House, as well as online multiplayer. Oh, and the aforementioned level editor that can keep busybodies going for all of eternity. There’s a lot to like in Infinite Minigolf, but it’s not without its flaws and annoyances.
For one, it’s a little too simple to get the ball into the hole. It feels a little cheap at times, but if that’s the worst complaint I’ve got then you could do a lot worse. My only other gripe is with the convoluted unlockable system. You unlock different wearable goodies for your virtual character, but then you also need to buy what you unlock with in-game currency that’s earned through play. For me, it’s not something I’m a fan of. I’m not big on customisation and what not, so to have the constant reminder that I’m dressing my digital golfer like a tramp is a little annoying, but it’s not a big thing. Hey, I made him look like me…
Infinite Minigolf PS4/PSVR Review
Infinite Minigolf has the ingredients to make a great little addition to any game collection. There's a solid offering in the single player, and the Creation Mode will just expand the content exponentially. The only problem is finding the gold may take a bit of digging through the crap. If you're a minigolf fan, or just a fan of fun, really, then Infinite Minigolf will suit you to a tee.
Review Disclaimer: This review was carried out using a digital copy of the game bought at the expense of the reviewer. For more information, please read our Review Policy.
Reviewed using PS4 Slim.