Mini Golf MatchUp has received almost 15,000 largely positive reviews on the App Store, so I figured it was worth a bash. I mean, 15,000 people can’t be wrong, right?
Well, yes, if they’re effectively cajoled into reviewing the game on the App Store by way of a coin-based lure, yes they can. But that’s not to say Mini Golf MatchUp is rubbish. Confused? Me too. Join me after the break for more incoherent rambling.
As the name suggests, Mini Golf MatchUp is a strictly multiplayer affair. You can play anonymously, but the developer would really prefer if you used your Facebook account – or at least an email address – in order to save your stats.
Mini Golf MatchUp plays out in turn-based Draw Something-esque fashion: Player A tackles hole #1, then Player B attacks holes #1 and 2, then it’s back to Player A for holes #2 and 3… You’re effectively taking turns at going first, as your opponent gets to see how you tackled the hole. Er, so to speak.
There are over 70 different holes in Mini Golf MatchUp, with each matchup encompassing five. If you win, you get, er, pride or something, I guess.
As for Mini Golf MatchUp’s mechanics, it’s completely sound. Simply pull back from the ball to set the power, choose the direction, then release to putt. Easy.
Mini Golf MatchUp also gets a thumbs-up for its UI, which sees the golf play out in a square on the right, while the leftmost part of the screen is reserved for your games list and stuff (see above).
Technically – technically – Mini Golf MatchUp is great; it’s all the freemium stuff that gets in the way.
For example, after every turn, you’re greeted with a full-screen ad, or – worse still – an unskippable 30-second video. Audacious. And that’s in addition to the little banner ad that runs perpetually in the bottom left.
You can, to be fair, remove ads for £1.49, and – “at the end of the day” (hate that saying) – the developer has to make money, so all’s good in freemium town. I suppose.
However, one thing I do have an unreserved dislike for is the nature of the achievements. You can earn stars (used to unlock courses) by turning on push notifications, liking Mini Golf MatchUp on Facebook, inviting five Facebook friends, sending 5 SMS invites, and – among other things – buying coins (used to retake shots) from the store. Sigh.
Incidentally, the Golf Shop contains nothing in the way of clubs or anything else you might expect to find in a golf shop. Instead, there are various coin packages available for purchase, all the way from 69p to £69.99 – I kid you not.
And that’s Mini Golf MatchUp. Potentially one of my favourite handheld golf games had it offered a single-player mode (the golfing is pretty great, in case I hadn't made that clear), but the freemium stuff left a bad taste in my mouth. Pity.
- The golf is good
- Solid UI. I like it
- Can play anonymously
- The ads (£1.49 to eliminate)
- The “Golf Shop”
- The achievements
- Purely multiplayer
Summary: Mini Golf MatchUp offers lovely mini golf in a fairly nauseating freemium package.
Requirements (iOS): Compatible with iPhone 3GS, iPhone 4, iPhone 4S, iPhone 5, iPod touch (3rd generation), iPod touch (4th generation), iPod touch (5th generation) and iPad. Requires iOS 5.0 or later. This app is optimized for iPhone 5.
Requirements (Android): Android 2.2 (FroYo) or above.