|System: Wii||Review Rating Legend|
|Dev: Cat Daddy Games||1.0 - 1.9 = Avoid||4.0 - 4.4 = Great|
|Pub: 2K Play||2.0 - 2.4 = Poor||4.5 - 4.9 = Must Buy|
|Release: Oct. 21, 2008||2.5 - 2.9 = Average||5.0 = The Best|
|Players: 1-4||3.0 - 3.4 = Fair|
|ESRB Rating: Everyone||3.5 - 3.9 = Good|
The shoddy swing recognition only further angers players when competing against the old-timey Barker character. When playing in single-player, players have the option to play each hole solo or against the always overly enthusiastic Barker. If you manage to beat him, you will be granted Barker tokens that can be used to purchase pieces of his outfit so that you can dress up like the character. Im not sure why youd want to do this but since it is incredibly difficult to be victorious, I suppose it doesnt really matter. While you struggle to get the Wii-mote to detect your correct swing power, Barker will just hit the perfect shot nine out of ten times. As if the odds werent stacked against you enough, ties also count as losses, making the Barker tokens even more difficult to collect.
While trying not to overly generalize, this game is clearly aimed at a younger audience. This makes the horribly inaccurate controls and ridiculous difficulty all the more inexplicable. Im not saying that games need to be easy to be enjoyed by younger players, but losing over and over again can get rather discouraging. Making matters worse is the way Barker himself acts after matches. If you lose or tie while playing against him, you are treated to an animation where he starts to hand over a token and then quickly pulls it away while laughing. This is not the way to treat people playing your game, especially when these losses are mostly the direct result of poorly implemented motion controls and unrealistically accurate opposition.
This games only real saving grace comes in the form of its multiplayer. Carnival Games: MiniGolf can be played with up to four players locally. You can choose to play three, six, or nine holes at a time. To achieve this, the game allows you to select the appropriate number of themes and then has you play their holes in order. This almost gives the feel of having courses, which are completely missing from the single-player experience. Players can wager items or just play for fun, not having to worry about failure since everyones controls are equally as unpredictable and unresponsive.
While I think the Wii is the perfect system for a great miniature golf game, this is clearly not it. While the graphics and hole designs are inviting, the frustrations caused by the controls and Barker himself successfully put a damper on the entire experience. Even if you do manage to stick with the game despite its faults, there are only twenty seven holes that will barely take a couple of hours to finish. After completion, the only things you are left with are trying to earn exorbitant amounts of tokens to unlock appearance changing items and the games multiplayer. Honestly, neither one of these options is enjoyable enough to make you overlook the games disappointing control issues.
CCC Staff Contributor