Carnival Games: Mini-Golf Review
Carnival Games: Mini-Golf box art
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. I’m not sure why you’d want to do this but since it is incredibly difficult to be victorious, I suppose it doesn’t 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 weren’t stacked against you enough, ties also count as losses, making the Barker tokens even more difficult to collect.

Carnival Games: Mini-Golf screenshot

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. I’m not saying that game’s 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 game’s 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 everyone’s controls are equally as unpredictable and unresponsive.

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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 game’s multiplayer. Honestly, neither one of these options is enjoyable enough to make you overlook the game’s disappointing control issues.

By Adam Brown
CCC Staff Contributor

RATING OUT OF 5
RATING DESCRIPTION
2.7
Graphics
While the characters all look fairly odd, the themes and holes are mostly bright and inviting.
1.2
Control
Aiming your shot is extremely easy, but controlling the strength of your shot is an exercise in aggravation.
2.0
Music / Sound FX / Voice Acting
The music and sound effects found in the game aren’t too bad, but every time Barker opens his mouth you will long for silence.
1.6

Play Value
A fairly decent multiplayer aspect isn’t enough to overcome the game’s incredibly short single-player experience and ridiculously clumsy and unresponsive swing detection.

1.6
Overall Rating - Avoid
Not an average. See Rating legend above for a final score breakdown.

Game Features:

  • Play in single-player, multiplayer (up to four Wii Remotes at once) or in the Barker Challenge Mode.
  • Shoot for par in Adventure mode, master mini-games in Challenge mode, or sink a hole-in-one in Trick Shot.
  • Win over 100 usable prizes: custom clubs, Wacky Wearables (double the amount in Carnival Games), and special golf balls.
  • 27 larger-than-life holes spanning nine theme-park-style courses, including Prehistoric Times, Wild West, Amazon Jungle, Pirate's Cove, Fairytale Land, Egyptian Pyramids, Haunted Mansion, and more.


  • Screenshots / Images
    Carnival Games: Mini-Golf screenshot - click to enlarge Carnival Games: Mini-Golf screenshot - click to enlarge Carnival Games: Mini-Golf screenshot - click to enlarge Carnival Games: Mini-Golf screenshot - click to enlarge Carnival Games: Mini-Golf screenshot - click to enlarge Carnival Games: Mini-Golf screenshot - click to enlarge Carnival Games: Mini-Golf screenshot - click to enlarge Carnival Games: Mini-Golf screenshot - click to enlarge

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