King of Clubs Review
King of Clubs box art
System: Wii, PC, PSP Review Rating Legend
Dev: Crave Entertainment 1.0 - 1.9 = Avoid 4.0 - 4.4 = Great
Pub: Oxygen Int. 2.0 - 2.4 = Poor 4.5 - 4.9 = Must Buy
Release: Aug. 4, 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

There is definitely no shortage of golf games for the Wii. From the original Wii Sports title that started it all to the latest iteration of the Tiger Woods franchise, there are plenty of ways to shake a club on the Wii. King of Clubs Mini Golf seemed at first to be a title that would be just another golf game for the Wii. However, once I started playing it, I realized that it was something else entirely: It was terrible.

King of Clubs screenshot

King of Clubs didn't start out bad, however. In fact, the premise was quite charming. The game starts out by introducing you to a rather poor Elvis impersonator who has transformed an old Las Vegas amusement park into a mini golf course. He has also hired some out-of-work actors to play in tournaments on this unconventional golf course. The whole thing was incredibly ridiculous and sounded like it carried a heavy possibility of fun.

But unfortunately, there is just no fun to be had with this game. One of the first things that you'll notice is the terrible look of the game. The graphics are incredibly poor; the game can be most generically described as dated. Honestly, there were better-looking games on the GameCube. The different holes all have imaginative design, but they suffer from a palpable lack of detail, poor animations, and texturing. The graphics are also very jagged, and certain background elements will even pixelate randomly. The visuals are just a mess overall, making it really difficult to play.

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But the game does not reach unplayable status until you actually pick up your Wii-mote and attempt to play. The idea behind the controls is pretty basic and involves you holding the Wii-mote like a golf club. However, the way that you control your golf swing is sort of awkward. Instead of pulling the Wii-mote back and swinging, you have to swing the Wii-mote around to select your shot's power, press the A button, and then release it and do a little shake to actually make the shot. It is far too complicated, and the motion controls are very inconsistent. Sometimes, they just stop responding altogether, and playing this game is a real exercise in frustration and annoyance. The controls in King of Clubs Mini Golf are just another example of a failed motion control attempt; they just don't work.

King of Clubs screenshot

One of the more depressing elements of this game has to be the wasting of the different hole designs. They all have a wonderfully kitsch element to them and have very imaginative traps and mechanics. If the other elements of King of Clubs were as good as they should have been, then these holes would have been a real blast to play though. But unfortunately, since you are hardly ever able to properly see or control the action onscreen. All you can do is imagine how much fun it might have been.

As far as game modes go, there are plenty of ways to play King of Clubs Mini Golf. The main solo modes consist of a career and tournament mode. The career mode is actually the most basic, as you just go through the different holes and courses by yourself until you master them all. The tournament mode is largely the same, except you have to go through all the holes and courses with an A.I. opponent. In addition to the two standard modes, there is also a speed mode, where you have to keep your eye on the clock as well as the par. All these modes just feel basic, and since you play through the same courses and holes no matter which mode you select, they all feel like the same experience.

King of Clubs screenshot

Screenshots / Images
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