Arthur is knowledgeable about the various mini golf games available for purchase from the App Store.
Mobile gaming has become a massive industry, and dare I say it, killed the handheld gaming device. There are some pretty amazing games out there both graphically and story-wise, but sometimes you don't want all that. Sometimes, you just want a game that you can pick up and play a few rounds without feeling obligated to play for hours. It's also nice to have games on your phone that are fun for all ages so you and the kids can pass the time. As I was racking my brain for great games that fell into this category I came up with an idea that I thought was a hole in one. I searched deep in the app store and played through all kinds of garbage mini golf games just to weed out the five best mini golf games in the app store.
1. Minigolf by Spigo
I'm torn with this game because there are elements of it that I love, but there are also a few I could do without. As far as mini golf games go, this one may be the most realistic of the bunch. It offers more than just a few putting greens and weird angles; there are challenging obstacles and traditional min golf items like the ever troublesome windmill.
The graphics are simple, but the simple color scheme and 64-bit graphics give the game a crisp and clean look that allows you to focus on the game and not its surroundings. The background music is delightful in my opinion, but it may get on a few people's nerves. One thing that I love about this game is the putting mechanism. The pullback is smooth, and it's radiating power indicator lets you easily see how hard you are hitting the ball. With nine holes in a level, there is plenty of challenge, but a decent player can probably get through the whole level in under fifteen minutes.
One of my biggest grievances with this game is that the first level is free, but the other levels cost 99 cents a piece to unlock, and there are only three extra levels beyond the first one. Apart from that, there is not a lot to complain about with a game that is otherwise free to play. If you are looking for a bit of a challenge and not much commitment, this is a fun one to download, play, and delete.
2. Retro Golf by Game Masons
I want to not like this game, but it is so fun I can't help it. I shouldn't say that I don't want to like it, but a significant feature of the game is its 8-bit Minecraft look which drives me insane. I don't like the look, but I get that they are trying to set a mood which they do nicely with the music and sound effects. I think I like the audio as much as I dislike the video. When I look past my pet peeve, this game is all kinds of fun.
Retro Golf is ad-supported but it not ads shoved down your throat at every turn, supported. I think they have a delicate balance of play time and need to make money. Of course, you can always pay $0.99 to make the ads go away completely. There is a ton of unlockable content that you can get by playing the game instead of having to pay for each new level. All of this would mean nothing if the gameplay wasn't so fun.
There are some creative and challenging levels to be had here. If you strip this game down to its bare gameplay it would still probably be the best mini golf game on the list; it is just getting past the quirks that may turn some people off. You can play by yourself or in multiplayer mode. The controls are simple with a tap to start the power meter and another tap to hit the ball. The ball can be controlled by swiping on either side of the ball. Despite its few flaws, this is the kind of game that you can play for a long time and not even realize it. Retro Golf may end up getting a coveted long-term spot on my phone.
3. Mini Golf Space
I'm not going to lie; the gameplay saves the day with this game. Not only are the graphics pretty low quality, but the color scheme is so dark and cold that it turns you off. I wish I had more positive notes about the sound effects, but they too are very abrasive with tinny metallic sounds and lo-fi, electrical, zapping sounds. I was ready to write this game off entirely, but it pulled me in with its creativity.
You would think that a physics game that takes place in space would have limited options, but it turns out that the futuristic space theme offers a chance to play on traditional mini golf themes and make for challenging and exciting gameplay. If you are looking for a departure from the norm, you will find this game at least a little intriguing.
Controlling the ball is somewhat run of the mill, but there is one particular feature that makes aiming the ball so much easier. To point the ball in the right direction you only need to pull your finger around the outside of the ball. Choosing how hard you hit the ball is as easy as moving the power bar up and down. What I like about this game is that they give a laser pointer that lets you know where the ball is going, but also tells you where the ball will go if it bounces off of walls. This is not my favorite of all of the mini golf games available, but it is good enough that it could pull in a niche demographic and deserves a little attention.
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4. Mini Golf Game 3D by EIVAA Games
Though it is not hyper-realistic looking, I would say that this is the most realistic mini golf game out there. There is not a lot of flash to this game, which is not necessarily a bad thing. Though the graphics aren't out of this world, I appreciate that they put some time into the background to give the game some extra dimension. The music is very much elevator music which some people may find annoying, but I dig it. A nice touch to the sound effects is the golf clap that sounds after the finish of every hole.
You won't find any windmills or clown faces here, but that doesn't mean that this game isn't a challenge. This is one of the more challenging mini golf games you can play with multiple hazards, doors that need to be unlocked, and angles that sometimes seem impossible. That may sound daunting, but it is nice to have more of a challenge than just putting a ball around a corner.
The obstacles may be challenging, but the controls are relatively simple. You choose where to place the ball for your opening shot which is a nice feature. The camera adjusts by dragging anywhere on the screen. There is a short dotted line that gives you an idea of the angle of your shot which helps a lot in a game with so many obstacles. Hitting the ball is slightly different than other games, you swipe back for power, but instead of just letting go you have to push forward to hit the ball. There are a few things that I would change about this game, but overall this game deserves a spot on this list of great mini golf games.
5. Putt Putt Go
If you are looking for a game that will get you away from the stress of the world, you won't find a mini golf simulator better than this one. The game is fun, but they put a lot of detail into the scenery which makes it just as fun (and calming) to look at as it is to play. I don't love the music in this game, but I do have to hand it to them that it is not the same repetitive song for each hole. They try to theme the music to the background of each round which is a nice touch.
You won't find a lot of corners and fancy totems in this game, instead, they use a lot of curves and circular obstacles to increase the difficulty and change perspectives. In at least one later level you are tasked with jumping between greens which is both challenging but also incredibly rewarding when you accomplish it. I feel like this is the most lenient game on this list with high pars and the ability to watch a video to skip harder levels.
The controls are pretty standard but a little sub-par (haha golf joke.) You can drag anywhere on the screen to move the arrow in the direction you want the ball to go. To hit the ball, you tap once to start the power meter and again when the meter reaches the power level you are looking for. This is not my favorite game on the list, but it has its merits and if you are looking for a mindless way to pass a few minutes you can't do much better than Putt Putt Go.
There are a lot of mini golf games out there, believe me, I must have downloaded and played more than 40 of them to make this list. There are a few that are so similar to the games on this list that it would have been doing a disservice to readers to add them. There were others that were so bad that I didn't even need to finish the first hole to know that they were no good. It finally came down to these five which all have different attributes that make them the best of the best and perfect for some downtime swinging.
Questions & Answers
Question: Which is the best mobile mini golf game to play with my 6-year-old daughter?
Answer: I would have to say #2 Retro Golf by Game Masons would be the best for you and your daughter.
© 2018 Arthur Thares