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3D Mini Golf: Castles

For: Mobile

An Englishman's castle is his home. And his golf course.

Product: 3D Mini Golf: Castles | Developer: Digital Chocolate | Publisher: Digital Chocolate | Format: Mobile | Genre: 3D, Casual, Sports | Players: 1-4 | Format: J2ME | File size: 104KB | Reviewed on: K700i other handsets | Version: Europe
3D Mini Golf: Castles Mobile, thumbnail 1
Golf dates back hundreds of years, to James the Second's wet and windy Scotland. No greens, no fairways, just a hole in the ground, a ball and a stick. Mini golf also started life in Scotland: it was literally a miniature golf course designed for women, who weren't allowed to swing clubs above their shoulders. Times have certainly changed. Women are now even allowed to carry clubs, which is great news.

Four characters and 27 mischievous holes of such mini golf action await you as you enter 3D Mini Golf: Castles. As the 'Castles' suggests, the theme includes knights and firing cannons, swords and dungeons, all with twists and turns, jumps and obstacles.

If you want an easy ride then bunkers may be more your thing, such is the intimidating nature of the hazards here. If you play golf for the pleasant green scenery, walk away now. If you think one club in your bag is 13 too few, you're on the wrong side of the tracks, stranger.

Your first foray into this anti-Pringle world is when you meet the fiery redhead, Amber, one of four characters you can play as. She's cute yet assertive, and knows how to swing a club. Controlling the aim and power is very simple, involving just a few presses of the direction keys and holding down the action button to judge the strength of the shot.

With the aid of an overhead camera, it's quite easy to work out which direction to aim. Thankfully this adds to the experience of the game, and is incredibly simple to use.

In order to progress through the three courses, the aim is to achieve par and beat your fellow competitors, which becomes very challenging indeed. The holes are pretty devious at times, testing you in all manner of ways. Some require precise timing or your ball will end up in no-man's land.

3D Mini Golf: Castles looks great (something that can't be said about most golfers) and wears its smooth 3D, cute and functional visuals with an ease that's not found in many grown-up mobile golf sims. The animation of the characters and the way the ball moves is entirely believable, enabling you to concentrate on the gameplay rather than the disjointed stumbling of your in-game self.

There's also a plinky-plonky soundtrack throughout, which sounds like the background music to a Sandals resort advert (only without the bikinis and biceps), and a fanfare that signals the end of each round. It's all bit twee, a bit kitsch and saccharine. Ideal, then.

3D Mini Golf: Castles is addictive, enjoyable and a great addition to any mini-golf fan's collection. There may be flashier games out there with celebrity endorsements, but this game shouldn't be overlooked. It feels and plays like the mini-golf course we all wish we had down our local park, and it should be commended for that.
3D Mini Golf: Castles
Reviewer photo
John Thomson | 17 February 2007
A great addition to the golf-game bag and well worth a look
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