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Golf Mania

For:   Also on: PSPPS Vita
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Golf. Balls.

Product: Golf Mania | Publisher: Icon Games | Format: PSP | Genre: Sports | Players: 1-4 | Networking: on one device | File size: 54MB | Version: Europe
Golf Mania PSP, thumbnail 1
It's a real pity when a developer strikes out to create something unusual and interesting but stumbles over the basics. That's exactly what Icon Games has done with Golf Mania, a title that packs geometrically arresting course design into a miserable game of mini golf.

Your goal is to complete courses of nine holes with a score of par or better. Doing so on all six of the Classic Courses unlocks a further four Modern Courses.

The first set is compactly designed and relatively tame in comparison to the second, which takes place over larger areas on more extreme landscapes.

Both are thoughtfully designed and for the most part brutally hard. One misjudged stroke will usually result in you failing to reach your score target.

Reading the green

When a game is so harsh with its punishment, it at least needs to be fair - you need to have every conceivable tool at your disposal to ensure that you don't make a mess of your shot. Golf Mania gives you few such tools.

Scoping out the course to see what lies ahead is near impossible. The camera is awkward to control, slow to move, and doesn't allow you to deviate from your current position. You'll spend the first few shots hoofing the ball forward to build an idea of where you should be aiming for.

When you figure out what's ahead you'll want to pause the game and restart the hole. Each restart places the ball back in its original location on the course aimed at its default angle. Unfortunately, that default angle is rarely the direction you should be aiming in.

Most often you'll be facing a wall or a hazard, forcing you to swing the slow camera around and painstakingly line up your shot again. It slows the game to a crawl, your frustration building as the repetitive music restarts over and over until you mute it and listen to something else.


Long load times and graphical slowdown beset Golf Mania, though it's difficult to see why: the engine is rudimentary.

Ball physics are simultaneously too heavy and slippery - it often feels like you're playing golf with a perfectly spherical ball of ice.

You can unlock quirky new balls to play with, though their effect on the game is purely visual. There's a multiplayer mode included for pass and play gaming for up to four, too, though it's doubtful you'll want to subject your friends to the game.

The potential of Golf Mania's course design is squandered on sloppy implementation of the basics, compounded by a cruel difficulty level. There are plenty of other golf games for your Sony handheld, so you can live without this one.
Golf Mania
Reviewer photo
Peter Willington | 4 May 2012
Interesting course design is all that's good here - Golf Mania is an otherwise poorly constructed Minis effort
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