Mini Golf MatchUp iPad Review
With companies going asynchronous crazy when it comes to word and turn-based strategy games, why not miniature golf? That must have been the question the team at Scopely asked itself before developing Mini Golf MatchUp, the casual-friendly sports title that is currently one of the more popular games on iOS and Android, thanks to brightly-colored graphics, social network integration and most importantly, addictive gameplay.
In it, two players (random or Facebook friends) compete across three rounds of mini golf in the hope of scoring the most points. Being asynchronous, MatchUp lets both people take turns one after the other while keeping track of scores for each side and providing opponent replays. At the end, it not only declares a winner, but also lets the victor brag about his or her success through Facebook; both parties can also request a rematch. There's even an in-game messaging system for talking trash or just complimenting someone on a well-played hole.
While on the subject of courses, MatchUp comes with five that break down into 70 holes. Keep in mind that you don't have access to them all right away, and must earn stars by completing side missions to unlock the rest; either that, or make in-app purchases. Thankfully, you don't necessarily have to open your wallet to buy the first three, a welcome sight indeed.
This only serves to compliment what is a quality golf title with a slight layer of depth. User-friendly touch controls allow you to perfectly line up a shot by pulling back on the ball, whereupon which you adjust the angle and power. Obviously, scoring a hole-in-one nets a large number of points, but you also want to pick up as many gems as possible for bonuses. There's even a do-over button should you mess up, a feature that came in handy more than we initially realized.
That said, there's a lot to like about Mini Golf Match Up, from the speed at which you can locate random opponents to courses featuring pyramids, windmills and other hazards that make you rethink particular turns. On the negative side, intrusive ads weaken the game's cheery vibe (you can pay to turn them off), while a small number of bugs had us crossing our fingers for an update. In particular, virtual buttons that fail to work and error messages. As for the app's insane popularity, one of the achievements involves rating the game on those respective app stores, though to be fair, Scopely doesn't ask for a perfect five stars like other developers.
As with most newly released games, there's room for improvement, and with more content on its way, we can only hope Scopely tweaks the experience. For now, Mini Gold MatchUp is an addictive effort you don't want to miss, especially if you love the sport, to which we have to ask, who hates miniature golf?
What's Hot:Online mini golf, random and Facebook opponents, five courses for a total of 70 holes, excellent touch controls let you control the ball's destiny, playing multiple games one after the other.
What's Not:Connection errors, annoying ads, laggy buttons, no single-player mode.