developed by Damp Gnat
I remember way back in the day, 1985 to be exact, a mini-putt golf game titled “Mini Golf” was out in arcades. It was a pretty simple little game by today’s standards but the idea was a fun one. Play 18 holes of mini-putt golf using only a trackball to gauge the direction and strength of each putt. Each hole was accompanied by a series of obstacles that increased in difficulty as you progressed. Mini Golf required lots of practice with the trackball in order to move the golf ball with any precision. Unfortunately, this would mean spending a lot of money in quarters (twenty-five cents at a time) in order to play individual holes multiple times.
Fast forward to the year 2011, where you can now play probably one of the most fun and unique Mini-Putt video games I’ve ever seen… for free and in your web-browser! Introducing Wonderputt, the single-screen, 18 hole, mini-putt golf game.
Wonderputt is everything a great mini-putt golf game should be. It’s inventive, easy to play, and most importantly, fun. Just looking at the entire golf course in the game trailer below. It’s interesting just to look at, and just when you thought you’d seen all of it, the course evolves and changes right before your very eyes, at each and every hole.
The controls are simple. Point and click your way through each of the 18 holes. That doesn’t mean this is a cakewalk. You’ll have to adjust the strength and direction of your shots in order to compensate for obstacles and changes in terrain surfaces. The user interface and controls are very intuitive though, allowing you to fine tune your shots with the greatest of ease.
Moving the mouse pointer close to the ball brings up a small arrow on the screen. This arrow can be adjusted by moving the pointer around the ball, showing which direction the player is putting. Once you’ve got the direction set, you can move the arrow away from or towards the ball to determine the strength of the putt. It’s really that simple to control.
Once you’ve played a couple of holes you start getting a feel for how hard you should or shouldn’t putt and become more comfortable banking the ball off of scenery in order to get the ball a little bit closer to the hole. It still requires some practice but there is absolutely no pressure involved.
Wonderputt is Aesthetically pleasing. The graphics are very clean, and very sharp. It’s simply amazing how the developer has contained 18 holes into this wondrous little world. Because the playing field is somewhat small, it might be difficult at first to clearly see the proper path for reaching some of the holes. There is a tremendous amount of detail at each hole though, and the animations involved with each section of the course will put a smile on your face, even after you’ve seen each of them half a dozen times.
The sound effects are very well done and the music is very soft, almost soothing to the ears. Since the course is so animated it’s only reasonable that they sound animated. Everything from rolling, whirring, kerplunking, moo-ing, and splashing, sounds authentic and real. The audio compliments the gameplay in all the right ways.
Wonderputt is a charming little game. It has tight controls, excellent graphics and great sound. It’s also lots of fun and extremely addictive. Finishing the 18 hole course unlocks a slightly new mode and coming back and playing the same 18 holes for a second and third time might even be more fun than the very first time. If all of this wasn’t enough, Wonderputt is absolutely free to play! Head over to Kongregate and give it a try as soon as you’re done reading this!