A Review Of 3D Ultra Minigolf Adventures

3D Ultra Minigolf Adventures is rare gem within the Xbox Live Arcade and is worth checking out at only at 400 Microsoft Points...which is equivalent to five dollars!
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3D Ultra Minigolf Adventures is one of those games that shows you that even a simple concept can make for a great game. If you could not guess by the title, the video game is based entirely off of minigolf or putt-putt depending on which term you prefer. And surprisingly, it does not get any more complicated than that!

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3D Ultra Minigolf Adventures was released on April 18, 2007 for the Xbox 360 as well as on the PC, and was both praised and criticized by gamers. The single-player mode does not last as long as you’d hope, but the multiplayer does add a fun aspect to the game that keeps it fun.

And allow me to break down some of the finer points of the game:

Graphics:  8/10

For an arcade game that was released in 2007, 3D Ultra Minigolf Adventures still looks good and all of the courses are colorful and visually-appealing. Each of the four characters have several clothing options so that each player can pick their favorite outfit to play in. On top of that, each player can pick their own custom golf ball that will help differentiate each player in a multiplayer match. The graphics are not going to compete with larger third-party games, but – at a fraction of the cost – one would be hard-pressed to complain.

Sound:  9/10

The music of 3D Ultra Minigolf Adventures is course-specific so that “western” music plays in the Old West course, while “carnival-style” music plays in the Classic Carnival course. The music helps to set the tone for each of the three courses and adds to the definition of the course. The sound effects of the game are also quite good which would not seem hard for a minigolf game, but Wanako Studios did a good job with incorporating the sounds into the game. 

On the “Duck Shoot” hole in the Classic Carnival course, players must putt the ball between a moving row of ducks without hitting any of the ducks to make it to the other side towards the hole. However, should the player hit one of the ducks then the duck makes an audible, “Quack!” and the ball thuds into the metallic body before rolling back down to the start of the hole. This sequence does not seem all that impressive in the grand scheme of things, but does add to the fun that 3D Ultra Minigolf Adventures aims for.

Single Player Gameplay:  6/10

The single-player mode of 3D Ultra Minigolf Adventures will probably be where most players begin to play the game, so that they can learn the controls and learn all of the courses before proceeding to multiplayer. There are three different courses that players will have to learn and three different tournaments available for play. Two of the three tournaments are 18-hole tournaments that introduce all of the courses to the player, and the final tournament is a 36-hole tournament that includes all of the holes from each course.

Beware the scorpions – they’ll knock your ball away!

The single-player mode is a lot of fun and allows each player the opportunity to learn all the hole-in-one locations as well as how some of the power-ups work as well. Almost every hole in 3D Ultra Minigolf Adventures has a hidden hole-in-one chance and each one takes careful aim to make. The holes that do not have hole-in-one chances do have specific paths that work best, so it is good for players to see how each hole plays out before jumping into the multiplayer side of the game.

The biggest drawback of the single-player mode is how terribly short it is. There are only three tournaments in total, so once you beat the last one then you have nothing to play for. This can be a bit of a disappointment because the single-player is fun while it lasts, but it just does not seem to last long enough. 

Multiplayer:  9/10

And here we arrive to the best portion of 3D Ultra Minigolf Adventures, the multiplayer!  What this game lacks in single-player it slowly re-gains in its multiplayer aspect, because the multiplayer adds another fun aspect to the gameplay. The single-player only allows the gamer to see themself play on-screen, which is fine, but the multiplayer has everyone go in order which adds to the fun. 

The single-player mode only has a couple of the game’s power-ups included such as the “Spring” power-up that causes your golf ball to hop into the air while moving. These power-ups are fun, but would it also be funny to blow up another player’s golf ball during the match?

Well, if making life difficult for another golfer sounds fun to you, then you might be pleased to hear that in multiplayer it allows you to do just that. A few power-ups that give you this opportunity would include the “Electro-shock” and “Glue” power ups. The “Electro-shock” will jolt your opponent’s golf ball and send it across the map. Whereas, the “Glue” power-up will cause the person’s golf ball to get stuck in place, should they run over the trail of glue put down. 

Hector does not appreciate people interfering with his golf game…

This part of the multiplayer might be the most fun part as you send your friends (or enemies!) flying across the screen or ruin their “Birdie” attempt with a well-placed power-up. Power-ups can literally change the entire course of the match, as the leading player will likely have three opponents gunning for him/her at once. The multiplayer is by far the most fun mode to play if you do not mind searching for a match, and it is advisable to have friends that play the game if you want to test out the multiplayer for yourself.

Controls:  8/10

Controls are usually a key aspect of many games and that is no different with 3D Ultra Minigolf Adventures, but the controls can only get so complex with a minigolf game.  There are several types of controls for hitting the golf ball such as “3 Click” that has the player select the strength of the shot and then the accuracy in quick succession, and is probably the toughest control setup.

The control setup that is the easiest is the “Hold and Release” where the player only needs to hold the button long enough to select the amount of force they want to hit the ball with and then release to send the ball rolling. I love when things are self-explanatory!

Courses:  7/10

The courses of 3D Ultra Minigolf Adventures are a lot of fun and take some time to learn the nuances of, but there are only three different courses so that is a bit of a letdown. There is a fourth course that can be purchased separately, “Lost Island”, but paying money for one more course doesn’t seem fair. If more than one course was available in a package deal then I would definitely consider picking up the additional maps, but one is too few for me to spend money. However, each course still has replay value even after you beat them a couple of times as the game really is good fun.

Replay Value:  Moderately High

With the multiplayer being as fun as it is, players will probably find that 3D Ultra Minigolf Adventures provides several hours of enjoyment. It does not take long to learn every hole on the three courses but, with the various power-ups knowing all the nuances of each hole will not be enough to win in multiplayer. Personally, I’ve logged close to six hours in the game since I first bought it, and I still enjoy playing even the single-player.

Overall:

If you have not had a chance to check out 3D Ultra Minigolf Adventures then I highly recommend doing so. The game is only five dollars for the Xbox 360 and is around ten dollars for the PC version, and it is worth it! The single-player alone makes it worth it for the Xbox 360, and the multiplayer mode will help make the PC version worth the money as well. The final score that I will give this game is a solid 8 out of 10.

For anyone who has played the game, please feel free to give your own score to the game and agree/disagree with the points I made. Leave me a comment, and we’ll discuss our views.

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A Review Of 3D Ultra Minigolf Adventures
3D Ultra Minigolf Adventures is rare gem within the Xbox Live Arcade and is worth checking out at only at 400 Microsoft Points...which is equivalent to five dollars!

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MyNameIsProjekt
Public Relations major at Virginia Commonwealth University. Fan of all types of video games, old and new.