Table Mini Golf is an augmented reality (AR) game available for download from the PlayStation Store for the PS Vita. The game takes an arcade style approach to the sport of golf with a crazy golf twist with various hazards littered throughout the holes.
The game provides two game modes including: free play and elimination tournament along with a tutorial. The tutorial is designed to bring you up to speed with how to use the AR cards, the controls, the camera angle and the challenge system. The free play game mode supports pass the Vita multiplayer for up to four human players or a mixture of human players and A.I. controlled opponents with each player receiving a message to inform them who should be taking their turn followed by a simple tap of the X button before taking their shot and then passing the Vita onto the next player to have their shot until all of the human players have completed the hole.
The free play mode allows you to choose from two themes including: Horror and Pirate with the additional option of pick ‘n’ mix which allows you to select any unlocked holes to make your own course with an additional theme available via the Toy Land course pack available for download on the PlayStation Store for £0.79 or free if you pre-ordered the game. The Horror and Pirate themes both have one course available with a second course that you have to unlock with each course containing nine holes for a total of thirty-six holes plus two courses containing eighteen holes via the Toy Land course pack downloadable content. The first course consisting of nine holes is the rookie course, while the second course also consisting of nine holes is the pro course for each of the themes.
For every course that you complete in the free play mode, you unlock in the elimination tournament mode, although the first Horror course and the two Toy Land courses are available from the start. The elimination tournament game mode sees you participating in a maximum of nine holes as you go up against three A.I. controlled opponents with the worst performing player eliminated after every three holes until only the best player remains, but in the case of the score card ending in the same result for multiple players the elimination would then be decided by the total amount of points earned as the player with the lowest amount of points would be eliminated. The multiplier is based upon the use of objects, the length of time the golf ball was airborne, long shots, rebounds and a putting bonus, which groups together to tally the total score at the end of every hole.
There are various challenges that provide between one and three stars upon completion that increases your level much in the same way as the levelling up system in the platformer Jetpack Joyride with a pop up menu on the left of the main menu screen informing you of the next three challenges, which is also available from the pause menu and a name for each level, such as beginner golfer for level two. There are three characters to choose from including: the countess (a female vampire), captain pegleg (a male pirate) and star commander (a spaceman) with the ability to customise your player name within a limit of seven characters. The club house is effectively a huge trophy cabinet spread across four screens showcasing trophies for all of the tournaments that you have won, challenges that you have beaten and levels that you have reached across the six themed courses and informing you as to the requirements that need to be met for each of the trophies. The stats screen displays all of your statistics spread across five separate categories: player, tournament, holes, challenges and style points. The statistics range from total play time, longest play session and characters used through to the amount of tournaments won, best tournament score, holes under par, ball distance covered, global challenges completed, stars earned, most stylish hole and much more.
The controls are very simple and minimalist with the X button used to putt and the longer you hold the X button the more power will be applied to your putt resulting in the golf ball travelling a greater distance, while the left analogue stick is used to move the positioning of your character to face in the direction you would like to putt with the Vita’s motion sensor functionality used to move the positioning of the camera angle in regards to zooming in and out in order to have a closer look at your next putt or having a look at the layout of the hole and seeing the environment you are playing the game in beyond the hole itself.
Table Mini Golf requires only one AR card to be positioned directly underneath the Vita, although an additional two AR cards can be simultaneously positioned underneath the Vita to provide added stability to the graphical output of the augmented reality. The AR cards can be located anywhere you want them to be enabling you to position the crazy golf course outside in your front garden or in your living room with the only restrictions being that the AR cards have to be placed on a flat surface and they have to be used in a well lit environment. I found the syncing process of the single AR card to be the easiest AR experience so far with the single AR card syncing within three seconds and graphically displaying perfectly from any camera angle with the light not being a factor at all.
The graphics look great and really brings the world of crazy golf to life with various still and moving hazards, such as the zombie hands that pick up a ball and transport it underground through to another zombie hand that spits it out back onto a totally different area of the hole. Everything is detailed and moves flawlessly without any frame rate issues.
The presentation of the game is solid with a great touch screen based user interface that is easy to navigate with simple taps of various icons, arrows and words that are effortless to follow, while there is a backdrop that meshes together various themes from the courses throughout each of the menu screens.
The audio consists of arcade music including sound effects that reflect upon the themes of the various holes, such as the eerie sound from a haunted mansion reflecting the horror theme from two of the courses. The sound effects during gameplay also strongly reflect upon the theme of that particular course, such as spiders crawling around, while gates open and slam shut during the horror courses.
The trophy list includes twelve trophies with seven bronze, four silvers and one gold trophy. The trophy list is not particularly easy and really depends upon your level of skill with the game. The only easy trophy is for destroying one-hundred balls in single player (Expendiballs), while scoring a hole in one is purely pot luck as the golf ball can easily narrowly veer off a little to the left or right and there are some trophies such as reaching level 15 and 30 that will require skill from completing various challenges along with some perseverance, although the flip side of the difficulty of the trophy list is there are no multiplayer, ad-hoc multiplayer or online based trophies.
There is no online multiplayer, although there is four player pass the Vita multiplayer in the free play mode and there are leaderboards including global rankings and friend rankings for all of the six courses the game has to offer.
The replayability of Table Mini Golf is vast as it has thirty-six holes with a further eighteen available via the Toy Land course pack downloadable content, free play mode including four player pass the Vita multiplayer support, elimination tournament mode, leaderboards, challenges, levelling up and a trophy cabinet for good measure that all create a pick up and play feel to the game with enough content to keep you coming back for a while.
Overall, Table Mini Golf is the most entertaining of the PlayStation Vita’s AR games so far with a lot of content to offer that will keep you coming back for more for hours on end with thirty-six holes spread across horror and pirate themes with a further eighteen holes available through the toy land course pack downloadable content, four player pass the Vita multiplayer available in free play mode, elimination tournament mode, leaderboards, challenges, levelling up your golfer and four huge cabinets worth of unlockable trophies as your reward for mastering the game. At just £1.59 with a further £0.79 for the Toy Land downloadable content, Table Mini Golf is an absolute must buy, especially with the amount of content that you get for this price and I highly recommend it!
At A Glance
- Title: Table Mini Golf
- Publisher: Four Door Lemon (XDev Studio Europe)
- System: PS Vita
- Format: PSN Download
- Cross Buy: No
- Cross Play: No
- Online Multiplayer: Online Leaderboards
- Memory Card Space Needed: 155Mb