I love Minigolf, and I love my 3DS, so I had some cautious hope that Shin’en’s Fun! Fun! Minigolf Touch! might be a decent way to spend $4.99. Unfortunately, this game breaks the months-long streak of outstanding original 3DS eShop games. Fun! Fun! Minigolf Touch! isn’t a disaster, it’s just…meh. Meh.
It’s got a sharp presentation, with clean 3D graphics, pleasant music, and a nice sense of actually being on a well-landscaped minigolf course. The two character models are well done, and you have an option (unlockable) to use your Mii’s head…which, unfortunately, ends up looking like a freaky mask on a body that isn’t at all the right proportions for it. You can alter the style and color of your player’s clothes, which turns out to be the most fun! fun! activity in the entire game.
The play mechanics are fine, allowing you to either use the touch screen or buttons to aim, then try for the correct power and accuracy on your shot. All the ingredients are in place for a solid game…but…
Things fall apart with the limitations of the game engine and the design of the courses. There are three nine-hole courses, and the problem is this: the game can only render your golfer at the tee or the green, so if your ball comes to rest anywhere on the carpet fairway in between, it’s declared out of bounds, and you must re-shoot from the tee or green, whichever you shot from last. This make the whole thing feel more like a carnival game than actual minigolf, and you will often find yourself making shot after shot from the tee until you find the correct angle.
And then, once you find the correct angle for the hole, you can repeat it every time. And, unlike in real minigolf, you’ve got a shot meter to ensure that you can, indeed, repeat the same shot every time. Once this limitation becomes clear, Fun! Fun! Minigolf Touch! quickly becomes tedious and uninspired.
The courses are pretty, but woefully unimaginative, with a metal loop-the-loop and spiral providing the height of thrills among the 27 holes. You can unlock advanced versions of each course, which only add mirroring, coins and additional simple obstacles to the same holes.
And, so, Fun! Fun! Minigolf Touch! ends up being a pretty-but-bland experience, one I will delete from my 3DS. If you want some real fun! fun! look to eShop games like Pushmo, Sakura Samurai, FreakyForms, Mutant Mudds, Dillon’s Rolling Western, Zen Pinball, Mighty Switch Force and Let’s Golf 3D. Those games are all worth their asking price. This Minigolf excursion, unfortunately, should be swept under the carpet fairway.