This is Infinite Minigolf, the brand new game from Zen Studios. It's a cartoony putt putt golf game that gives you power-ups and an endless selection of random courses. It recently hit Steam Early Access and I know you have a lot of questions, so let's crib this.
Is this a pinball table?
No, but I understand why you ask. Zen Studios is probably best known for making Pinball FX and Zen Pinball, which led to a number of popular tables based on characters from Marvel and Star Wars. But Zen wants to be known for more than pinball, which is why we've seen them release games like CastleStorm and KickBeat. Now they're back with Infinite Minigolf, a charming new sports game that is more than a putt putt simulator.
Forget about playing through the typical 18 holes, because this is an ingenious twist on how to experience a golf game. As the title suggests, you jump into an almost endless array of complicated miniature golf courses that are filled with items, obstacles and power-ups. It never ends, you'll just keep playing different holes until you can't take it anymore. These are stages created by both Zen Studios and the diehard fans of Infinite Minigolf.
Is it better than Infinite Warfare?
Well, it's a lot less violent. And a world filled with unlimited putt putt golf sounds a whole lot better than endless war. But let's forget about Call of Duty and focus on Infinite Minigolf, because there's really a lot to like about Zen's newest game. The idea is to customize the characters and earn points and money by completing simple tasks. This is where the infinite runner influence shows up, forcing us to play the game in different ways to earn medals. Sometimes the missions will be as simple as picking up a certain amount of gems, while other tasks will involve making a stylish hole-in-one shot.
I like the idea of jumping in and out of these endless playlists of golf courses in order to level up and customize the characters. What I didn't like were the actual characters. We're given two annoyingly young golfers right from the start. They take selfies and show off, because they are young and came straight from the set of the Disney Channel. They suck, and I spent the whole time wondering why these were my only choices.
Why do you hate kids?
Oh ... that's not what I meant. I'm just saying that these two characters grate on my nerves and I would have preferred a more diverse lineup. But forget about the next generation, because this is more about the putt putt action. Beyond simply trying to get the ball in the hole, this game adds a bunch of power-ups that can change your putt in substantial ways. You'll be able to jump over objects and speed up at a moment's notice. There's even a power-up that gives you complete control over your ball after the putt, something I've always wanted when playing the game in real life.
It's also worth mentioning that the game comes with a robust level creator, which will be the life blood of Infinite Minigolf. Here you'll be able to create large and complicated monstrosities, as well as simple yet challenging holes. Based on some of the courses I ran into, it's safe to say that you're only going to be limited by your imagination. I can't wait to see what kind of designs people come up with, especially when Zen opens up new stages, pieces and obstacles.
Although it's missing a lot of content, I had a great time putting around in Infinite Minigolf. I was especially impressed with the gameplay, successfully adopting Electronic Arts' analog stick swing controls while twisting them in some important ways. I also really liked the one location, a giant's house where everything is oversized. Unfortunately, you'll get sick of seeing the same background and cardboard course within an hour or two, but more locations are on the way. It's a little barebones right now, but I have a hunch Infinite Minigolf will eventually be worth the $15 asking price.