The sport of golf is nothing new to the video game world, nearly every systems of every era has had at least one or two golf titles to keep fans happy. Most of these games get the basics right, from hitting the ball to offering a wide variety of courses, but there's one thing that almost all video golf has in common: they are lousy at putting. Just look at Electronic Arts' Tiger Woods franchise, the one big change made every year is in the putting game, in hopes that one day they will get it right. There's no doubt about it, putting is hard to get right, it's something that even the biggest companies (with the best technology money can buy) struggle with.
Perhaps it's for this reason that you shouldn't expect much from Putt & Putter, the redundantly named Mini-Golf (or, if you prefer, Putt Putt Golf) simulator. Putt & Putter offers gamers a chance to hit a miniature golf course and see who has the stuff legends are made of. Okay, maybe not legends, but at least the stuff of first dates. After you've chosen how many players you want (up to two) you're off to the micro links to determine who has the best putting skills.
The problem is that the putting game is pretty poor, which you should already be used to from the dozens of other golf games. Sega does try to keep the putting game fresh, you are offered a few options before going ahead with a stroke, but it's just not enough to make this exercise entertaining. Worse yet, there are a lot of times where you should sink the ball but the computer is too much of a stickler for perfection. Take into consideration that the game only features a handful of levels and you'll be left wondering why you're even playing this broken putt putter.
Another problem I found was in the level designs. As you can imagine Putt & Putter features a number of obstacles, but none of them are as interesting as what you would run into if you actually went outside and played 18 holes of Putt Putt Golf. There are a few clich?s, but we're talking about a video game that could put almost anything in the way of the ball, it's a shame Sega didn't go all the way and actually offer up level designs that were far beyond what you can get in the real world. If you're going to make a video game based on Putt Putt Golf it seems like a requirement to actually do things you can't in real life.
I also have to wonder why the game only supports two players. This is the type of multiplayer experience where you're passing the control back and forth; you should be able to fit four, five, maybe even six players in this party. That still wouldn't make this game fun, but it should be a standard feature in any game like this.
Putt & Putter manages to look good but is sabotaged by some fundamentally flawed game play choices. With its miniature level count and poor controls this is one game that is almost impossible to recommend. Some people may enjoy this the first time through, but there's very little in this game you're going to want to come back to. Putt & Putter may benefit from the overall lack of Putt Putt Golf video games, but if you're a fan perhaps you should just get outside and play one of these for real.