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I have very few multiplayer games for the Wii, probably because up until recently I only had one remote rendering multiplayer games useless. For that reason I recently bought this carnival mini golf game for just £7.99. That is the pre-owned price though so if you want it new you'll be looking to pay a little more.
What Is Carnival: Mini-Golf?
I always knew mini golf as crazy golf but whatever you call it the idea is the same. You need to hit a ball across a golf course and navigate some corners and other tricky areas.
This game is an add on to the carnival game for the Wii so those of you who have played this will find the ideas in here very similar.
Before you can play you need to create and name your character. You have a choice of a girl, boy, women or a man. There are a choice of face shapes, colours, t-shirts and shorts etc. You start off with a basic club and ball but you can unlock more. More on this later.
There are nine 'lands', each very different from the other. I won't name each of them but they include fairytella (a fairy tale like place), spook-o-Rama, (a land based on ghosts and graveyards) and Rah's Revenge (a place that reminds me a lot of Egypt) so there is a lot of variety.
Each of these lands has three kinds of holes - adventure, challenge and trick. The adventure involves navigating a normal crazy golf course from start to finish ideally under par, which is usually either 3 or 4 shots. There is also a hidden short cut for all challenge holes allowing you to get a hole in either one or two depending on how well you complete a mini-game. Challenge holes are a bit harder. They add extras such as air which blows your ball off course, a course which doubles as a maze etc. And trick holes are similar to challenge holes, they include bouncing off walls, blowing up dynamite to find your hole etc. The main difference between trick and challenge is that for a trick shot you need to get a hole in one. You do get three tries but if you don't get it in your ball is reset to the start.
You can play either on your own or with up to four players. On your own you can either play the holes as they are or against the computer (Barker) for Barker coins. More on coins later. I would strongly suggest playing on your own first. Barker can be hard to beat and tends to get his shots either on par or one over. Playing on your own also allows you to get puzzle pieces for the courses. To get a puzzle piece you need to get the shots either on par or under. After you collect two out of three puzzle pieces for each land the next one will be unlocked. You also collect coins for each land which can be spent on 'upgrades' in the shop.
Playing multiplayer allows you to play with up to four players using one or multiple remotes. If you use multiple remotes you can also put each other off by shaking your remote as the other person takes their shot.
The only real fault I can find here is that the remote isn't as sensitive as it could be making more delicate putting shots trickier then they should be.
This is a tricky one. Playing on your own isn't so much fun, but as a multiplayer game it's actually quite good.
There is a lot of replayability possible in that you do tend to want to unlock and buy each of the upgrades (different clubs, balls etc) especially since the players react differently to getting the ball in depending on which club they are using. For instance the man, using the normal club, does a dance then gets knocked out but with a tribal pole as a club he dances with the club and disappears in a puff of smoke!
Having said that playing on your own you probably won't have the motivation to keep playing this much as it just doesn't give you the same sense of fun as when playing with others. Also, despite the variety offered by each land there are only 27 holes (9 lands, 3 holes each) whilst this sounds a lot it does get boring fast.
That said, the potential is there and if this is the kind of game That you'd enjoy anyway I see no reason why this can't be replayed for days if the mood takes you!
Music And Sound Effects
Most holes have music but not all. However the music played fits in with the land you are playing. For instance the wild west land will have wild west music. This is inoffensive and unobtrusive, just there in the background as I feel music in a game should be.
The sound effects can be slightly more invading, again depending on the land you are playing. This doesn't bother me and may in fact entice younger players since some of the effects are animal noises but if they do bother you then muting the game doesn't affect game play.
The only real negative point I have to say here is Barkers voice. He has to introduce every hole and comment on most shots. This is frustrating especially since he has one on the most annoying voices I have ever come across but again, the mute button quickly takes care of that!
Actually the graphics aren't too bad. A little cartoonish and basic but otherwise not too bad. There are some attempts at special effects which in my opinion fail miserably but this doesn't detract from my enjoyment of the game.
They are by no stretch of the imagination, the best graphics I have seen but the Wii suffers from poor graphics anyway and given that I haven't any complaints here.
Warnings And Suitability
This is stated as suitable for 3+. In general I would agree. Children that young probably won't grasp the idea of the game and some holes are bordering on too complex for me let alone them but the lands based on fairy tales and barn yards will appeal and I see no reason why they shouldn't enjoy these too. Especially when the idea of one hole in particular is just to crack eggs with your ball!
Price, Availability And Recommendations
As I said, I bought this pre-owned for £7.99. At that price its a decent game. On searching Amazon I've just noticed that they have it new for £7.82 (excluding postage). I think this is a fair price. I'm going to give it 3 out of 5 as it is a reasonable multiplayer game but I wouldn't pay anymore then the prices quoted above.