Developer: Scopely - Top Free Apps and Games LLC
Price: free Download on the App Store
Mini Golf MatchUp is a putt-putt powerhouse created by Rocket Jump with distribution by Scopely that pits friends and random opponents against each other in a fun game of cartoon miniature golf. Each course features a unique layout that can be completed in about a minute or less. Some courses have environmental effects, multi-level ramps and other obstacles. On first play, there is a tutorial that covers everything you need to know to in order to play Mini Golf Matchup like a pro.
Mini Golf MatchUp uses drag-and-release controls (think pinball or Angry Birds) with the goal of getting the ball in the hole in as few strokes as possible. In addition, players need to pick up the coins and gems scattered throughout the course. These determine the base score, with every stroke under par acting as a multiplier. If you get a hole-in-one, it will double all points earned on the next course.
Despite the crazy obstacle courses, it's easy to track the ball while maneuvering through each level. Mini Golf MatchUp features cartoon graphics with bright pastel colors and arcade-style sound effects. The upbeat music are a good match for the theme, but there is a mute option for those that prefer silence when lining up the perfect stroke.
Pwning your BFF at putt-putt is one of the things makes a multiplayer game like Mini Golf MatchUp so fun. After playing with your friends, try letting the system match you up with a random opponent to challenge your skills even further. Unfortunately, there is no single-player option — the one feature that, at least for me, would make this game truly addictive.
The main problem with Mini Golf Matchup is the monetization model. I have no problem with freemium apps and in-app advertising. Done right, it's a winning business model for developers and players. However, Mini Golf Matchup pushes the line. Choose to remove the ads for $1.99, and the app still requires "premium" levels (ie: most courses) to be unlocked by buying or collecting coins. Be prepared to pay up or be patient while playing the same courses for a while.
With colorful, quick-play levels, social connections and good game mechanics, there are many reasons to love Mini Golf Matchup. Whether it's worth being nickel-and-dimed one game at a time is up to you.
It's a universal iOS app with an edition for Android too, so no matter what device your friends are using chances are you can still meet up for a virtual game.