Off course: minigolf pocket games

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Itching for a putting session but weather too bad to play outside? We feel your pain. While you’re waiting for the clouds to clear, why not try one of these putting games for your Android smartphone? None of them quite match the sensations of real putting, but they can help with practising your angles, and you might encounter some obstacles found on real putting greens. The realism in these games is just about good enough to help you figure out the best way of tackling them.
We tested six minigolf games from the Android Play Store. Here are our results.

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Minigolf Matchup
Social game – you play against others online.
A hole-in-one doubles the points on the next hole. We like that!
Lots of bonuses for completing mini-goals. Rewards for social sharing: earn stars for following the game on Twitter and Facebook, inviting friends, etc.
Collect gems for extra bonuses. Nice feature, but you have to deliberately miss holing out in order to gather the gems.
Play with Facebook friends.
Different clubs to buy or earn: Chipper, Power Putt, Laser Aim.
Original features like cannons that shoot your ball over large obstacles.
Moving arrows show the lie of the green – uphill or downhill. This is the only game with that feature.
Fun, colourful, cartoony graphics and pretty convincing ball physics.

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Mini golf: retro
Graphics not too bad, smooth scrolling. As with all the other games apart from Minigolf Matchup, you rotate the whole scenery around you to aim.
Can’t zoom in and out – a bit of a limitation, but you can usually see where you need to putt.
Ball physics: 3. Adequate, but unlikely things sometimes happen like the ball stopping right on the crest of a hill.
No social features or rewards.
When you hole out you are presented with a full-screen advertisement for another game. Not much of a reward, and an abrupt end to your hole. More a simulator than a fully-fledged game.

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Minigolf Stars 2
Single/multiplayer
Cartoony graphics – quite nice.
Various courses like Beach, Desert, Space, Castle, River. Lots of unlockable levels.
Good control of landscape.
The obstacles are of average difficulty.
Realism: the ball can bounce over the cup whereas in Minigolf Matchup it seems to go in no matter how hard you have hit it.

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Minigolf Stars: Retro Golf
Very similar to Minigolf Retro.
Courses a bit more interesting
Like all of these games, you can’t make your own custom courses.

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Mini Golf 3D
This game has some fiendish obstacles! It can be challenging.
The graphics are more on the realistic side, and are very nice.
Ball physics are pretty good.

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Extreme Mini Golf
Different from the others, lots of water features, set in an aquatic world. But who would play minigolf on waterlogged courses?
Rather buggy. If you don’t play a shot it goes into a panoramic mode from which there is no escape, forcing you to restart the game.
Ball physics are average for this collection of games.

Here’s how the 6 minigolf games scored.

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The overall winner of this review is Minigolf Matchup. In second place is Minigolf 3D. Do you agree with this review? Try the games and comment!

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