Wonder Wickets (PC) Review

By Gabriel Jones 30.12.2018

Review for Wonder Wickets on PC

The galaxy is vast filled with stars, and infinitely boring! Whose bright idea was it to have all of this empty space anyway? To help pass the time, a few intergalactic wanderers took up golfing. Seeing as how Pebble Beach is probably a few trillion light years away, they decided it'd be more convenient to play on whichever world is closest to them. Yes, even if that world happened to be covered entirely in lava. The danger is what makes it exciting, right? …And this is how Wonder Wickets came to be.

Whether it's saving the world, colonizing Mars, or fighting a legion of karate masters, videogames tend to be really stressful. Every now and then, it's necessary to take a break. Now before anyone jumps to some silly conclusion, this isn't going to be a break from gaming - instead, it's time to play Wonder Wickets. Where else can people of all ages participate in the solar system's most relaxing game of mini-golf? Oh wait, 'relaxing' is probably one of the last words that can be used to describe this. Every course is more diabolical than the last, and all it takes for spirits to be crushed is a single errant swing. If that wasn't enough, the galaxy is full of jerks, and they love blocking shots and pushing players around.

Now, just because this is mini-golf for sadists, it doesn't mean that it isn't any fun. After all, punishment and perseverance go hand in hand. The will to succeed is what carries aspiring golfers to glory, although it also helps to know the rules. Basically, the player has to sink the star orb into the black goal, preferably using as few shots as possible. Skilfully navigating each course is its own reward, but it's also nice to receive medals. The better the play, the shinier the medal, so try for platinum! There are no awards for going over par, just shame and more shame.

Screenshot for Wonder Wickets on PC

Newbies are offered a handy tutorial that covers all of the basics, as well as a few advanced techniques. Definitely take the time to go over it, because even in the deepest recesses of space, Murphy's Law still applies. Furthermore, mini-golf is surprisingly complex, and many elements of that are reflected in this game. Players not only have to account for the angle and power of their shot, but also the star orb's temperature. It might also be necessary to curve the swing, as that allows the orb to move around obstacles.

Hold up a moment. What's so important about temperature? Simply put, a high temperature produces a lot of friction, allowing the star orb to move through tall grass, snow, and sand. Cooler temperatures cause the orb to glide across the fairway with greater ease, trading speed for distance. Some experimentation is required to make the most of this technique, so don't be discouraged if shots don't go as planned. This helpfully points out the shot's direction before one attempts it, but if they're not getting the necessary distance, then that's probably because the temperature isn't quite right. Oh, and one more thing: it is possible to "nudge" the orb while it's travelling. In some circumstances, this can make a big difference.

While trying to line up that all-important shot, one must also be aware of the course conditions. In short, they're hardly ever ideal. There will be times where players have to putt in the dark, avoid cannon fire, or flick switches. Further complicating matters are all of the mischievous goons walking around. Bumping into them will cost the player a point, and that's the equivalent of a wasted shot. On the bright side, most can be easily eliminated with the star orb, and for every three that are defeated, an extra point is awarded.

Screenshot for Wonder Wickets on PC

Courses are best treated as puzzles. They all have a solution, and it's up to the golfer to figure them out. Granted, knowledge really is only half the battle here. One must also skilfully execute the necessary shots. Thankfully, the game can't be blamed if something goes awry. The controls and physics are expertly-handled, and the UI clearly conveys all of the important information. Any and all failings are entirely on the player. Hopefully that makes them feel slightly better, as they reach for the "restart course" option again and again.

It's safe to say that Wonder Wickets is loaded with content. The campaign mode consists of dozens of courses. They're all very creative, and no two are approached in the same manner. Similar titles can end up feeling a little repetitive, as they have too many levels that feel the same - that definitely isn't the case here. There's also the 'Challengoid Belt,' which consists of a multitude of special missions. Completing these challenges will require a serious understanding of the mechanics. One of the early missions takes place almost entirely on ice, and you have to rely on your nudging ability to defeat a lot of enemies, while opening a path to the black goal. Excellent golfers are also treated to numerous unlockables, such as hidden characters and customizable star orbs.

Screenshot for Wonder Wickets on PC

For those out there who think they've accomplished everything, then it might be time to take on the community. Included in this game is an extensive level-builder. Every possible tile and object is available for inspired minds to create their perfect course. Figuring out how everything works doesn't take long at all, which leaves more time to come up with some devious designs. Although, do try to exercise a little restraint. If the designer isn't able to complete their course, then it can't be uploaded to the Steam workshop. In other words, don't create something impossible. Anyone seeking friendly competition will be happy to learn that there is support for both local and online versus play. Just be sure to check out this the discord server, which is conveniently posted on the title screen. This will make it much easier to set up matches over the internet.

Finally, special credit has to be given to the art director and composer of this game. They did a wonderful job bringing this unique world to life. The character designs are very charming; the music, which changes depending on what's currently happening, is absolutely fantastic; and, altogether, the atmosphere is pleasant and calming. Even when replaying the same mission constantly, just to eke out one or two more points, frustration never sets in.

Screenshot for Wonder Wickets on PC

Cubed3 Rating

8/10
Rated 8 out of 10

Great - Silver Award

Rated 8 out of 10

Admittedly, this critic isn't exactly experienced when it comes to mini-golf games. Determining Wonder Wickets' standing in such a niche genre is immeasurably difficult. With that said, anyone with an appreciation for tight game design and superb aesthetics is liable to fall in love with it. Courses are complex and challenging, but there's enough restraint to keep players from feeling bogged down. The conditions for unlocking most of the content are actually really light. Nobody will ever get the feeling that they have to repeat the same mission constantly, just to make any progress. Definitely give this a shot.

Developer

Rightstick Studios

Publisher

ANIM•ACE

Genre

Sport

Players

1

C3 Score

Rated $score out of 10  8/10

Reader Score

Rated $score out of 10  0 (0 Votes)

European release date Out now   North America release date Out now   Japan release date Out now   Australian release date Out now   

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