Carnival Games Mini Golf



Minigolf is fun but doesn't shoot a hole in one.

What parents need to know

Positive messages

Fosters good cooperative play and gamesmanship.

Violence & scariness

There is some shooting in minigames, mainly of targets, but no blood.

Not applicable
Not applicable

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that while the game is easy to play, it may be offputting to some kids because you really have to swing hard to get the ball to move on the mini-golf course. Also, the host moves from being cheeky to a little too insulting at times.

What's it about?

When the original Carnival Games launched last year, it was packed with minigames that were sometimes flawed. And you didn't get that much bang for the buck. Yet it's sold over 1.5 million copies to date. With CARNIVAL GAMES MINIGOLF, the same strange, mocking carnival barker is your host and tutor as you play over two dozen holes of miniature golf. The primary challenge here is to earn pieces of a puzzle that will allow you to open new holes. You will also want to run your golf ball over coins, so that you can purchase items like golf balls and clothing to customize your avatar.

MiniGolf's holes are grouped by themes and by difficulty (easy, medium, and hard.) Each of six courses has three holes which are kind of like Rube Goldberg devices in that many things happen at one time after you hit the ball. You aim by using the Wii reMote's D-pad; and hit the ball by pressing 'A', then swinging, then releasing the 'A' button. You can choose to play solo, with up to four friends, or with the fast-talking barker.

Is it any good?


What's likeable about the game? The holes are cleverly animated with, for instance, witches flying around and spiders crawling over the green on a haunted house hole. As part of the prehistoric theme, a pterodactyl will grab your ball and take you to a cavern for a mini game in which you use the Wii remote to fly high and low past obstacles. Similarly, in an old mine-themed hole in the Wild West section, you have to shoot ghosts in the mine before your ball comes out of the cavernous, spooky ruins and lands hear the flag. All of these mini games are a hoot and mildly challenging. One really ingenious hole has you putting the ball to hit dynamite, which then launches the ball into more dynamite and then into the hole. It's pretty exhilarating to watch.

While there's no denying that MiniGolf is entertaining, there are still flaws that set it back. For instance, you really have to whack the ball to get it to go with some speed, swinging fully of as you would in a real game of golf. The ball might roll into a corner, but the game then automatically places it in the middle of the course. You'll kind of wish there were more mini games in each hole, too, just so there would be more game here and more challenge. Along the way, you'll get prizes like a putter that looks like a train engine. But these add no skill to your game, just a cool-ish look to dress up your avatar. Also, the game would get more props if it had an online mode to play against folks who are hither and yon. Finally, younger, more sensitive players may become frustrated by the sometimes-mocking barker.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about what kind of fantasy minigolf course they would make if they had the wherewithall to create their own courses. Would you make a prehistoric theme or a scary theme? What other great themes can you think of that aren't in the game? How about presidential theme or a celebrity theme?

Game details

Platforms:Nintendo Wii
Available online?Not available online
Developer:2K Play
Release date:October 21, 2008
Topics:Sports and martial arts
ESRB rating:E for Cartoon Violence (Nintendo Wii)

This review of Carnival Games Mini Golf was written by

Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are conducted by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.


Our star rating assesses the media's overall quality.

Find out more

Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging; great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging; good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging; good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging; OK learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

Find out more

About our buy links

When you use our links to make a purchase, Common Sense Media earns a small affiliate fee from Amazon or iTunes. As a nonprofit organization, these funds help us continue providing independent, ad-free services for educators, families, and kids while the price you pay remains the same. Thank you for your support.
Read more

See more about how we rate and review.

About Our Rating System

The age displayed for each title is the minimum one for which it's developmentally appropriate. We recently updated all of our reviews to show only this age, rather than the multi-color "slider." Get more information about our ratings.

Great handpicked alternatives

What parents and kids say

See all user reviews

Share your thoughts with other parents and kids Write a user review

A safe community is important to us. Please observe our guidelines

Adult Written byTimTheTVGuy October 24, 2012

Uhh...CSM...This game DOES shoot a hole in one.

It's THAT great of a game,and it's one of the best games ever! It's so much fun! Enough said.
Parent of a 5 and 5 year old Written bysmaddox March 28, 2010
My son loves this game. We play it together as a family and cheer each other on.
Teen, 13 years old Written byParamoreFan09 January 22, 2010

yeah... don't bother...

horrible. I just shook the remote and i got a hole in 1. Animation is CREEPY! the characters are ugly-- you have NO options when customizing your character... ugh its horrible.


Did our review help you make an informed decision about this product?

Digital Compass