A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this game.
What parents need to know
What's it about?
It's easy to play mini-golf using the Wii's motion-sensitive controller because players intuitively recreate the same swinging and putting motions that they'd use in real life. KING OF CLUBS is a low-brow take on mini-golf in more ways than one, from unpolished production values to it's setting at the local truck stop's mini-golf course.
The game features a variety of ways to play around the courses. In the career mode, you'll complete a series of prehistoric, Egyptian, medieval, tropical, and futuristic-themed courses at par or less to earn medals. In the tournament mode, you'll compete against computer-controlled opponents, and in speed mode, you'll race against time. There's also a practice mode. There are a whopping five multiplayer modes: Versus (a tournament mode for up to four friends), Grand Prix (play a random selection of unlocked holes), Speed Golf (players try to beat each other's times), Party (play any unlocked course), and Golf Warriors (play random holes with a randomly-assigned club and ball on each shot).
Is it any good?
The sheer number of modes is impressive, but unfortunately, King of Clubs doesn't offer much depth in terms of gameplay. The all-important swinging mechanics are decent, if unrefined -- you aim your player's body using the directional pad, then tap A, wind up your swing to the desired power, hold A and swing the Wii remote to execute your shot. Because it's mini-golf, many shots involve anticipating obstacles and corners and banking balls off of walls. A white line projects out from your ball to show you what path it will take, but if you flick camera angles too quickly, the white line disappears. You also can't adjust your swing while in birds-eye view, making it awkward to properly aim a shot.
You can purchase various power-ups from a shop, but you can only buy one item at a time before you're automatically dumped back into the game, which seems odd. Also annoying are the primitive graphics, the repetitive music, and the significant load-times. The game's iffy physics may make your ball stick half way up a hill without rolling back down, but at another time, it will roll back down. While King of Clubs might hold some appeal as a multiplayer experience (because everything seems more fun at parties), as far as golf games go this one is, pardon the pun, sub-par.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about how this game compares to playing real mini-golf. Is it easier or harder to play traditional golf versus digital golf? Do you think practicing your golf swing in games like this will make you a better golfer on real courses? What are some of the differences between regular golf and mini-golf?
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Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.