Developer / Publisher – Might Coconut
Price – US $29.99 / CA $34.99 / EU €29.99 / UK £24.99
Release Date – May 11th, 2023 (PSVR 2)
Input – 2 x Motion Controllers
Play Area – Sitting, Standing, Roomscale
Store Links – Steam, Quest, PlayStation
Reviewed on – PlayStation VR 2
This review is about Walkabout Mini Golf, a made-for-VR, physics-based mini golf game that perfectly recreates the simple fun of the game and the joy of playing with others young and old. I have had this game for a few years on both PC and Quest and have been begging the developer to bring this to PSVR, as it is easily one of my favorite VR games of all time. You might find that hard to believe, but stick around and I’ll tell you why you need this game.
As a long time VR gamer, for years I couldn’t understand why we never got a proper VR mini golf game, as the small golf courses, simpler physics and room scale nature of the experience just seemed to lend itself so well to VR. There were a few attempts, but it wasn’t until Walkabout Mini Golf hit the scene in 2021 on the Quest and PC that VR gamers got themselves a proper VR game. Now since the game dropped, it has grown and improved immensely as a title, with the inclusion of additional control mechanics, improved visuals and many, many, many new courses. And you lucky PSVR 2 headsets get to play the best version of Walkabout Mini Golf, benefiting from years of polish and improvements while also getting a version of the game that comes packed with every single course that has been released to date. For those keeping score, that’s eighteen 18 hole courses, with each course coming with an unlockable hard variation that takes place during the evening light, essentially taking the course number up to 36 courses and 648 individual holes. That’s a lot of mini golf goodness.
Now of course, how much game there is to play wouldn’t matter if the act of playing mini golf sucked here, but developer Mighty Coconut has absolutely nailed the ball physics, creating a game that feels spectacularly like playing real mini golf. Everything from the way the ball reacts, to different power strokes, to the way it rolls and bounces off of different surfaces all feels exactly how it should. I might say this also includes the mishaps – intentional or otherwise – of firing a ball out of bounds, which can lead to some amazing moments of Rube Goldberg-esque wizardry in an attempt to hack a course with some amazing trick shots – something the game absolutely allows – without resetting your ball and ruining your fun. And I think that is a crucial point to make here with Walkabout Mini Golf, as it really is so much fun to play, either alone or with up to 7 other friends or strangers, and it does absolutely everything to make sure you are entertained.
Course variety is definitely a key to the entertainment factor as each and every new course that has been added to the game has gone to completely different areas of time, space and even fiction to take fantasy mini golf to a level like never before. Early courses in the core game wisely strived to create a more classic mini golf experience, offering courses that spanned such locals as a tropical island, a desert, oceanside cliffs and even a gothic castle. However, once the DLC courses started coming, Walkabout Mini Golf really found its imagination, giving players the chance to play some of the best and most elaborate mini golf courses ever designed. Some of these locations include a 60’s-style deep space station, a candy land world, an old west town, and even into well known fictional locations such as the movie world of the Labyrinth or the famous island of the game Myst. The list goes on and on, with Jules Vern courses taking place on the submarine from 20,000 leagues under the sea, to golfing at the bottom of the ocean in the Lost City of Atlantis. This course variety also extends to the individual holes, as the imagination and ingenuity of each hole as it takes ideas from the course theme makes for a brand new experience for players every time they step up to a new shot. All of this is made even more complete with some light mini golf puzzles to explore at various holes.
As I previously mentioned, for those looking for more of a challenge each and every course also contains a harder, more challenging variation that takes place at night. This is unlocked by either getting a final score of par on the day variation or collecting a minimum of 10 hidden golf balls. And yes, I should mention that it isn’t all about golf here in Walkabout as the game is filled with secrets to explore, including a hunt for uniquely decorated golf balls hidden within the vicinity of each and every hole of the daytime courses. The designs of these can at times be incredible and collecting them can become very addictive in a Where’s Waldo type of way, and rewarding when you’re able to bust out your new found treasure when playing with friends. Now while the nighttime variations do not have hidden balls they instead have a sort of treasure hunt game included, offering a hint at the first hole that will have players running all around the map in search of items and clues to unlock that course’s custom themed golf clubs. Trust me guys, these mini games can completely take over a match as players run around looking for hidden collectibles.
For those wondering about accessibility options, Walkabout Minigolf really allows players to play the game the way they want to, allowing them to choose between full locomotion and teleportation, as well as a choice between click and smooth turning. Seated and standing play is organically supported here as the club simply adjusts automatically to the player’s height. This not only only helps with seated play but also for kids jumping in and having the game feel right for them. As a result, this auto adjust feature of the club also makes for a very jank-free golf game; you never struggle to line your club up with the surface of the green. Additionally, Walkabout Mini Golf also supports the two extremes of movement, allowing players with the play space to essentially play each course using full room scale, or on the other side of the extreme, choose to go full superman and take flight around the course. It’s your choice, and I love that.
Controller wise, the game only requires the use of one and actually tracks better if you do, though I should say that when compared to the Quest 2, the PSVR 2 doesn’t quite track as well. I should clarify that this isn’t an issue with the game, as the PSVR 2 does have a tendency to sometimes lose the controllers. It’s never game breaking nor will a score be docked for it, but it’s still worth mentioning.
Multiplayer can support up to 8 players. Individual players can either try their luck at joining up with a random bunch of people online or they can set up and join a private room. Multiplayer is also cross play with PCVR and Quest players, so regardless of what headset your friends own you can play together. Multiplayer really brings this game alive and, if you are lucky enough to own another headset in your home, it makes for a fantastic living room experience to play together in the same room on multiple headsets. I have personally taught my nieces how to play mini golf while playing this game, and it makes for some real quality VR time.
Now on the visual side of things, Walkabout Mini Golf might be easy to dismiss as another cartoony VR game that looks like it was made in Rec Room. And honestly, I wouldn’t blame you for thinking that. However, the social screen footage you have likely seen really does not do this game justice. Once in the headset, you are sure to see that the art design Mighty Coconut have chosen to go with, while obviously Quest friendly, is also a perfect fit for a light hearted mini golf game. I often felt like I was on a holiday playing on these courses. Honestly, Walkabout Mini Golf – as silly as it may sound to those who haven’t played it – is often a visually stunning game and continues to impress me each and every time I jump into it. It has endless draw distance, creative visuals and sheer polish. That being said, the games first 6 or 7 courses, while visually nice in their own right, do pale now when seen in comparison to the courses that would follow. The Quixote Valley DLC drop definitely raised the visual bar for the series. A bar mind you, that each subsequent course has arguably raised, with an incredible amount of care and detail being put into each and every aspect of the course design. These courses and even the earlier ones are simply bursting with color, imagination and use scale and verticality to create some wonderful worlds to explore in a multitude of ways. Later courses have also seen the inclusion of more dynamic lighting and particle effects, and I commend the design team for doing an excellent job of using shaders to bake in lighting and shadow effects that work on the Quest but still hold up on higher end headsets. Speaking of which, PSVR 2 headsets are definitely getting the PCVR version here with its improved level of detail, draw distance and texture sharpness. It may not be quite as sharp as the PC version when jacked up with super sampling, but it’s close. Additionally the PSVR 2 version definitely benefits from its HDR display as the colorful nature of the game along with its darker night variations really pop, making it arguably the prettiest version of the game to play. Now where some may feel that the game’s visual style may hurt the immersion factor for them, let me assure you that the sound design does a lot of heavy lifting to help bring the game to another level. Detailed and spot on world sounds fill the sound mix, really putting players into the world they are walking around. In-game chat keeps players connected and a light musical score gives the game some spirit. For me it was the game’s amazing use of ambient world sounds that I found truly exceptional and made these worlds come alive.
This brings us to my final thoughts and review score. From its world design and spot on physics, to its fantastical colorful visuals and lively sound mix, Walkabout Mini Golf for me is just about the perfect VR Mini Golf Game. Throw in a robust collection of courses, all with vastly different course designs and the promise of much more to come, and Walkabout Mini Golf just keeps on getting better and better. Whether alone or with friends, its challenging game design and multitude of side collectathons will keep players interested for countless hours of laughter, cheer and pure VR fun.
This is must-own VR and I highly encourage you to pick it up if you don’t have it already on another headset. What’s different here on the PSVR 2 version isn’t crucial enough that I think I would jump from the PC version to this, but Quest owners are likely to appreciate the visual upgrades. Regardless, having a second version of the game in the house makes for some fantastic living room co-op sessions.
Mighty Coconut provided The VR Grid with a press code for this title and, regardless of this review, we thank them for that!