Review: Gummy Bears MiniGolf (Nintendo DS)
by ML Kennedy on December 2, 2010

Gummy Bears MiniGolf
Publisher: Storm City Games
Developer: Beyond Reality Games
Genre: Candy-Based Mini-Sports
Release Date: 10/15/2010

Man I love the Gummi Bears. SING WITH ME!
Dashing and daring,
Courageous and caring,
Faithful and friendly with stories to share!
All through the forest,
They sing out in chorus,
Marching along as their song fills the air.

Oh.

I guess this game doesn’t have anything to do with the Disney TV Show. It’s about candy and I guess I like those, too.
Chewy and chewy
And chewy and chewy
These fruit flavored bears that I kill with my mouth
These bears are not polar
They stick in my molar
They sit in a bag and that’s all that they do!

More specifically, this game is about the candy and how much that candy likes to engage in the teenage date activity of mini-golf.

What could go wrong?

Let’s Review

Gummy Bears MiniGolf lets you pick a gummy from a variety of colors, and then give that bear a five letter name. I chose a blue one and named it Tummi. After that it is time for golf. Apparently, Tummi is really bad at mini-golf.

It goes like this: first you select which of the four courses you’d like to play. Since three of those four courses are locked, this choice is easy. Next you are shown the course. You can position your bear with the d-pad. Left and Right position your bear left and right. Up and Down turn the bear. X and B move the camera up and down.

To hit the ball, you have to swipe the stylus up the touch pad. And here is where the problems begin.

First off, the game doesn’t tell you that is how you hit the ball. The game doesn’t give you a single clue as to how the controls work. There are a few throwaway lines in the paper manual, but that’s it.

A kid who doesn’t read the manual is going to get stuck on the first course.

Second off, the controls don’t work. There is absolutely no consistency in shot strength. The manual says the faster you swipe, the harder you hit the ball.

I disagree.

I’ve had the same swipe sink a long putt, launch the ball off the course, and barely move the golf ball. It’s kind of a problem. Especially considering that the ball will only drop into the hole when the ball is moving at a snail’s pace.

Because of this thing, it is surprisingly difficult to make par for any hole. The first course is three holes. You need to get par or better overall in order to unlock the second course. You have to do the same with the second course, to unlock the third, and the same with the third to unlock the fourth. The only difference is that each course has more holes than the one before it.

Although, I should say a lot of what I am saying is based on assumption. I’ve only been able to unlock the second course. I haven’t seen the third or fourth courses. My daughter tried many times on the first course, but grew tired of the game before she was able to unlock the second course.

I convinced my wife to try the game out when I went to the store. I wanted to make sure that it wasn’t just me being terrible at this children’s game. When I got back from the store, fifteen minutes later, I heard “you’ve got to be kidding me!” and she shut the game in disgust.

I’m fairly confident in saying that using the stylus as a putter does not work.

The game is also pretty spotty in recognizing good things from bad things. The game will say “fantastic shot” for getting close to the hole. But it sometimes compliments how close you are to the hole when you just blew the world’s easiest putt. You have a short putt, the stylus controls go wonky and don’t detect any speed on the swipe and the ball moves a nanometer. “Great shot” the game says.

Are you mocking me Gummy Bears MiniGolf? I will not abide being mocked by CANDY!

Sometimes, the game becomes indifferent to you playing it at all. I’ve had several instances where in lieu of “good shot” or “nice shot” the game just tells me “shot”.

Graphically, the game is nothing special. The holes are underwhelming, without so much as a moving windmill on the first eight holes. Who knows what the rest of the game has?

In terms of audio, it is the same kids game music I’ve hears many times before. What is this generic music? Is there some sort of aural equivalent to ClipArt out there?

In addition to holding the majority of the game hostage, Gummy Bears MiniGolf does a few other things to artificially enhance replayability. Each hole has a number of coins on it. If your ball hits the coin you get it. Collect them, and you can shop at the gummy bear stores. It amounts to shirts and hats for your bear, different colored balls, and weird putters that look like candy canes or birds.

I enjoy dressing up my candy as much as the next guy, but is ball color really something that needs to be an unlockable?

Seriously, Gummy Bears MiniGolf, seriously?

I tried to like you, and this is how you treat me?

The game also gives you little awards for completing some actions. I guess this is something that the kids enjoy, but I don’t really go in for it. You get a trophy for your characters first par, its first bogey, hitting the ball out of bounds five times, and so on. Unless these trophies affect gameplay, I don’t see the point in them.

There is multiplayer for Gummy Bears MiniGolf, but it is exactly the same as single player. The only difference is that you have to pass the DS back and forth. The game doesn’t even congratulate the winner. It just shows a score sheet at the end. Even though you have to name each Gummy, the score sheet lists them as Player 1 and Player 2. What the heck game? You forgot that this all important three hole match was between Sunni and Gusto? C’mon!

The only other thing there is to talk about is the option to design your own course. I thought that this could be exciting, but I was a fool. You can customize your own course, but not design your own hole. As such, you get to create your own unique course consisting of holes previously unlocked.

Lame.

The Scores
Modes: Bad
Graphics: Mediocre
Sound: Below Average
Control and Gameplay: Bad
Replayability: Mediocre
Balance: Bad
Originality: Mediocre
Addictiveness: Bad
Appeal Factor: Good
Miscellaneous: Dreadful
FINAL SCORE: POOR GAME

Short Attention Span Summary

Gummy Bears MiniGolf is too hard for kids and too kiddish for adults. It is also too hard for adults. Basically, the game just doesn’t work and is clearly the product of either Duke Sigmund Igthorn or Lady Bane.



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