I wanted to enjoy Planet Minigolf, I really did. I’m a big minigolf fan and I’ve really enjoyed other minigolf videogames from days past. It’s unfortunate that Zen Studios, the creators of Zen Pinball, chose to incorporate a lousy camera system, wonky power-ups, and impossible hole setups to effectively destroy any fun that could be had from Planet Minigolf. First I would like to address the camera system. In a minigolf game, it’s important to be able to view the holes and plan your method of attack. Planet Minigolf effectively makes this a game of trial and error. The hole is marked only with a single flag, and the camera never seems to move intuitively when in free mode. When actually putting, players get to enjoy a host of camera glitches. Want to see onlookers get cut in half? Have no desire for meaningful camera angles when putting? It’s all here and in spades. My favorite glitch occurs when the character freaks out, and is unable to decide which side of the ball to put from, ending with them repeatedly switch sides(instantly and with no animation) until they finally end up actually putting the ball. The power-up system isn’t anything to write home about either. Most power-ups are wildly unpredictable. Some cause the ball to rocket in the direction it is rolling (pro tip: it will end up outside the course), sprout wings (pro tip: it will end up outside the course), or move in the direction the controller is facing (pro tip: it won’t go the way you want it to). The most unfortunate aspect of these power-ups is that players will be forced to use them to finish some of the more difficult courses. Their unpredictable nature is a very real problem when there is only a small margin of error to play with. Some courses are painfully hard, many forcing players to retry repeatedly until they finally obtain perfection. If the ball bounces incorrectly, it is typically fatal, making that particular hole impossible to finish without being over par by somewhere near 30 strokes. If the player does not beat their competitors’ scores at the end of the course, they won’t unlock the next tier of courses, meaning players will be restarting holes frequently and much to their frustration. The pause menu works hard to ensure that players retry the entire course, instead of simply retiring the ball carrier. When the ball hits the barrier, which is essentially where the ball is when entering the course, there is a brief hold period during which the ball can be moved back and forth between the ball and the bubble. However, you will not actually get to see the ball ever move from the bubble to make it appear in the ball carrier. It seems to have no effect on your scores since it doesn’t even make it to the ballcarrier to be picked up. When the ball finally makes it to the ballcarrier, which is essentially the same as the Danger Zone from the original pinball game, you get to see the ball transform into a car, whooping and hollering to give it its correct speed. From this point on, the player will have to guide the ballcarrier to the flag pole, and then navigate it to the right position to tip the ball to the flag. It’s a very straightforward and simple course to navigate, which is probably why it has no goals nor scores. I’ll admit that the first few holes were a bit of a bore with this game, as I figured there wouldn’t be any glitches or bugs that would challenge me to utilize my knowledge of arcade controls to the best of my ability. Although I kept hearing that “it’s a great game!”, the reality was that I had completely learned all of the controls and had no idea how to use any of the features. I finally discovered that you navigate the ball using the ring around the power switch. This ring can also be used with the left and right navigation keys to make you go up and down, and also in addition to Browse Mode, which is the menu for the pinball game. There are six levels of play to be played, with getting to the seventh level the most challenging. However, there are a variety of A.I. characters that keep the game interesting. There are the friendly, yet annoying Flo; the quick-witted wiringilated dad; and the ever-present turtle that vying for the ball. At the sixth level, you will also be upgraded with a bright and shiny bumper that allows you to make the ball go faster. Each level requires you to clear it by reaching the end of the ramp; and like the ramps, it requires skill and timing in order to perform and advance in the game