APPS

Magic Golf is More Greedy Than Enchanting

Graphically speaking, Magic Golf is definitely pretty to look at. The game’s rendered in 3D and it’s full of bright and vibrant colors that are appealing to the eyes. The various stages feature what looks like a children’s playroom, complete with all sorts of toys and gadgets laying around on the textured, wooden floor. On the courses themselves, it’s easy to recognize the different types of obstacles that await you, as well as where your rabbit ball can actually go. Animations are smooth and fluid, so I had no issues with lag on my iPhone 8 Plus. The music is rather whimsical and it’s all completed by the cute sound effects. Like Qwiboo’s other games, Magic Golf is definitely aesthetically pleasing and charming with sound design.

Like most mini golf games on the App Store, Magic Golf is level-based, with thousands of levels from just the developers. In addition to the huge offering from Qwiboo, Magic Golf has a level editor so players can create their own stages, and then submit them to the rest of the community to download and enjoy.

In the regular mode, players must go through each stage chronologically, as the next level does not unlock until you clear the one before it. Up to three stars can be earned on each stage, and the objectives change up every so often. Stars can be earned by completing the stage in a number of specified strokes (par), collecting all of the golden carrots, or finishing before time runs out. Besides the par and countdown, you can play the game at your own pace if you don’t care about being perfect with stars.

The level editor allows you to create your own stages, and they can be either “Collect the Carrots” or “Time Attack” mode. You construct your course by putting together varying course tracks, corners, and obstacles together as your heart desires. Then top it off with some decorations. Once you’re satisfied with your creation, you can go live with it after naming it and giving it a theme.

Controls in Magic Golf are simple and intuitive. To hit the ball, just pull back on it and aim. An arrow behind the ball indicates the direction you’re hitting it towards, and the arrow color changes from green to red depending on power. Then just release your thumb to hit the ball. When it stops moving, that’s when you can hit it again. You can also swipe anywhere on the screen besides the ball to adjust the camera angle, in case you need a better view of the course.

While these controls work, I think it could have put the trajectory arrow in front of the ball, rather than only behind. That way it could be easier to aim and see where the ball is actually going to go. Right now, you can only see it from behind, and it doesn’t go far enough for you to know where it ends up. I’ve missed a few pars because I was off by a nanometer or some other ridiculously close measurement.

However, since Magic Golf is a free game, there are limitations to how much you can play at a given time. After every five holes, there’s a chest with a timer before it can be opened. This also prevents you from accessing the next five holes, at least until the chest is opened. You can use purple gems to unlock the chest early, or watch an ad to shorten the timer by thirty minutes.

While there are in-app purchases for gems and costume tokens, there’s no way to get rid of the ads or timers before getting the next set of holes to play. This is annoying and feels a bit greedy, which is disappointing.

On top of all of the levels that you can play in the game (after waiting a while or paying), there are also costumes that you can unlock for your rabbit. Unfortunately, you need a certain amount of tokens for three rarities (common, rare, and epic) before you can pick out a costume. These are purely cosmetic, and don’t affect the gameplay itself in any way. If you don’t have enough tokens, you can also buy the costumes through in-app purchases.

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