Published on October 25th, 2020 | by Paul Stuart
Walkabout Mini Golf: Oculus Quest 2 Review
Summary: One of the best VR titles to date mini golf or otherwise. A must buy for Quest 2 owners.
It appears there’s some competition to Superhot for my ‘go to’ in properly demo’ing the Quest. Mighty Coconuts’ Walkabout Mini Golf (‘Walkabout’) is that title, a sneaky incredible virtual reality experience that should not be missed. Yes, it’s mini golf. But really good mini golf.
Walkabout is pretty much the antithesis of Pro Putt and for all the right reasons. Physics are stellar, menus terrific, and the game is just flat out fun. Replay value is likewise through the roof, as the quest for better scores and hidden balls will keep Quest’ers coming back for more.
If you’ve ever played a seriously good miniature golf course, Walkabout is its spirit animal. Four extremely varied, challenging, but – most importantly – enjoyable 18-hole courses (Tourist Trap, Cherry Blossom, Seagull Stack and Arizona) are available for play, the final three unlocked by completing the one prior (score, irrelevant). Moreover, a night mode is also unlockable for additional challenge and variety.
In playing Walkabout, I literally had flashbacks to an outstanding pirate themed mini golf just outside of Disney World in Orlando. The sprawling holes across multiple floors, fun traps within each, and a distinct theme for every one of the eighteen. This is Walkabout Mini Golf under the Quest 2 hood. Despite a polygon inspired presentation, Walkabout accomplishes an amazing feat of not feeling like virtual anything, rather a bona fide actual mini golf course.
I can’t even begin to describe how incredible Walkabout Mini Golf’s putter and ball physics are. Absolutely friggin’ perfect. Every shot is 100% in your hands, and all course components (caroms, curves, rocks, ramps, etc.) respond with similar physics perfection. It’s hard to fight the urge of fist pumping following a seriously good putt…and the “yes!” of a rarest hole-in-one. Heck, even when the course beats you (in maxing out allowed shots per hole), it doesn’t frustrate. This is so much better than the omnipresent battle to level the putter within Pro Putt. Nor does Walkabout stupidly punish balls against walls [in forcing putters to be parallel to said walls].
Another Walkabout highlight is its awesomely simple but effective camera. Click a trigger, be placed behind the ball. The same click follows it in motion. Want to switch putter hands? Simply click the trigger on the other hand. Desire a unique viewing angle to strategize a hole and/or locate hidden balls (each hole has one)? Just flick a thumbstick. Picking up hidden balls (to use I future playthroughs) is similarly easy. Point and click to nab. Finally, look at your wrist for hole number, shots allowed, and current score. Easy peasy.
Combined, this stellar control/visual scheme makes the focus completely on playing and enjoying Walkabout Mini Golf. Heck, even its menus are crisp and well done. For instance, it’s damn cool to see found, formerly hidden balls cleverly roll into the stacks with existing post round.
A needed caveat is that all Walkabout Mini Golf putting is done one handed. Still, the physics are so good this nuance is barely noticeable. Related, putting requires facing eyes downward, which results in a bit of forward weight on the Quest helmet. This can get tiring after some time. Last, audio is limited (no music), but background noise elements on each of the holes is both fantastic and whimsical (i.e. seagulls, water running, etc.). Hitting balls logically sounds mini golf accurate.
If there are criticisms, Walkabout’s graphics are pretty basic…but the game so damn good it’s hard to notice. Second, some holes can be quite challenging…and may frustrate at times. Third, there are only four courses at present; other mini golf games offer greater variety. Still, I’ll take these four done right than the boredom and/or awful execution of other seemingly more robust mini golf games.
Walkabout Mini Golf is one of the greatest pleasant surprises in the VR space to date. It’s the rare truly must purchase, even more so at such a competitive price.