Mini Touch Golf HE could take some tips from original

Spoiler alert! Mini Touch Golf HE has all the fun of regular mini-golf with several frustrating additions. Some of the frustrations were intentional, some are bugs that haven’t been fixed after a couple of months in release. Mini Touch Golf HE should come with a frequent crash warning.

It’s Game Day Friday HE (Holiday Edition), the first of several for the big holiday, the mother-lode of holidays, the holiday that comes with it’s own bookend. I don’t even need to name the holiday, we all know what that holiday is.

That’s right, Bowl Season, the real reason Jesus invented Christmas and New Years. What a kind, generous guy to decide to be born exactly a week before the new year so that two thousand years down the line we would have an excuse to watch football with the accompanying pizza, chip and beer commercials for four whole weeks.

It could be argued that Christmas and New Years are the real season and football just got tacked on like an extra limb.1 This argument would ignore that cold hard empirical fact that Bowl games sell more ads than Christmas TV specials.

It’s a fact. If you don’t believe me, count commercials. That is if you can sit through the banal shows TV calls Christmas specials these days. Even Carol says “pass” on the Hallmark Holiday stuff and she’s a girl.

Let me back up. Carol is a woman, and I respect that women don’t want to be called “girls.” Okay, women who weren’t raised in the South and believe they should stand by their men don’t want to be called “girls.” Women of my generation, women who still understand that it’s a man’s world even if Hillary is Secretary of State and Carly Fiorino got to be boss for a while before the men on the board of directors removed her, don’t want to be called “girls.” Women who respect themselves, who still believe we should have an ERA, don’t want to be called girls.

My nieces, Joy and Kelly, once told me they weren’t women, they were “girls.” So I called them “pre-women” until they became women.

Sadly, the Hallmark holiday joke doesn’t work with the word “women.” Fortunately, Carol understands that respect occasionally has to take second place to humor. As long as a liberal is making the joke.

Until the real Holiday season, the Bowl season, starts, however, we may need something to divert ourselves between football weekends. Fortunately, in anticipation of the holiday season, Try This Networks released Mini Touch Golf HE way back in April.

I assumed the early pre-holiday release would allow them to take response from players and work out the bugs so the game would be completely app-ready by the time the holidays actually arrived. My experience with seasonal apps is that the developer rushes them to release or else tacks holiday art work and wrinkles onto the standard app because the sales window is so narrow.

The good news is Mini Touch Golf HE didn’t simply tack some holiday art onto Mini Touch Golf, they redesigned every hole. Unfortunately, they haven’t taken the advantage of the extremely early release to work out the bugs.

I reviewed the original Mini Touch Golf last July and Jenny made biscuits on it. The holes in the holiday edition are even more challenging and I have yet to sink one hole after a dozen tries because the ball keeps ending up hiding underneath Santa.

I still haven’t finished Hole 2 because the ball keeps hiding under Santa.

Fortunately, Mini Touch Golf HE allows you to choose which level to play. Not only does this allow you to play other holes even if you can’t complete one, you can also practice individual holes until you figure out the best angles to play. Hopefully (for me) even Hole 2.

You can access the menu at any time to replay a level.

Ice and snow drifts add new wrinkles to the holiday edition. You can get a ball caught in a snow pile, or brief contact with ice can send it careening off in unpredictable directions. Mini Touch Golf HE also seems to add more barriers, making it far harder to ace a hole.

Snow drifts and ice can foil your shots.

In fact, many of the holes are almost devilishly clever. As a whole, I’d say the holiday edition is much more challenging than the original.

Unfortunately, the challenges include buggy programming. The ball can get trapped in corners far more often than with the original, and there is no penalty stroke to put them back in play. Sadly, sometimes a trapped ball also crashes the application.

I also found it much harder to access the menu from the tiny icon in the bottom corner of the screen. I don’t know if the touch range changes from hole to hole, or if the code doesn’t implement correctly. But quite often I had to try half a dozen (or more) times to access the menu.

Even more weird, sometimes the music doesn’t shut off when you close the app. It frequently keeps playing for several seconds, but a couple of times I had to shut down my iPad to stop the music. This indicates the presence of some serious memory leaks.

The bugs are all the harder to forgive because Try This Networks has had months to get the game holiday ready.

That being said, the music is good and you can turn it off if it gets too annoying, the graphics are catchy and the holes are challenging (if not impossible) to complete. I really want to like Mini Touch Golf HE, and I do like it. When it’s working.

Jenny Manytoes rates Mini Touch Golf HE

Jenny Manytoes would purr next to Mini Touch Golf HE. When it works, it’s lots of fun. And it does work most of the time. It simply doesn’t work as well as the original, and, as a consequence, it doesn’t get as much as my love.

On the other hand, it’s far better and more stable than most seasonal apps, and that gets it some love. Maybe the kind of love I used to get from my aunts when they insisted on hugging me and making me kiss them. I especially loved the smell of their perfume which they dosed so heavily it ended up on my skin for the rest of the day.

I take it back; I like Mini Touch Golf HE. I actually hated getting kissed by my aunts.

The Jenny Manytoes Rating System

Jenny Manytoes, our polydactyl cat
  • When Jenny makes biscuits on a product she thinks she’s in heaven.
  • When Jenny purrs over a product she’s very happy.
  • When Jenny naps next to a product it’s okay with her.
  • When Jenny bunches her tail she can live with a product, but she has higher expectations.
  • When Jenny leaves it in the litter box….I don’t think I need to explain this one.

1Some might argue that the limb is not only extra but superfluous. Those people would not be football fans. Hell, they probably aren’t even American. The fact that real football players don’t need all the extra padding, doesn’t change the fact that real football is unAmerican. Real Americans love their football players to labor under the illusion that all that equipment makes them less vulnerable to injury.back

Contact me at Email iPad Envy, or
Email The Hidden Grimoire.


About Phillip T Stephens

Phillip T. Stephens disappeared into the Bermuda Triangle twenty years before he was born, creating a time travel paradox so confusing it remains unspoken between physicists and sci-fi writers to this day. Follow @stephens_pt
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