Wonder Wickets Review
Your typical round of golf can be a pretty dry experience, but Rightstick Studios and ANIM•ACE have spiced up this good walk spoiled with their new title Wonder Wickets. The graphics, settings, and characters are certainly out of this world, but does the gameplay stand out as well?
Wonder Wickets Review
Golfing in Wonder Wickets is very loosely based on the real thing. Players will still hit a ball (called a Star Orb) to a hole (called a Black Goal), but the similarities end there. Manicured greens are swapped out for planetary worlds, ones full of creatures, lava, ice, and other hazards.
Things get even more whimsical when considering the character roster, which is made up of blue haired girls, ghosts, dogs, robots, and other cutesy deviants. Though the changes between each character are purely cosmetic, we appreciate the variety offered. The colorful graphics makes all of the above elements really pop, and though each planetoid follows the standard video game archetypes, the execution gives this title a personality all its own.
The ultimate goal of Wonder Wickets is to clear each course with as many points as possible. Players receive a set amount of points at the start of each level, and use one with every hit of the Star Orb. Players can also knock out three enemies to get themselves another point, encouraging players to alter their trajectory.
Swinging mechanics work as they should, and contain a surprising amount of depth. The ball’s path is clearly defined before each hit, and players can adjust the amount of power with an easy to read meter. There’s some more advanced techniques thrown in for good measure too – players can curve the shot, nudge the orb mid-flight, and heat up or cool the ball down to adjust its traction. It all comes together quite well, and a poor shot is nobody’s fault but your own.
A number of power-ups and elements have also been thrown in to each level for good measure. Certain levels have swaths of ice, water hazards that can be skipped over, blocks that need to be pushed out of the way, pipes that need to be navigated, or even conveyor belts that must be manipulated. Most gimmicks work well, with only the darkness mechanic working against the game’s favor. The aforementioned power-ups also add some variety, turning the Star Orb into such things as a rocket ship or a remote-controlled drone. Though it is something else that requires mastery, it spices things up. Later levels in the Campaign tend to go a little heavy on the gimmicks, but there’s no denying that it keeps things fresh.
Those that would rather bring a friend along can enjoy both the local and online multiplayer modes of Wonder Wickets. Gameplay comes in four flavors – Wonder Classic features traditional rules, Stardust Sweeper has players collecting stardust, Cosmic Conquest has players seizing control of miniature planets, and Battle Splatter has people painting the landscape. Though there was nobody online as of this writing, we appreciate this variety.
Wonder Wickets also excels when it comes to its replayability. Players are given different medals depending on their performance in each level, and Moon Medals can also be picked up. Both characters and Star Orbs can be unlocked as well. There are also additional challenges to be had in the Challengoid Belt. For those who would rather create their own courses, a robust level editor with Steam Workshop support is also available.
It should be worth noting that Wonder Wickets is not without its bugs. The game crashed on more than one occasion, and both our character and the Star Orb would occasionally get caught in the landscape, forcing us to restart. These are far from game breaking, but are still minor annoyances nonetheless.
Wonder Wickets turns the game of golf on its head with its vibrant worlds and saccharine stylings. Gameplay can be somewhat gimmicky, but those looking for a far out take on the time-tested sport will find a lot to like here.
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