Ugh, I just had me a sour gummy bear!
There are some ideas that should never leave the drawing board, regardless of how absurdly awesome they may sound. Such is the case with Gummy Bear Mini Golf from Storm City Games. People like gummy bears, some enjoy mini-golf, so a game about them should be appealing, right? Well, the truth is that the idea is not desirable at all, especially if it's done as poorly as it is in this game. As the title clearly indicates, you play as the lovable gummy bears through many rounds of mini-golf…and that is pretty much it. This is a bare-bones title if there ever was one.
There are single and multiplayer options, and you can either play through all of the courses, unlocking them all in the process, or play a quick game on a selected course. There are additional modes, like the option to create your own course as well as customize your gummy bear character. But as enticing as they may sound they are presented in their most basic form. The custom courses look nearly identical to the ones already available, lacking the user-created touch featured in games with similar modes.
The controls are the other big problem here. Storm City Games clearly took design inspiration fron Nintendo's Wii Sports Golf, but the overall execution leaves a lot to be desired. You press the A button, then swing and let go of the A button when you are ready to hit the ball. This control method poses a problem in that you aren't really swinging the controller; instead, you're shaking it and the game responds to the motion accordingly. It fails to give you the sense of realism other golf sims on the Wii have provided. Worse, with the lack of total control over your golf club and swing, it can get pretty hard to maneuver the ball and guide it into the hole. This often results in the ball not being hit hard enough, or flying off the course entirely.
To add insult to injury, the replay value here is very limited. There are only four themed courses with three holes each, and they are rather straightforward in how they present their obstacles and traps. As previously mentioned, the customization options are bare-bones for both the courses and the gummy bears. Speaking of gummy bears, despite featuring a wide selection of characters, they lack stats and any unique traits, so the only differences among them are purely cosmetic.
The presentation can be best described as amateurish. Menus are done in the most basic way possible, and despite featuring colorful characters and locales, they fail to inspire any sort of nostalgia or whimsy in the player. Music-wise, there are some nice-sounding compositions, but they quickly overstay their welcome due to infinite looping that will test your patience. Sound effects are nearly absent in this game as the gummy bears fail to make any sort of sound.
In short, Gummy Bear Mini-Golf is yet another disposable Wii budget title that uses a concept that has been done better elsewhere on the platform. Wii Sports Golf remains one of the best examples of arcade golf, while the Tiger Woods series is the best when it comes to realistic simulators. No amount of sugar can hide the fact that this game is rotten to the core.