Forget Alex Vance – she can save City 17 without you. Killing Combine may be cool, but we’ve got eighteen far more entertaining enemies lined up for you to slay. They’re mean, green, and impeccably well maintained. Yes, it’s time to hit the courses of Walkabout Mini Golf.
We’ve been playing an awful lot of Mighty Coconut's putting party on our Oculus Quest 2 recently, and frankly, we’re outraged no one told us about it sooner. Since we picked up those clubs, the lines through Walkabout's sloped greens and tricky wall bounces have been playing out constantly in our head. Any time spent exploring fantasy realms or gunning down waves of rampaging robots only leaves us eager for another quiet loop around the front nine.
VR gaming doesn’t always excel in the places you might expect. Too often, the medium seems desperate to transport us into worlds or scenarios we’ve never experienced before. Fantastic for novelty, sure, but when placing our head and hands into the 3D space, immersion becomes trickier to sell. I’ve never swung an axe into an orc’s neck or sliced a robot with a laser sword; what I do know, however, is tapping a tiny orb around an undersized obstacle course. And boy does Walkabout Mini Golf nail that sensation.
The heft of an actual putter isn't quite matched by a VR controller, but with only gentle motions required, the physics and pace of each strike feel spot on. There’s an immense satisfaction to lining up that perfect tap and watching as your ball ping-pongs through the course to reach the hole. There are only seven levels to play through – fourteen if you count the hard-mode versions – but each one provides more flavor than any of Mario Golf: Super Rush’s generic offerings.
Tapping shots around the wreckage of a pirate ship before moving to a gothic castle feels like a taking a tour of the world’s most adventurous mini golf courses without leaving your living room. And thanks to VR, Walkabout can push things even further. These courses will see you scale a mountain hole-by-hole in the Arizona heat, or bounce balls through a sci-fi space station. The themes feel like the comical set dressings of real-world mini golf, but ratcheted up to an extra tier of commitment. Best of all, you'll never have to wait for a family of four to arduously finish the hole ahead before you can continue.
Walkabout is also a game built with multiplayer at heart, whether you’re sharing a room or connecting online. The fast-paced gunplay of a title like Pistol Whip is fantastic for the one with their head in the action, but cast to a 2D screen, those rapid headshots become a shaky mess more prone to inducing motion sickness than a rollercoaster after one too many pints. Walkabout’s leisurely style lets you appreciate each shot (vomit-free) before you trade the headset to share in the fun.
Hop online and your mates can watch and jeer from the sidelines, or distract you by standing directly in the middle of the course. You can even help each other out by replaying shots, letting your friends copy the line up that skipped half the course.
Walkabout offers the complete mini golf experience. Heck, we’d argue it’s the mini golf experience, and we’ve blundered our way (usually over par) through our fair share of real courses. If you own a VR headset, don’t overlook the simple pleasure of a knockabout with your mates, or the soothing experience of working through holes solo on a stunning Scottish cliff face. Beat Saber’s chord-cutting aside, Walkabout Mini Golf might just be the most replayable and satisfying VR game out there.