Mario Golf: World Tour is the fifth entry in the Mario Golf series and the first one for the Nintendo 3DS, the third handheld installment in the series, and the first in 10 years. This game, like the past ones in the series, is developed by Camelot. The game also features gyroscope support and Wi-Fi capabilities, allowing players to participate in online Tournaments against other players from around the world. The game also makes use of downloadable content, in which extra courses and characters may be bought with real money. It is the first and thus far only Mario Golf game to have been released after its tennis counterpart.
The gameplay is rather similar to the previous entries of the Mario Golf series, where the player takes into account character attributes, weather and the course topography while managing the power, accuracy and spin of the shot through buttons or the touch screen. A simplified control method is also available where the player only has to worry about the power of the shot. there are now items in this game which add different effects to a shot. they are obtained through hitting Question Blocks.
- Castle Club - essentially the story mode of the game where you go around as your Mii and participate in tournaments
- Quick Round
- Ring Master
- Star Coin Collector
- Point Challenge
Mario Golf: World Tour has the most courses of all the Mario Golf games, with 16, including the downloadable courses, making a total of 234 holes. The Castle Club courses have 18 holes and have championships that the Mii can compete in against other Mario characters. The Mario World Courses contain gimmicks based on different Mario games and have nine holes. All these courses can be accessed through both Mario Golf (quick round) and Castle Club. The six downloadable courses, which must be bought with real money, are taken from the Nintendo 64 game with updated music and graphics. Some of these courses have changed appearances to look like specific worlds from New Super Mario Bros. U. The base game has a roster of 17 characters with 4 of them being unlockable:
There are 10 courses in the base game for a total of 126 holes
- Forest Course
- Seaside Course
- Mountain Course
- Cheep Cheep Lagoon
- Wiggler Park
- Yoshi Lake
- Peach Gardens
- DK Jungle
- Bowser's Castle
- Sky Island Course
The DLC either comes separately each at $5.99 or $14.99 for all three. Buying all 3 nets you Gold Mario.
- a new character, Toadette
- Toad Highlands - a remake of the Mario Golf course
- Koopa Park - a remake of the Mario Golf course
- a new character, Nabbit
- Layer Cake Desert, Shy Guy Desert from Mario Golf updated with the look from Layer-Cake Desert from New Super Mario Bros. U
- Sparkling Waters, Yoshi's Island from Mario Golf updated with the look from Sparkling Waters from New Super Mario Bros. U
- a new character, Rosalina
- Rock-Candy Mines, Boo Valley from Mario Golf updated with the look from Rock-Candy Mines from New Super Mario Bros. U
- Mario's Star, a space course with Super Mario Galaxy environments based on the Mario Golf course
On April 17th, a demo of the game was released on the Nintendo eShop for Europe, making this strictly the second Mario game (preceded by Mario & Luigi: Dream Team) to have a publicly released demo for download. The demo was later released in North America on April 24. It uses 873 blocks when downloaded and offers ten uses (fifteen for the North American demo).
The demo lets the player go through a tutorial covering camera and shot control or play through either holes 1, 2, and 3 of Seaside Course, holes 1, 2, and 6 of Wiggler Park, and holes 1, 5, and 6 of Yoshi Lake. The demo also allows the player to play the Star Coin Collector mode on hole 9 of Peach Gardens, and the Ring Master mode on hole 14 of Mountain Course. The only playable characters available are Mario, Peach, Yoshi, and Bowser.
Mario Golf: World Tour has received generally positive reviews among critics. IGN gave the game a score of 8.6/10 (a "great" rating). They praised the game's learning curve, training options, large quantity of unlockables, and multiplayer, but criticized the map in Castle Club, saying it was "confusing". Joystiq gave 3 stars out of 5, being more critical, while praising the basic gameplay and online options, criticizing the Castle Club for being sparse and dispensable and noting the safe, conservative approach to the game such as the uninspired environments. Thomas Whitehead of Nintendo Life compared Mario Golf: Word Tour favorably to Mario Tennis Open. He praised the attention to detail that gives the game its charm, such as in Castle Club as well as its reasonable skill curve that allows both novice and expert players to enjoy the game. He gave the game a score of 9/10. The game was scored 83% by Official Nintendo Magazine. Mario Golf: World Tour currently averages a score of 78 out of a possible 100 on Metacritic. Overall, the game was praised for its gameplay and graphics, but criticized for the lack of content in the Castle Club and, by some reviewers, for being too safe.
Pre-release and unused content
In some pre-release screenshots, the animations for "Birdie" or "Bogey" had orange circles and letters, whereas in the final game, they're blue. The letters and wording was also different in the final version, with different colors, fonts and sizes. Many holes where different, either moved or changed completely. Dark transparent boxes were also added behind the wording of certain course information, and some things were moved to different parts of the screen.
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- Cheep Cheep Lagoon and Koopa Park are the only courses whose greens do not have square designs; instead, they use a wavy design and a hexagonal design respectively.
- The course (and mode) music for this game continues after shots on the green and post-hole animations, unlike in the previous games, where the music restarts when entering a new hole (there even being a tune for hole overviews).
- Premiere Trailer from Nintendo Direct.
- Official North American website
- Official European website
- Official Japanese website