Review: Zoo Disc Golf (WiiWare)

A discgrace

Let's get this out of the way immediately: Zoo Disc Golf is a game that should not be played by anyone under any circumstances. Zoo animals playing disc golf may sound like a pretty awesome idea, but Zoo Disc Golf is a mess from top to bottom. It takes your ten dollars, chews it up, regurgitates it and spits back at you one of the worst WiiWare games to date.

Disc golf is essentially golf, only with a flying disc instead of a golf ball. Generally it’s a simpler game to play and is a lot easier to get the hang of, and this is probably the best aspect of Zoo Disc Golf: it’s easier to play than a regular golf game. But that doesn’t make it fun. Actually, the game is completely unenjoyable, which is unforeseen considering that the concept of zoo animals playing disc golf is golden.

To play Zoo Disc Golf you must possess a large amount of patience or you'll get very frustrated, very quickly. It’s not a difficult game in the sense that the developer made it challenging, it’s difficult because the gameplay is utter garbage. The aiming is done with the D-Pad and when your animal is set, holding the B trigger will ready it for throwing. Swinging the Wii Remote at different angles and speeds will give you different results all depending on how well you swung. Everything seems fine until you actually start, then it completely falls apart.

The aiming never shows you a general area of where your disc is going to land, the throwing never senses your swing accurately resulting in many missed throws, and the whole experience is miserable because the physics never work properly. The event of throwing the disc seems totally random, like the game isn’t calculating your angle and speeds properly; Wii Motion Plus would have been a life saver since it would sense your motions more accurately, but even then the game is so poorly designed that even a real zoo animal would be able to throw better than you.

It never helps when the game’s feature set is lousy, too. You can play the same course over and over again suffering through the broken gameplay by yourself, but your friends and family can also join the party as the game supports up to four players. Yes – you and three of your friends can face off in a zoo animal disc golf party to see who’s best! But then that’s it: that’s all you can do. It keeps your score after every game but why bother? There’s no online leaderboards or anything, just your own satisfaction of putting up with the bogus gameplay and wasted money you could’ve spent at a real zoo.

Visually the game is an eyesore to the extent that it looks like a Nintendo 64 game from ten years ago. Indeed, some of the best looking Nintendo 64 games out-class it. Flat, blurry textures round out the ugly course design and the animal designs look like deformed versions of their real-life counterparts, albeit with a mildly endearing cartoon appearance. The frame rate surprisingly holds up pretty well astonishingly, but still slows from time to time and the load times certainly aren't the quickest, either. Audio-wise, Zoo Disc Golf is also dreadful: when you think of generic music you don’t think that it could get this bad, but it does.


Nearly every facet of Zoo Disc Golf’s execution is completely broken: the controls are fidgety and inaccurate, the game’s presentation is some of the worst on Wii and it does all of this while being completely unenjoyable. There’s absolutely nothing noteworthy to speak of other than to unconditionally avoid it, especially for 1,000 Wii Points.

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