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Walkabout Mini Golf Is Coming To iPhone With 'Pocket Edition', And We Went Hands-On

Walkabout Mini Golf Is Coming To iPhone With 'Pocket Edition', And We Went Hands-On

Walkabout Mini Golf: Pocket Edition is now in open testing on iPhones. Here’s what you need to know about the iOS edition of one of the VR’s best games.

Developer Mighty Coconut is looking for fans of virtual reality mini golf to sign themselves up — or convince their friends — to test the iPhone app in its current state. Pocket Edition is still missing some key features noted below on its path toward broad release in the coming weeks. That means fans of Walkabout who’ve visited its courses purchased from the Quest store, Steam, Pico and PSVR 2 headsets may want to take a pause and read some of these notes before signing up to dive into the game on iPhone right now.

Walkabout Mini Golf: Pocket Edition On iOS Beta Notes

Walkabout Mini Golf: Pocket Edition App Icon

The developers of Walkabout are gathering feedback now because Pocket Edition introduces major new ways to play the game against friends entering VR from other systems. Basically, the devs want to check in with some of their most engaged players who love the game from VR before settling in on a final launch design for Pocket Edition.

“We have this presumption that VR people will use it in an auxiliary way, like if their headset is dead,” suggested Mighty Coconut’s David Wyatt. “But is it fun and compelling for people who have no VR experience?”

There's a lot still missing in this version, including flying, gesturing, quick match, and the welcome island isn’t there either. Of course, none of your DLC packs will carry over in Pocket Edition, nor will your progress with lost balls you’ve already found in other copies of the game. Bummer, I know.

What is here, however, is a groundbreaking piece of software that teases a slice of the future.

Simply tap to go where you want in Walkabout Mini Golf: Pocket Edition.

Players in VR will see you smoothly travel along. Then you use your iPhone like it is a window into Seagull Stacks or Tourist Trap, and two other available courses in the beta. The app uses Apple’s ARKit to track the phone’s location in 6DoF from the rear cameras! Walkabout Mini Golf: Pocket Edition uses AR to create a tiny window to a slice of VR.

While general purpose social services Rec Room, VRChat and Horizon Worlds led with touch controls in their mobile releases, Walkabout is exploring something else here tuned specifically for mini golf. And, at least at first in beta, they're only releasing it with a control scheme that resembles how people play in virtual reality.

For putting, you’ll still need to look straight down at your phone from above, angle it around the circle near your ball to see your putter appear on the screen, and then give your phone a little swing in a gesture that feels much like a real putter. 

Putting with iPhone takes some getting used to and Mighty Coconut is still looking for feedback here. 

I recently tried Pocket Edition on my iPhone 14 Pro after a half hour interview with sisters who live in different time zones but regularly play together in VR. They met me atop the Eiffel Tower in the year 1889 in Walkabout’s Jules Verne-inspired Around The World In 80 Days course, and we talked for about half an hour. Then my dinner came and I had to go. I opted to continue our golfing a bit longer, though, by asking the sisters to find their way to the Tourist Trap course. I told them I'd meet them there for a few more holes from my iPhone.

I took off the Quest 3 and picked up Pocket Edition. I simply typed in the same room code we had in VR and voila, we were together again —  the sisters in full VR and me with just a tiny window through iPhone.

Pocket Edition also includes a “suggested putting path” to help playing in this new mode, lost balls, avatar customization, and localization into French, Spanish, German, Chinese, Japanese, and Korean.

Exact release date for the finished version and final pricing is yet to be determined, though the studio says they’re targeting the base price to be less than $5 for the core Pocket Edition. Walkabout has no ads or microtransactions in VR versions of the game and there aren’t any here either.

There are 4 courses included in the Walkabout Mini Golf: Pocket Edition beta, with both day and night versions of each course. Mighty Coconut says the full catalog of courses are on the way, with pricing for the DLCs still forthcoming as well.

Those interested in signing up for Walkabout Mini Golf: Pocket Edition's open beta can find more info on the official website.

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