It was only a matter of time before someone created a roll and write with a mini golf theme! It’s a theme that I really enjoy and is rarely seen in board games. Tiny Mini Golf is a print and play game from Polish designer Kamis Kaminski.
Design by Dice
Using a player sheet, each person places a starting point and hole on their grid. In each turn of Tiny Mini Golf, six 6-sided dice are rolled for players to choose from. These dice contain water features, sand traps and solid barriers. Players choose one terrain type to add to their player board.
Players have to use all of that die type to create a new terrain on their board. You can place these items anywhere on the grid, keeping in mind that you must have at least 1 clear route leading out from the starting point. Players are trying to create a difficult mini golf hole without making it impossible.
In round 6 of Tiny Mini Golf, players pass their sheet to the player on their left. Players are given 2 rounds to add new terrain to the player sheet to make the hole easier. This is an important phase because the second phase of the game is all about playing the hole that the player to your right has built.
Planning is key as you look for open routes on the player sheet. Sometimes adding just the right wall piece will lower your score in the future phase.
After 8 rounds, the hole that you built in Tiny Mini Golf gets passed to the player to your left. The goal is to get your ball from the starting square to the hole that is defined on your neighbors player sheet. Avoiding the hazards will keep your score low. Bouncing off of walls can cause unexpected results based on your die rolls.
During this phase, players rolls color coded dice based on the strength of the shot they choose. Stronger shots will go further but can overshoot your target. The green die which is the shortest shot is more controlled. Anytime a player shoots from a sand trap or hits a corner during this phase, the precision die is rolled.
The precision die represents the unforeseen things that can happen when playing mini golf. When the straight arrow is rolled, you decide the direction that the ball travels. When the squiggled arrow is rolled, the player who designed the hole will decide the path of the ball.
Final scores are calculated once each player has played through the hole. Your score is the number of shots taken minus the number of shots that your neighbor to your left took on the hole you created. The lowest score is declared the winner.
Golfing with Your Friends
Tiny Mini Golf works really well as a roll and write. Most roll and write experiences feel like a solo game that you get to play with friends. Tiny Mini Golf breaks out of that mold by giving the player sitting next to me control over the game. They get two rounds to add to the player sheet, knowing that they have to play the hole at the end of the game.
The player interaction that takes place is a great idea and offers a nice challenge. Like most games that have a little bit of a “take that” element, playing with the right group matters. You want to play with friends and family that won’t get offended or angry when you cause their ball to go in an odd direction.
Because this game is primarily built for multiple players, you’ll definitely need to make sure you have a couple copies of the player sheets. There are lots of print and play projects built for solo gamers, Tiny Mini Golf is not one of these.
Once players understand how the ball travels in the second phase of the game, you’ll see players design better holes each game that they play. Since this is a print and play game that needs dice, there are a couple options. When we played, we used a dice app that mapped the die faces to the 6 sides. The campaign will have options for 3D printed dice or you can purchase blank dice on your own for a more tactile option.
Tiny Mini Golf is a game built for playing with friends, using a theme that is underutilized in our hobby. This game doesn’t require players to be master artists and it’s a really engaging roll and write for everyone at the table.
The Kickstarter campaign for Tiny Mini Golf launches on September 26, 2023. Be sure to check out the campaign to get your own copy of the game.
A prototype of the game was provided for this coverage. Components and rules covered in this preview are not finalized. Read more about our preview policies at One Board Family.