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Rating: 4.3/5 (180 votes)
Comments (36) | Views (5,776)

Mikemike-adverputt-screen1.jpg"Advergame," the cheeky portmanteau for a free game made by advertising and marketing departments specifically to sell players something, is a bit of a dirty word. Many advergames are quite excellent, but some people can't shake the knowledge that they are being manipulated when they play these games; that there is an ulterior motive behind their entertainment. Reece Millidge hopes to change that. With mini-golf!

Behold, Adverputt! It's a mouse-controlled mini-golf game that embraces commercial solicitation as an aesthetic. Players take aim on a huge, single-screen course, festooned with colorful advertisements awarded to the highest bidders. Hover the cursor over the ball, then move the cursor to aim and determine the power of your swing. Aim carefully, avoid traps and obstacles, and go for the lowest score.

Even without the novel revenue-generating concept, Adverputt would be a noteworthy game in its own right. You've probably played mini-golf type games before, and this one doesn't play much differently, but the physics are tight, and the holes, while few, are imaginative and tricky without being impossible. More remarkable is the presentation. The entire course is on only one screen, and it takes up a huge amount of screen space (since it doesn't have to rely on banner ads to make money). The course looks like an impossible masterpiece of pop-art sculpture, a cross between NASCAR and Dr. Suess. Simple, effective sound design and slick animation complete the package. Delight as you sink a birdie and watch the ball as it is conveyed from one hole to the next.

The idea behind the advertisements is reminiscent of Project Wonderful, whereby prospective advertisers bid on the space they wish to use. Each hole gets its own advertisement, and they are so well integrated that they fit right into the landscape, without becoming invisible or inconsequential. After each hole a dialog box comes up with your stats and with a link to the sponsor's web site. This model might not work for every type of game, but it is a different take than banner ads or commercials during loading screens. Try it out, both for a quick, light outing of mini-golf, and for a glimpse at the possible future of in-game advertising.

Play Adverputt


Cassandra May 5, 2010 11:32 AM

ugh, hated it. it was so hard to tell where you were aiming. the whole thing was just hard to see, and there"fore" (see, I can do bad puns too!) extremely frustrating. :(


For me, this game is no different from other advergames. They focus on making money rather than playability. Besides the poor aiming system, the Mochi hole is downright impossible.


The Mochimedia hole is impossible I tell ya!


Interesting concept... I can also confirm the mochi hold is possible. You just need to approach the ramp a bit first.

in_dubio May 5, 2010 12:25 PM

I loved it! It looked super smooth, and I managed to get only pars or lower on my second try (ok, one bogey).

I'd like to see more ads like this

Miasere May 5, 2010 12:54 PM

Really liked that. When you see advertising as part of the experience rather than a distraction from it then you get a much more positive view of the company.

baileydonk May 5, 2010 12:58 PM

Mochimedia hole... Par 7??? How come I'm at 98 strokes and can NOT get past the second ramp without my ball disappearing? Is it broken, or am I a complete idiot?

baileydonk May 5, 2010 1:10 PM

Mochimedia - stroke 139. I've made it past the second ramp twice, to have my ball disappear on the third ramp. Mochimedia should get their money back - it's making me hate that little mochi guy's face.

in_dubio May 5, 2010 1:11 PM

don't go full force on the second ramp. There is a rough patch that will keep you up if you don't. Do go full force on 1st and 3rd though

baileydonk May 5, 2010 1:22 PM

Nawww. I'm outta there. The Mochimedia thing must be a glich, because my ball doesn't go down a hole, just disappears at a couple of different spots - and it reappears from a different hole some times than others. I'm calling it broke and giving up. Shame, because I'm curious about other holes.


Bogey +9 total. Not bad considering the somewhat wonky physics and the impossibility of knowing exactly where the ball was aimed.


Ok game, but not too great. Graphics is really nice, but the aiming is not too great.

It's not really an advergame like they usually are though. Most advergames are based on just one advertiser and the hole theme is about just that.

Anyway, I am sure he'll make plenty of money from this game.


I can't get past the mochiads.com window that wants me to allow a Meg of space for them. I can usually hit the "deny" button and move on. I already allow over 100K. I refuse to allow more.

Aegeus May 5, 2010 3:47 PM

Nice art, but gameplay lacks polish. The aiming system is in perspective, which makes it hard to tell where the ball really will go. Adding 3D makes it even worse. The "Rider" level is a prime example. Just try hitting any of those corner bounces.

I won't complain about the Mochimedia or Learn 2 Lingo holes, since those are almost a tradition on minigolf courses Try finding a real minigolf course without a volcano. The problem with Mochi isn't that it's difficult, but that it sets you back to the first ramp when the problem is on the second ramp, costing you extra strokes.

I will complain about Mighty Nick (I think that's what it says, it's illegible) and Icycle. Those courses have curves that are nearly invisible, so the first time you putt on Mighty Nick you'll go right over the edge, guaranteed, and I nearly tried to go straight up the last leg of Icycle, until I saw the little hill.


I dunno why people are insisting this game is impossible. I managed to get over 6000 points, nine under par total. Two par holes and then the rest were birdies and eagles. =p

wjguest May 5, 2010 3:58 PM

Liked the game. my ending score was just 2000 but I did do the Mochi hole in just 8 strokes, thanks to in_dubio for the hint.

Kaesar May 5, 2010 4:45 PM

-16 and over 6200

I think this game separates people with and without spatial recognition. I had no problems figuring the directions and never had trouble with the mochi hole.

I enjoyed it.


4586, PAR on first (and last) try. Neat concept, sponsorship probably won't last very long though.

ReflectinGod May 5, 2010 5:47 PM

for everybody who have the dissapearing ball problem at the mochimedia hole... I had the same probleme with botch firefox and Internet explorer... BUT it was caused by the fact that my browser had a Zoom level setted at like 170%

so I Unzoomed my browser to 100% instead of 170% and everything is working fine for the mochimedia hole with the normal zoom level

awesomelyawesomeAJ May 5, 2010 7:45 PM

I didn't have any trouble with the Mochimedia hole, but the Mighty Nick hole seems impossible to me! I'm not sure if it's just my monitor or what, but the hole is completely invisible except for the name and the flag. My ball keeps falling into holes that are completely invisible. I had like 40 strokes before I finally gave up.

davy crickett May 5, 2010 8:54 PM

Three under par is such a rare score in "real golf" that it almost has to happen on a par 5 by aiming your second shot over a bunch of trees, instead of going all the way around them, and having your ball "luck" into the hole, sight unseen. I say this because its so rare, I thought 3 under par was called a "double eagle," much like a "double bogey." Its not, its actually an "albatross." I learned that playing this game!

Played repeatedly, some of the holes become automatic hole in 1s, while others become automatic 2 or 3s. Mochi is a consistent 5... I've yet to get shot 4 in the hole, but I think its possible. Mighty Nick's a 4... perhaps a 3 with some more practice on top.

I do wish one could practice the same hole repeatedly rather than moving on to the next hole. But all around, a nice change of pace for me.


This is what happens when lawyers, as opposed to artists, create games.

baileydonk May 5, 2010 11:16 PM

@ReflectinGod - That was it!!! My browser zoom was also at more than 100%. After I set it to 100, my ball stopped disappearing. Thanks a million for showing me I'm not crazy. Nine shots on the first try. :)

Earl Grey May 6, 2010 1:38 AM

Enjoyed the game.

One comment to the advertisers: Do you really think I want to visit your website if the hole you sponsor is too hard ;)

One comment to the designers: If a hole is too hard will it reduce the number of visits to the sponsor's website?

Toad72 May 6, 2010 1:42 AM

I'm surprised at some of the negative comments.

I didn't really have any trouble with the aiming. And I thought the concept and the game design were both very creative.

Corona: I don't think you understand what it takes to make games like these.


I might be weird here, but I don't really have any trouble with the Mochi or Mighty Nice holes but Learn2Lingo always lands me a triple bogey =(

Kaesar May 6, 2010 5:49 AM

@davy crickett

I think a 2 is possible for mighty nick. I've gotten the first shot right to the bridge, and I've made it from there to the hole in one, just haven't done both together.

I think all the holes are 1 or 2's except for Mochiads.

jim le fevre May 6, 2010 5:51 AM

Ignoring the actual gameplay (which I thought was satisfying and gently fun) I think what's so interesting (and successful) about Adverput is simply a very literal example of how to differently handle advertising in and around games.

It's quite apparent that the way Reece has made a virtue out of a problem actually goes more towards making the game more fun and interesting and infact has taught me that something which I thought as being dreadful (in game advertising) isn't quite the bad thing I thought it would be.

Great stuff!

Kaesar May 6, 2010 7:00 AM

-19 and 6530

-21 is definitely possible

I'll list the minimum strokes for each hole that I've done

1) 1
2) 1
3) 1
4) 1
5) 2
6) 1
7) 2
8) 1
9) 4
10) 2
11) 2
12) 1


I'm not getting the trouble on the Mochiads hole either. Full power on the first shot lines you up with the ramp, full power on the second shot puts you at the base of the second ramp, then about half power on the third shot puts you on the rough. After that, it's an easy shot over the last ramp and you don't stand any chance of falling.

I thought this was cute and clever. The ads really didn't seem to stick in my mind, though. Perhaps adding additional decorative elements (such as art samples from the studio, or a little gameplay clip for the games) would go a ways toward making it more effective without damaging the unobtrusive appeal of the game.

Even if the ads were stripped out, this would be a cute little game. It's simple to pick up, and there's enough variety in the holes (the ball jumping around between holes is a great example) gives you a sense of excitement about wondering what's the come next, even if it's not really much of anything. Good job!


Anonymous May 6, 2010 10:23 AM

The "Mighty Nice" hole is way too dark to see what's going on.


really enjoyed this! and it made all the difference in the world once i realized that there were a few "rough" spots on which to land the ball... wished there had been a few more holes to play! also enjoyed the sound :)


Finaly finished the game. The problem is the zoom on the webbrowser. If you zoom in to much all hell breakes loose. Mochi is impossible is you have zoomed in. Tip is to Zoom out as far as you can. :)


As some others, I see no reason why some think this is a bad and unpolished game. This is BY FAR the most polished and inventive advergame I've ever played, and the level of challenge is perfect too.

I'm even "putt"ing the mini version of this on my site!


Looks like JIG is going to be featured in this game soon -
"All 12 holes will be sponsored for 2 weeks for FREE by the top 12 website owners who's links send the highest number of NEW visitors to www.adverputt.com by midnight GMT on May 14th 2010. Terms and conditions apply."

I didn't find the Mochimedia hole very hard (I didn't fall through the holes), but the Mighty Nice and Nexus Production took a while to do.
I thought the game was nice overall, and the concept was a bit simple but well done.

Bryan Robinson October 15, 2010 10:53 AM

Microputt its a GREAT Game. Very addicting. I love the sounds and I'm usually the one that turns the volume off when playing games


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