Video Game Tuesday: Mini Games

Michael Blaker
Game Industry News is running the best blog posts from people writing about the game industry. Articles here may originally appear on Michael's blog, Windborne's Story Eatery.

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This week for Video Game Tuesday I’m covering a topic that bugs me sometimes about some older games. It’s all about Mini Games!

Mini Games?: Games within a game, usually pretty simplistic and don’t always impact the larger game. This is the most common place and way they are implemented.

There are other ways?: Yes! Some games like WarioWare, or Cooking Mama, are pretty much all separate Mini Games, although they tend to have some thematic connection. Still that is all those games are, Mini Games and there is no larger over arching gameplay, or plot to them.

So what’s the problem?: Frankly I just see the latter type of games as cash grabs by the developers in order to grab a niche corner of the gaming market. Thankfully they aren’t nearly as prevalent as they were a bit over a decade ago, but I still don’t really enjoy it when publishers make a big “game” made up of purely mini games.

But they were great for short play periods!: Yes, that’s the problem I have with them pretty much exactly. They were meant to be played for very short bursts, and your progress didn’t really matter in the end from one play session to the next. They were made as pure time waster games, rather than something that had a progression path, be it an RPG with leveling up or other types of games like Pokemon where you tried to catch em all.

But you must have liked at least a few Mini Games?: Yes, some were great. Like the matching color game in Mega Man ZX, which played a lot like Bejeweled, or the Bejeweled add-on in World of Warcraft, back when people had to wait on Flight Paths for many minutes. Those were great for short bursts, or when you were waiting on your raid group to get together, however I could always go back to the larger game as a whole after those periods.

That’s my small rant and my final post for 2019! See you all next year, or in four days.

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