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Interesting Mini-Games in Videogames

Interesting Mini-Games in Videogames

Since they first made their way out of the arcades and into the home, videogames have gotten bigger and bigger. Not only because technology has advanced and our PCs and consoles can now cope with larger files and better graphics, but also because players demand value for money. Epic stories and open world games such as GTA V and Red Dead Redemption II boast hundreds of hours of possible gameplay to keep gamers entertained.
With such large games there is obviously a need for a huge amount of content, and one way the designers have found to fill player’s time is by including mini-games. These are smaller, self-contained games which are often optional, and which offer a fun diversion from the main action. You could argue that any side quest does the same, but the fun of mini-games is that they are replayable and on a completely different theme from the main game. Here are some of the best mini-games you may or may not have come across in videogames.

Super Mario Slot – Super Mario 64 DS

Back in the early 2000s, Super Mario 64 DS was the first Mario game released for the Nintendo DS and it was also the first 3D Mario game for handheld consoles. As if that was not enough, the game also included fun mini games to keep you entertained on the move. There were 28 in total, each unlocked by catching a coloured rabbit. Which character you were playing as and how many stars you had collected determined which rabbits spawned for you. By far the most difficult to find was Luigi’s final rabbit which needed 150 stars and unlocked the powerful Super Mario Slot where you could win coins and enhance your score. This mini game proved to be a huge hit in the early 2000s and continues to be a hit with fans of the now retro game today. This is no surprise as according to this review of different casino games, slots are amongst the most popular games in online casinos today. And you don’t need to find coloured rabbits to play them, just head to any online casino!

Gwent – Witcher 3

You’re introduced to Gwent during a main quest but then the game leaves it up to you to find further opportunities to play. And play you will because Gwent might just be the most addictive card game every invented. The delight you feel when an interaction menu gives the option ‘play gwent?’ is unmatched even by taking down the fiercest monsters. There are four different decks to collect within the base game and several achievements linked to beating opponents and collecting cards which is often enough to tempt any serious player into the mini-games.

The basic premise is to pit your deck of characters against another and have the highest combined score at the end of a round. Each themed deck works in a different way lending a surprising amount of skill to the task of beating your opponent. There’s even a standalone app version if you need to get your fill of Gwent outside of the main game.

Galaga – Tekken

Back in 1995 loading screens were the bane of any gamer’s life. And with the new 3D graphics Tekken boasted you could often wander off and get drinks and snacks in the time it took a fight to load. Which is why the game designers came up with the brilliant idea to include a playable mini-game on their loading screens. They decided to use their old arcade favourite Galaga because of its simplicity, and suddenly the loading screens weren’t so bad after all. As an extra incentive to play, you could even unlock Devil Kazuya as a playable character, but you needed a perfect shootdown on all eight levels which was pretty hard.

Nine Men’s Morris – Assassin’s Creed III

In their efforts to make each game as historically accurate as possible, the Assassin’s Creed developers always include mini-games which would have been played at the time. One of the first popped up in Assassin’s Creed IIINine Men’s Morris is a deceptively simple board game that is one of the oldest in the world, its origins having been traced back to Egyptian times around 1400 BC. A grid of three squares, each inside another, provides pathways for your pieces to move. Trap your opponent so they have no possible moves and you win, but it's a lot harder than it sounds. Willing opponents are found in several places throughout the American landscape giving you plenty of chances to yell at the screen in frustration!

In Summary

Inserting mini-games into videogames isn’t a new idea, in fact it’s been so successful that it’s been a staple component of game design for nearly 20 years now – and in videogame terms that’s a really long time for an idea to still be popular. Gamers love hunting down mini-game opportunities and see the challenge of beating them as an enhancement to the main game, rather than a distraction.

Link Sano

Link Sano

Staff Writer

Has a passion for simulators

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