A minigame (also spelled mini-game or mini game, sometimes called a subgame or microgame) is a short video game often contained within another video game, and sometimes in application software or on a display of any form of hardware. A minigame contains different gameplay elements than the main game, may be optional, and is often smaller or more simplistic than the game in which it is contained. Minigames are sometimes also offered separately for free to promote the main game. For instance, the Pokémon Stadium minigames involve merely pressing a few buttons at specific intervals, with little complexity. Some minigames can also be bonus stages or secret levels.
Minigames occur variously as gameplay features, or as time fillers while levels are loading, or as Easter eggs even in non video games e.g. a DOOM-like game or a flight simulator in different versions of Microsoft Excel. In the latter case, they are often called "secret games". In the former case, the successful completion of such minigames may or may not be required to finish the encompassing game. They are often included as extra content to use once the main storyline is completed. Minigames occur also on other forms of hardware e.g. on a dot-matrix display of a pinball machine or even as time filler on a traffic light e.g. StreetPong.
Some games, such as the WarioWare series (which are called microgames in the game), Universal Research Laboratories's Video Action, some Cinemaware titles like Defender of the Crown, David Whittaker's Lazy Jones or the smartphone satire Phone Story are made up of many minigames strung together into one video game. Some similar games, such as Nintendo's Mario Party series, are considered party games, specifically developed for multiplayer. In party games, minigames usually involve performing an activity faster or collecting more of a specified item than other players to win.
The Final Fantasy series is notable for featuring minigames in every entry of the series, ever since the first Final Fantasy (1987), in which a sliding puzzle in the form of an Easter egg can be unlocked while boarding the ship. Considered to be the first RPG minigame, it was added into the game by programmer Nasir Gebelli despite it not being part of Squaresoft's original game design. In Final Fantasy II (1988), a matching game can be unlocked while boarding the ice sled and meeting a certain requirement. Later in the series, Final Fantasy VII (1997) was the first video game to include within it at least thirty minigames, which remains the largest number of minigames for a role-playing game. The PC game Chronomaster featured similar puzzle minigames which were crucial to the plot.
The early Sonic the Hedgehog games on the Sega Genesis had minigame bonus/special stages, such as bouncing around a maze searching for a special gem, or collecting gold rings while running down a tube, and stray from standard gameplay. Sonic the Hedgehog 3, for example, has a special stage in which Sonic must run around trying to touch all the blue spheres, while avoiding red ones, and interacting with other spheres, who have special properties. This bonus stage actually became its own game. By inserting the original Sonic 1 (or Sonic Classics 3 in 1) cartridge into the Sonic and Knuckles lock-on slot, you can then press A, B, and C, then enter any given password to play the special stage corresponding to that password, which plays exactly like those of Sonic 3.
Like above, some minigames become so popular that they are eventually published as individual titles by themselves. Notable examples are Geometry Wars, which was originally a minigame in Project Gotham Racing 2, and Arcomage, a relatively complex minigame, reminiscent of Magic: The Gathering, first introduced in Might and Magic VII: For Blood and Honor.
The PocketStation (for Sony PlayStation) and VMU (for Dreamcast) accessories allowed the user to download minigames from the main console onto the pocket device, and often then sync progress in the minigame back on to the console. Two examples of this include the Chocobo World minigame inside Final Fantasy VIII (which is also playable on PC), and 'Chao Adventure', a minigame in Sonic Adventure.
The tabletop game Mansions of Madness also features minigames in the form of simple puzzles.
Cooking Mama is a cookery simulation-styled minigame compilation video game for the Nintendo Wii, Nintendo DS, and iOS platforms, developed by Office Create and published by Taito, Majesco Entertainment, and 505 Games. It was awarded IGN's "Best Of E3" award for 2006. It was followed by a sequel for the DS, Cooking Mama 2: Dinner with Friends. Two games have been made for the Wii: Cooking Mama: Cook Off and Cooking Mama: World Kitchen.Game Boy Camera
The Game Boy Camera (GBC), released as Pocket Camera (ポケットカメラ) in Japan, is a Nintendo accessory for the handheld Game Boy gaming console and was released on February 21, 1998 in Japan, which ceased manufacture in late 2002. It is compatible with all of the Game Boy platforms (including Super Game Boy and with the exception of Game Boy Micro). The camera has a 128×128 pixel CMOS sensor, and can store 128×112, black & white digital images using the 4-color palette of the Game Boy system. It interfaced with the Game Boy Printer, which utilized thermal paper to print saved images, making a hardcopy. Both the camera and the printer were marketed by Nintendo as light-hearted entertainment devices aimed mainly at children in all three major video game regions of the world: Japan, North America, and Europe. N64 Magazine (which has since been superseded by NGamer) dedicated a monthly section to the device.
The Game Boy Camera comes in five different standard colors: blue, green, red, yellow and clear purple (Japan only). There was also a limited edition gold The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time edition, which contains different stamps from the standard versions and was available only in the United States through a mail order offer from Nintendo Power.
The device's software has numerous references to other Nintendo products. Also, there are a few differences between the North American and Japanese versions, including the unlockable B album pictures and the stamps that can be placed on pictures.The Game Boy Camera (GBC) was featured in the 1999 edition of Guinness World Records for being the world's smallest digital camera, though this record has since been broken. Nintendo reportedly had plans to release a successor to the Game Boy Camera for the Game Boy Advance called the GameEye which would take color photos and feature connectivity with the Nintendo GameCube through a game titled Stage Debut, but neither the GameEye nor Stage Debut saw release. Nintendo has had built-in cameras with the Nintendo DSi and Nintendo 3DS.Go Vacation
Go Vacation (ゴーバケーション) is a variety video game developed and published by Bandai Namco Games and developed by the same staff of Bandai Namco Games that created the We Ski series. The game was released for the Wii and Nintendo Switch consoles. In the game, players can explore an island containing four resorts and can play over 50 mini-games. A port for the Nintendo Switch which updated the game's visuals and added several new features was released on July 27, 2018. Nintendo published the Nintendo Switch port in North America and Europe.Hot Coffee mod
Hot Coffee is a normally inaccessible mini-game in the 2004 video game Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas, developed by Rockstar North. Public awareness of the existence of the mini-game arrived with the release of the Hot Coffee mod, created for the Microsoft Windows port of GTA: San Andreas in 2005. This mod enables access to the mini-game.
The mini-game portrays animated sexual intercourse between the main character, Carl "CJ" Johnson, and his chosen in-game girlfriend. The name of the mod is derived from the girlfriend's offer for the main character to come into her home for "coffee", a euphemism for sex.
Although the "Hot Coffee" mini-game was completely disabled and its existence was only highlighted after the mod's release for the PC version on June 9, 2005, the assets for the mini-game were also discovered in both the PlayStation 2 and Xbox versions of the game, and people found ways to enable the mini-game via console video game hacking tools. By the middle of July 2005, the mini-game's discovery attracted considerable controversy from lawmakers and politicians, prompting the game to be re-assessed with an "Adults Only (AO)" rating by the U.S. Entertainment Software Rating Board (ESRB), and refused classification in Australia, resulting in its removal from sale.
An updated version of San Andreas has since been released with the mini-game removed completely, allowing the game to regain its original rating. A patch for the original version of the game, Cold Coffee, was designed to counter edit the script and disable the mini-game and crash the game if one attempts to access it.List of video games featuring Mario
Mario, who serves as Nintendo's mascot, is a fictional character created by game designer Shigeru Miyamoto and voiced by Charles Martinet. This is a list of video games where the character Mario plays a part, either as the protagonist, antagonist, supporting character, as part of an ensemble cast, as a cameo, or in a game within a game. It does not include simple references to the character, such as the portraits of Mario found in The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past or Ocarina of Time.
The year indicated is the year the game was first released, most commonly in Japan; games were sometimes released years later in other regions of the world. The list includes ports, remakes and compilations, but not Virtual Console or other emulation.Mario Party
Mario Party is a party video game series featuring characters from the Mario franchise in which up to four local players or computer-controlled characters (called "CPUs") compete in a board game interspersed with minigames. The games are developed by NDcube and published by Nintendo, previously being developed by Hudson Soft. The series is known for its party game elements, including the often unpredictable multiplayer modes that allow play with up to four, and sometimes eight, human players or CPUs.
After the development of Mario Party 8, several of Hudson Soft's key designers left to work for Nintendo subsidiary NDcube, developers of Wii Party. Starting in 2012 with Mario Party 9, NDcube has taken over development of the series from Hudson Soft. The latest instalment in the series, Super Mario Party, was released on October 5, 2018 for the Nintendo Switch.The series holds the record for the longest-running minigame series. As of December 2014, Nintendo reported cumulative worldwide sales of 39.6 million game copies in the Mario Party franchise.Mario Party 4
Mario Party 4 (Japanese: マリオパーティ4, Hepburn: Mario Pātī Fō) is a party video game for the GameCube, developed by Hudson Soft and published by Nintendo. Mario Party 4 is the fourth installment in a series of board game style, and was the first game in the series to be released for GameCube. It was released in North America on October 21, 2002, in Japan on November 8, 2002, and in Europe and Australia on November 29, 2002. It is the fourth game in the Mario Party series. Mario Party 4 is followed by Mario Party 5.
Mario Party 4 features eight playable characters: Mario, Luigi, Princess Peach, Yoshi, Wario, Donkey Kong, Princess Daisy and Waluigi from the Mario series, who can be directed as characters on six themed game boards in the game. The objective of the game is to earn as many stars as possible, which are obtained by purchase from a single predefined space on the game board. Each character's movement is determined by a roll of a die, with a roll from each player forming a single turn. Each turn in Mario Party 4 is followed by a minigame in which characters compete for coins they can use to purchase items and stars.
Mario Party 4 was met with positive reception, although there were several complaints regarding a lack of originality and slow pacing during games. The game won the Family Game of The Year award at the Interactive Achievement Awards of 2003.Mario Party 6
Mario Party 6 is the sixth installment in the Mario Party series of board game-style party video games by Nintendo and is the third game in the series made for the GameCube and was released in Japan on November 18, 2004; North America on December 6, 2004; in Europe on March 18, 2005; and in Australia on September 15, 2005. It is the first GameCube game to make use of a microphone add-on. Mario Party 6 is followed by Mario Party Advance and Mario Party 7.Nintendo Land
Nintendo Land (ニンテンドーランド, Nintendō Rando) is a 2012 party video game developed and published by Nintendo as a pack-in launch title for the Wii U video game console. The game was first announced at E3 2012 during Nintendo's press conference.
Nintendo Land features twelve different minigames, each based on an existing Nintendo game franchise such as Mario and The Legend of Zelda, depicted as attractions in the eponymous fictional amusement park. The minigames are designed to demonstrate the concept of Wii U and its Wii U GamePad controller to new players, in the same way the 2006 game Wii Sports demonstrated the Wii and its Wii Remote, utilizing many of the controller's features, including its touchscreen controls and motion-sensing capabilities. Some minigames incorporate the Wii Remote Plus and Nunchuk controllers for alternate control schemes and multiplayer support, which also helps exhibit "asymmetric gameplay", a concept in which certain players have different experiences based on the controller they use.
Nintendo Land was mostly liked by critics, and sold 5.19 million copies as of December 2017, making one of the highest-selling Wii U games. The ability to download the game was removed from the Nintendo eShop in North America in November 2013, but was re-added in August 2016.Omake
Omake (御負け, usually written おまけ) means extra in Japanese. Its primary meaning is general and widespread. It is used as an anime and manga fandom term to mean "extra or bonus." In the United States, the term is most often used in a narrow sense by anime fans to describe special features on DVD releases: deleted scenes, interviews with the actors, "the making of" documentary clips, outtakes, amusing bloopers, and so forth. However, this use of the term actually predates the DVD medium by several years. For at least the past 50 years in Japan, omake of small character figurines and toys have been giveaways that come with soft drinks and candy and sometimes the omake is more desired than the product being sold.
In English, the term is often used with this meaning, although it generally only applies to features included with anime, tokusatsu, and occasionally manga. It is thus generally limited to use amongst fans of Japanese pop culture (sometimes called otaku); like many loan words from Japanese, omake is both the singular and plural form.Pac-Man Fever (video game)
Pac-Man Fever is a party game developed by Mass Media and published by Namco, released for GameCube and PlayStation 2 on September 3, 2002 (The GameCube version was only released in North America). Players move about on a virtual game board, with the object of the game being to reach the end first. It allows for up to four players, featuring six characters from other Namco games to choose from: Pac-Man (Pac-Man), Astaroth (SoulCalibur), Heihachi Mishima (Tekken), Ms. Pac-Man (Pac-Man), Tiger Jackson (Tekken), and Reiko Nagase (Ridge Racer).Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer (video game)
Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer is a video game based on the television special of the same name. The game was released by Red Wagon Games for both Wii and Nintendo DS on November 9, 2010. However, the developers of the two versions differ: the Wii game was developed by High Voltage Software, while the developer of the DS version is American studio Glyphic Entertainment. In this game, the players compete in four different minigames, with each game having its own motion controls. Each minigame has a time limit. Once the time limit is up, the minigame is finished. Up to two players can participate at a time. The game has faced generally negative reviews from sites such as IGN.Shoot Away
Shoot Away (シュート アウェイ) is a skeet-shooting arcade game released in 1977 by Namco, and 1984 in North America. The game was designed by Kazunori Sawano, who would later go on to be a lead designer for Galaxian. The game received a reskin in 1984, titled CosmoSwat, and would get a true sequel in 1992, Shoot Away II (シュート アウェイII), the latter of which was remade and made as a minigame for Point Blank DS in 2006. A second entry, Shoot Away Pro (シュート アウェイPRO), was released in March 2018.Tekken 4
Tekken 4 (鉄拳4) is a 2001 fighting video game developed and published by Namco as the fourth main installment in the Tekken series. It was released as an arcade game in 2001 and on the PlayStation 2 in 2002.
Placing distinction on the plot in the home version, the game also harbored many gameplay revisions, such as the series-unique ability for the player to move about before the round begins and the introduction of walled stages. There are up to twenty-three characters to choose from, including six new. The game's story reveals that Kazuya has been revived following his death 20 years prior and enters the King of Iron First Tournament 4 to take back the Mishima Zaibatsu.
Tekken 4 introduced significant new gameplay changes from the previous games in the series. For the first time, it allowed players to maneuver around an arena interacting with walls and other obstacles for extra damage. These "environmental hazards" in turn allowed players to juggle opponents for consecutive combos and allowed the designers to implement a "switch maneuver", which let players escape from cornering and throw the tide in their favor. The game engine had been tweaked to be more focused on the environment, causing the characters to move more slowly and fluidly than in Tekken Tag Tournament. Finally, the game introduced a brand new graphics system, that featured increased lighting, dynamic physics, and smoother surfaces.
The console version of Tekken 4 includes a beat 'em up minigame available from the outset, called Tekken Force. Similar to the previous minigame found in Tekken 3, it presents the player with an over-the-shoulder perspective as they fight wave upon wave of Heihachi's Tekken Force through four stages, eventually facing Heihachi himself. The player can pick up health and power-ups while they fight waves of enemies. In the minigame it is discovered that the Tekken Force possesses different ranks in the organization, evident in different amounts of stamina, strength, and skill. A new Story mode in the home version unlocks cutscenes when played, in contrast to previous installments in which such cutscenes were unlocked from playing the Arcade mode. Tekken 4 received generally highly positive reviews. Its sequel, Tekken 5, was released in arcades in 2004 and the PlayStation 2 in 2005.The Lab (video game)
The Lab is a room scale virtual reality (VR) video game developed by Valve Corporation, and released for Microsoft Windows on April 5, 2016. It uses VR technology and the HTC Vive device to showcase a series of play experiences accessed through a hub room. The game is set in the Portal universe and offers eight different game types that involve short demo experiences that use different aspects of the VR capabilities. Variety is also offered beyond the experiences themselves by the amount of interactability with objects in the environment that is included.Wii Party
Wii Party (Wiiパーティ, Wī Pāti) is a party video game developed and published by Nintendo for the Wii video game console. The game heavily borrows game play elements from the Mario Party series, another Nintendo franchise. It is also the first game in the Wii series that Shigeru Miyamoto did not produce. The game was released in Japan on July 8, 2010, in North America on October 3, 2010, in Australia on October 7, 2010, and in Europe on October 8, 2010. Wii Party was revealed by Satoru Iwata in a Financial Results Briefing on May 7, 2010. It received mixed reviews from critics and sold 9.32 million copies worldwide as of September 2018. A sequel, Wii Party U, was released for the Wii U on October 25, 2013.