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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.
A video game is an electronic game that involves interaction with a user interface to generate visual feedback on a two- or three-dimensional video display device such as a TV screen, virtual reality headset or computer monitor. Since the 1980s, video games have become an increasingly important part of the entertainment industry, and whether they are also a form of art is a matter of dispute.
Gameplay is the specific way in which players interact with a game, and in particular with video games. Gameplay is the pattern defined through the game rules, connection between player and the game, challenges and overcoming them, plot and player's connection with it. Video game gameplay is distinct from graphics and audio elements.
Pokémon Stadium is a strategy video game developed and published by Nintendo for the Nintendo 64 video game console. First released in Japan on April 30, 1999, it was later released as the first Stadium title in Western regions the following year, and is a sequel to the Japanese-only 1998 Nintendo 64 release Pokémon Stadium. The gameplay revolves around a 3D turn-based battling system using the 151 Pokémon from the Game Boy games Pokémon Red, Pokémon Blue, and Pokémon Yellow.
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.
In computer software and media, an Easter egg is an intentional inside joke, hidden message or image, or secret feature of a work. It is usually found in a computer program, video game, or DVD/Blu-ray Disc menu screen. The name is used to evoke the idea of a traditional Easter egg hunt. The term was coined to describe a hidden message in the Atari video game Adventure that encouraged the player to find further hidden messages in later games, leading them on a 'hunt'.
Microsoft Excel is a spreadsheet developed by Microsoft for Windows, macOS, Android and iOS. It features calculation, graphing tools, pivot tables, and a macro programming language called Visual Basic for Applications. It has been a very widely applied spreadsheet for these platforms, especially since version 5 in 1993, and it has replaced Lotus 1-2-3 as the industry standard for spreadsheets. Excel forms part of the Microsoft Office suite of software.
A dot-matrix display is an electronic digital display device that displays information on machines, clocks and watches, public transport departure indicators and many other devices requiring a simple alphanumeric display device of limited resolution.
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.
UPL Co., Ltd (株式会社ユーピーエル), formally known as Universal Play Land (ユニバーサルプレイランド), was a video game production company headquartered in Oyama, Tochigi, Japan. It was founded as a subsidiary of Universal Entertainment. Even none of the staff remember when exactly it was founded. In 1984, it was renamed as "UPL Co. Ltd". The company filed for bankruptcy in March 1992.
Cinemaware was a computer game developer and publisher that released several popular titles in the 1980s based on various movie themes. The company was resurrected in 2000, before being acquired by eGames in 2005.
Defender of the Crown is a strategy computer game designed by Kellyn Beck. It was Cinemaware's first game, and was originally released for the Commodore Amiga in 1986, setting a new standard for graphic quality in home computer games.
The Legend of Zelda games have many minigames in each game, often having prizes such as Pieces of Heart (increasing Link's health), Rupees (the games' currency), and upgrades (quiver, wallet, etc.)
The Legend of Zelda is a fantasy action-adventure video game franchise created by Japanese game designers Shigeru Miyamoto and Takashi Tezuka. It is primarily developed and published by Nintendo, although some portable installments and re-releases have been outsourced to Capcom, Vanpool, and Grezzo. The series' gameplay incorporates action-adventure and elements of action RPG games.
A quiver is a container for holding arrows, bolts, darts, or javelins. It can be carried on an archer's body, the bow, or the ground, depending on the type of shooting and the archer's personal preference. Quivers were traditionally made of leather, wood, furs, and other natural materials, but are now often made of metal or plastic.
A wallet is a small, flat case that can be used to carry such personal items as cash, credit cards, and identification documents, photographs, transit pass, gift cards, business cards and other paper or laminated cards. Wallets are generally made of leather or fabrics, and they are usually pocket-sized but not always foldable.
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.
Final Fantasy is a Japanese science fantasy media franchise created by Hironobu Sakaguchi, and developed and owned by Square Enix. The franchise centers on a series of fantasy and science fantasy role-playing video games (RPGs/JRPGs). The first game in the series was released in 1987, with 14 other main-numbered entries being released since then. The franchise has since branched into other video game genres such as tactical role-playing, action role-playing, massively multiplayer online role-playing, racing, third-person shooter, fighting, and rhythm, as well as branching into other media, including CGI films, anime, manga, and novels.
Final Fantasy is a fantasy role-playing video game developed and published by Square in 1987. It is the first game in Square's Final Fantasy series, created by Hironobu Sakaguchi. Originally released for the NES, Final Fantasy was remade for several video game consoles and is frequently packaged with Final Fantasy II in video game collections. The story follows four youths called the Light Warriors, who each carry one of their world's four elemental orbs which have been darkened by the four Elemental Fiends. Together, they quest to defeat these evil forces, restore light to the orbs, and save their world.
A sliding puzzle, sliding block puzzle, or sliding tile puzzle is a combination puzzle that challenges a player to slide pieces along certain routes to establish a certain end-configuration. The pieces to be moved may consist of simple shapes, or they may be imprinted with colors, patterns, sections of a larger picture, numbers, or letters.
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.
Sonic the Hedgehog is a media franchise owned by Sega, centering on a series of high-speed platform games. Sonic, the protagonist, is an anthropomorphic blue hedgehog with supersonic speed. Typically, Sonic must stop antagonist Doctor Eggman's plans for world domination, often helped by his friends, such as Tails, Amy, and Knuckles.
Sonic the Hedgehog 3 is a platform game developed and published by Sega. It is the sequel to Sonic the Hedgehog 2 (1992) and was released worldwide for the Sega Genesis in 1994. Following the events of Sonic 2, Doctor Robotnik's spaceship, the Death Egg, crash-lands on a mysterious floating island. There, Sonic and Tails must once more retrieve the Chaos Emeralds to stop Death Egg from relaunching, while making rounds with the island's guardian, Knuckles the Echidna. Gameplay is similar to previous entries, with players controlling Sonic and Tails through side-scrolling levels at high speeds while collecting rings and defeating enemies.
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.
Capcom's Street Fighter series features two minigames as bonus stages in Street Fighter II , Street Fighter III and Street Fighter IV , after winning matches.
Dr. Mario is a 1990 action puzzle video game produced by Gunpei Yokoi and designed by Takahiro Harada. Nintendo developed and published the game for the Nintendo Entertainment System and Game Boy consoles. The game's soundtrack was composed by Hirokazu Tanaka.
Wario is a fictional character in Nintendo's Mario series who was originally designed as an arch-rival of Mario. He first appeared in the 1992 Game Boy title Super Mario Land 2: 6 Golden Coins as the main antagonist and final boss. His name is a portmanteau of Mario's name and the Japanese word warui (悪い), meaning "bad". Wario was designed by Hiroji Kiyotake, and is voiced by Charles Martinet, who voices many other characters in the series such as Mario, Luigi, and Waluigi.
WarioWare, Inc.: Mega Microgames!, stylized as WarioWare, Inc.: Mega Microgame$! and known in the PAL region as WarioWare, Inc.: Minigame Mania, is a minigame compilation video game for the Game Boy Advance. The debut title in the WarioWare series, the game is about rapid completion of "microgames", short minigames given to the player consecutively and with increasing speed per each game complete. Developed by Nintendo R&D1 and published by Nintendo, the game was inspired by the "Sound Bomber" mode of Mario Artist: Polygon Studio for the Nintendo 64DD. The game was produced by Takehiro Izushi and directed by Hirofumi Matsuoka. Matsuoka was also the director of Polygon Studio. Mega Microgames! was released in 2003; in Japan in March, in North America and Europe in May and in Australia in June.
Mario Paint is a video game released in 1992 by Nintendo for use with the Super Nintendo Entertainment System. It is packaged with the Super NES Mouse peripheral. The game was developed by Nintendo Research & Development 1 and Intelligent Systems.
Hogan's Alley is a 1984 video game by Nintendo. It was one of the first games to use a light gun as an input device. The game presents players with "cardboard cut-outs" of gangsters and innocent civilians. The player must shoot the gangs and spare the innocent people.
WarioWare: Touched! is a minigame compilation video game released by Nintendo for the Nintendo DS. The fourth installment of the WarioWare series, and the first of three on the Nintendo DS, the game involves rapidly completing "microgames" — simple minigames lasting extremely short periods of time — as quickly as possible. The microgames are exclusively controlled with the Nintendo DS's touchscreen and microphone.
WarioWare: Twisted! is a puzzle video game for Game Boy Advance by Nintendo. It is the third installment in the WarioWare series. It was released on October 14, 2004 in Japan; on May 19, 2005 in Australia; and on May 23, 2005 in North America.
WarioWare, Inc.: Mega Party Games! is a party video game for the GameCube. A remake of WarioWare, Inc.: Mega Microgames!, and the second entry in the WarioWare series, the game translates the "microgame" gameplay of Mega Microgames! to be playable in a multiplayer environment.
Color TV-Game is a series of five home dedicated consoles, created by Nintendo and released in Japan only. Nintendo sold three million units of the first four models: one million units of each of the first two models, Color TV-Game 6 and 15; and half a million units of each of the next two models, Block Breaker and Racing 112. The Color TV-Game series has the highest sales figures of the first generation of video game consoles. The systems can run on C batteries or an AC adapter.
Toshihiro Nagoshi is a Japanese video game producer and designer. He is the chief creative officer for Sega and a member of the board of directors for Atlus. He joined Sega in 1989.
WarioWare: Smooth Moves is a party video game developed by Nintendo SPD and Intelligent Systems. The game was published by Nintendo for its Wii video game system in Japan in December 2006, and in Europe, North America, and Australia in January 2007. It was re-released in 2011 in Europe as part of the Nintendo Selects program. It is the fifth game in the WarioWare series of games, and the only game in the series to be released for the Wii. Like its predecessors, WarioWare: Smooth Moves is built around a collection of microgames that last about five seconds each, and which require that the player hold the Wii Remote in specific positions. The game offers the microgames to the player in rapid succession, by first instructing the player to hold the Wii Remote in a specific manner, and then showing them the microgame. The microgames are divided into several stages, each of which loosely connects the microgames with the help of a story.
The term unlockable games refers to full video games that can be unlocked within another video game, often as easter eggs. Often these unlockable games are earlier entries in the series of the game in which they are hidden, and they become available after beating the game or meeting other requirements.
The Wariofranchise is a spin-off video game franchise of the Mario series. It comprises various video games created by Nintendo, starring the character Wario. The franchise began with Wario Land: Super Mario Land 3, the first game to feature Wario as a playable character, and gained many further installments. The Wario series includes mostly platforming video games and minigame compilations, but also includes other genres.
WarioWare: D.I.Y., known as WarioWare: Do It Yourself in the PAL region, is a mini-game compilation and design video game released for the Nintendo DS in 2009. It is the seventh title in the WarioWare series, after WarioWare: Snapped! It was revealed at Nintendo's conference on October 2, 2008 and it was released in Japan on April 29, 2009. It was released in 2010 in North America, Europe and Australia respectively and was accompanied by a separate WiiWare title, WarioWare: D.I.Y. Showcase. The game revolves around the Super MakerMatic 21, a machine that allows players to make microgames, music records and 4-page black-and-white comics.
WarioWare: Snapped! is a minigame compilation developed by Nintendo SPD Group No.1 and Intelligent Systems and published by Nintendo for the Nintendo DSi's DSiWare digital distribution service, and is part of the WarioWare series of video games. It is the sixth game in the series. It was released for Nintendo's DSiWare service, which started at the launch of the DSi on April 5, 2009 in North America.
The Ultra Machine is a batting toy made by Nintendo and designed by Gunpei Yokoi in 1967.
Multibowl is a competitive minigame compilation of scenes from 1980s and 90s video games. Its creators, Bennett Foddy and AP Thomson, intend to show the work at events and have no plans for a public release due to copyright issues.
WarioWare Gold is an action video game developed by Intelligent Systems and published by Nintendo for the Nintendo 3DS. The ninth installment in the WarioWare series, it was released in PAL regions in July 2018, and in North America and Japan the following month.