The mini game is a key party to any game. If you have good mini games, they add very little to the game. However, if the mini game is bad, it can ruin the entire game. As games become more complex, mini games become more of a part of the game. Mini games are so key to games that some games have been built around mini games. The games that we are playing right now have almost perfect mini games, they don’t get in your way, but if you want to play them they are fun.
Mini games are just that, simple little games. Most mini games are either rhythm games, or little puzzles. When I speak of rhythm games, they are like Rockband or Guitar Hero, where you have to press a certain button at a certain time. These games are dying out because they are very easy to beat if you are even paying the slightest bit of attention. The other type of mini game that is popular is the puzzle. Puzzles can be simple things like putting pipes down so a liquid flows from one opening to another, like in Bioshock. Another example of a puzzle is the hacking in Mass Effect 2, it is a simple matching game.
Mini games have become so important to video games. If you have a bad mini game, then it will almost destroy the whole game. What makes a mini game good is that it has to be simple and challenging, but not too long. If the game lasts for more than a minute, that is too long. Another thing that makes a good mini game is the ability to completely skip over it. Bioshock did it great, the hacking mini game gave you a bonus, but it was not a required thing to do. The other thing Bioshock did was allow you to use an item to beat the mini game. However, if you have a mini game that is either too hard to beat, or too long and boring, it can ruin the whole flow of the game. The tower defense of Assassins Creed Revelations is one such mini game. If you did not do every thing right, you would lose the mission. It was not a fun game to play.
There are some mini games however, that are very big and complex. The Final Fantasy games have had some of the biggest and most complex games. The card game Triple Triad from Final Fantasy VIII, is a large game that was a great change of pace. Blitzball from Final Fantasy X, is another game that could be very complex if you made it that way. Just like Triple Triad, Blitzball is a great change of pace from the main game.
Mini games have become such a big part of gaming that there is now a franchise based off them. I am speaking of the Mario Party series. These game are simply a compilation of mini games. Yes, you do play on a big board and try to get stars to win, but after every round, you are forced to play a mini game. All the games that are in Mario Party are super simple games. Ranging from racing around a track to dodging barrels to guessing games. These games are not complex, but they are fun.
The current crop of games that have mini game are almost perfect. The games are short and sweet, yet just a little bit challenging. Game developers have even put in ways that we can skip the mini games altogether, either by making mini games completely optional, or by giving the player an item that will do the mini game for them. Mini games are crucial parts to video games, let’s just hope they stay as good as they are right now.