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Mini-Games: Pros and Cons #568693
11/18/09 09:03 AM
11/18/09 09:03 AM
Joined: Feb 2000
Posts: 26,918
Stony Brook, New York, USA
Becky Offline OP
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Becky  Offline OP
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Stony Brook, New York, USA
Wikipedia defines a mini-game as a small game within a larger game. We are seeing increasing numbers of mini-games in adventures like the Nancy Drew series, the Diamon Jones series, the Atlantis series, etc.

Is there a way to define what we're talking about a bit better before we talk about it? Are mini-games clearly recognizeable? (A board game, an arcade game, a card game, for instance. )Mechanical puzzles in games like Myst or the Mysterious Journey games or Keepsake -- should they be considered mini-games?

Do you like the variety that mini-games bring? Do you like mini-games if they aren't timed? What do you think of timed mini-games within adventure games?

Last edited by Becky; 11/18/09 09:03 AM.
Re: Mini-Games: Pros and Cons [Re: Becky] #568714
11/18/09 10:17 AM
11/18/09 10:17 AM
Joined: Jan 2001
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Ontario, Canada
colpet Offline
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I usually think of a mini game as a set game that you play against the computer, usually with a strategy element or timed challenge. I would not consider mechanical puzzles, sliders, or mazes mini-games.
Arcade sequences (Nancy Drew), board games (AGON),strategy challenges (11th Hour) are examples of what I think mini-games are. The major difference is that with regular puzzles there is usually a step by step solve. With minigame, the gameplay is random and the comuter's response is based on your move, so you are the only one that can solve that particular game.
I don't mind some minigames, but I'm not good at timed twitch games, nor chess like board games. So in general, I don't like them in a game and will play for a bit, but appreciate being able to skip it as in the 11th Hour game.

Last edited by colpet; 11/18/09 10:19 AM.


Re: Mini-Games: Pros and Cons [Re: colpet] #568749
11/18/09 11:47 AM
11/18/09 11:47 AM
Joined: Nov 2000
Posts: 31,525
United Kingdom
Mad Online happy
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"What do you think of timed mini-games within adventure games?"

Not Much !!!!

And timed "arcade" style mini games are the worst, for me shocked

Last edited by Mad; 11/18/09 11:48 AM.

Time : The Most Precious Commodity
Re: Mini-Games: Pros and Cons [Re: colpet] #568752
11/18/09 11:58 AM
11/18/09 11:58 AM
Joined: Oct 2000
Posts: 40,644
southeast USA
Jenny100 Offline
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Coming at it from an adventure gamer's perspective, I don't think of a puzzle like the type in Shivers or 7th Guest to be the same as a minigame. I think of "minigames" as being "little games" -- games where you're playing against an AI (artificial intelligence). I don't consider a puzzle to be the same as a game -- even an abstract puzzle that could exist outside of a computer game (like a puzzle box or slider). For as long as I've been playing games I've encountered abstract puzzles, and always considered them part of the game.

But people who play Hidden Object Games consider anything that isn't a variation of a hidden object search to be a "minigame." So we have this confusion because what is a puzzle for an adventure gamer is often a "minigame" for a HOG player. Maybe this is because HOG's started out as pure hidden object gameplay and didn't have the variety of puzzles found in adventure games.

As for personal preference, I don't enjoy having an interruption in an adventure game where I have to stop and play poker or 21 or Othello -- games where you have to play against an AI (or mini-AI). Even worse is having to stop and play whack-a-mole or use a shooting gallery or accomplish some other dexterity-related task -- which can be an impasse if there is no ability to skip it because no walkthrough can help you if you're too slow or too clumsy.

Interestingly enough, I don't think of chess puzzles as minigames, even though chess is a game. The reason is that you aren't playing an entire game of chess against an AI, and there's usually only one solution (or mirror image solution) to chess puzzles.

Quote:
Do you like mini-games if they aren't timed? What do you think of timed mini-games within adventure games?

Timed is definitely worse. I have enough time stress as it is outside of games. The last thing I need is more.

Re: Mini-Games: Pros and Cons [Re: Jenny100] #568762
11/18/09 12:35 PM
11/18/09 12:35 PM
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Posts: 168
Des Plaines, Illinois
RayBres Offline
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A mini-game has to be a procedure which can have different outcomes but the same setup each time. The various puzzles in Myst, etc., don't qualify in that regard. A true mini-game is one like Space Invaders, which occurs in Machinarium at one point.

My opinion is that inclusion of such games shows a certain lack of creativity on the part of the makers, and it lessens my respect for the game as a whole. Timed mechanisms of any kind are an annoyance to me in adventure games.


ray
Re: Mini-Games: Pros and Cons [Re: RayBres] #568796
11/18/09 02:13 PM
11/18/09 02:13 PM
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Posts: 15,022
Northeast NJ
Darleen03 Offline
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I feel that mini games are not necessary in Adventure games...They serve no purpose in a game...

Why should you play a mini game before you can open a door? Etc Etc.
Some games use them to get bonus points or certain items you might need throughout the game..But, To me they are really a pain..

Timed puzzles & arcade games are not what I like to see in a true adventure game...

I really can do without any mini or arcade or timed puzzles !!!


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Re: Mini-Games: Pros and Cons [Re: Darleen03] #568804
11/18/09 02:45 PM
11/18/09 02:45 PM
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I am not thrilled with having mini games in an 'adventure' game...not at all and that includes if they're timed. I put up with them in 'casual' games because most of those are HOGs or IHOGs and those are different than our regular adventure games. (however, even in the casual games i play the demo to see if there is a skip/solve option). To me...some of the mini games in some 'adventure' games seem to be 'action' (arcade style)and since those require the dexterity(like running/jumping in some action/adventure games)i can no longer do i try to avoid those games whenever possible. Action-Adventure....i do wish places that sell games would put them in their own separate listing..instead of calling them Adventure. I mean really, is there no one doing the listings a true adventure game player? AND i wish developers&publishers would put ON THE BOX or in ADVERTISMENT for the game the info it has 'action' elements in it...or timed elements..(one game Uru which i and many others thought would be great Mystlike exploration were fooled when we got the game because nowhere in the ads or on the box were you told there was running and jumping..it was almost heart breaking!).

Last edited by gamenut; 11/18/09 02:49 PM.
Re: Mini-Games: Pros and Cons [Re: Becky] #568853
11/18/09 05:35 PM
11/18/09 05:35 PM
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Posts: 4,561
london uk
chrissie Offline
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Thank you Becky for starting this thread! I consider mini-games as separate self contained
superfluous puzzles not to be confused with puzzles totally integral to a game rather than integrated if that makes sense! crazy E.G. most Nancy Drew games rely on completing a few separate 'aside'games not in keeping with normal AG fare which are essentially mini -games within the game. I forgive ND games for this - I expect it, don't always enjoy it but I think it has to be considered that the games are made for teenagers & younger!

The first AG I came across with mini-game incorporated was So Blonde. I enjoyed doing some of them & a nice feature was that you could skip them if you wanted. But,I did feel that it was a good AG 'selling out' to try & attract perhaps a Casual game audience? & I would have preferred the challenges to have been presented differently. If I play an AG I don't want mini-games! - if I am in the mood for that I will buy a Casual game! smile

Re: Mini-Games: Pros and Cons [Re: chrissie] #569048
11/19/09 08:14 AM
11/19/09 08:14 AM
Joined: Dec 2004
Posts: 497
Millbrook, New York
Cappy Offline
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I totally agree with RayBres that inclusion of such games shows a lack of creativity on the part of developers, especially packing the overall game with scads of mini games like the current Nancy Drews. It seems as though the developers write a short story then lengthen the game by adding minis that many times have no relation to the overall story. I've stopped buying Nancy Drews for that reason.

Now, I'm not adverse to having minis in an Adventure Game. I just want them to relate to the story and not be disruptive by appearing in every other screen.

As for timed or arcade minis? Don't get me started!


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