Mini games are a fun way to divert our attention away from the bigger, overarching narrative of a game. Like a much needed, lighthearted break to recharge our gaming batteries before moving on to more important concerns. That being said, mini games occasionally take on a life of their own and can be just as good, if not better than the game itself.
Here are six mini games we’ve all spent way too long playing.
Gwent was initially implemented into The Witcher 3 as a fun distraction for weary travelers who needed a pause from all the bloodshed and politics of The Continent. In reality, it’s quite simply one of the most enjoyable things to do in CD Projekt Red’s masterpiece and anyone who says they didn’t relish the chance of winning a new card against the dozens of NPC players scattered across the map are simply lying. Gwent received such as positive response, it was turned into a standalone online multiplayer game.
Underwater basketball you say? Yep, that’s right and though on the surface it may not seem like a recipe for fun, Final Fantasy X’s Blitzball had an addictive quality we can’t quite put our finger on. Part skill, part luck, Blitzball was about drafting the right players, making the right passes and capitalizing on advantages. Tactical and fun.
Though Geometry Wars is a very successful standalone game, it was originally a mini game in Project Gotham Racing 2. Top that off, Geometry Wars was only ever meant to feature as a kind of joke. Ridiculously hard and colorful, no one could have foreseen the mass appeal of frantic shapes careening across the screen.
Forklift Racing In Shenmue
Anyone who’s played the original Shenmue fondly remembers the forklift racing. Hours spent commandeering those clunky, yet speedy forklifts around the warehouse yard at the start of each working day were as fun as mini-games get. Somehow, it never got old either.
Bioshock Pipe Hacking
Hacking in video games has a choppy history to say the least, with efforts generally swaying towards the awful and at best mildly entertaining. There is one exception though and that is the pipe hacking game in Bioshock. Essentially, a spruced up version of the classic Pipe Dream veiled as a hacking game, it was somehow incredibly fun trying not to blow yourself up.
Fishing mini games are among the most common mini game tropes. They tend to miss the mark more often than not. Except, that is, when it comes to fishing in The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time. Not only did a good catch guarantee much needed heart fragments, the mechanics were fun and responsive. The increasing size of the fish, the quirky owner, and those seemingly unattainable fish we spent hours trying to catch, pure gold.