What is worse than average, 101 times?
A rundown of every low-production, tinny-sounding, uninspiring, and crap-tastic mini-game:
[image1]1. Basketball – Flick basketball on bottom screen into hoop on top screen. Way too sensitive controls. Perfect for a day of frustration. F.
2. Tornado Hockey – Actually, air hockey with an icy background. Need to score eight goals on opponent within a minute. Be grateful if you can get to disc #7 in that time. D.
3. Circus – Flick three rings into the air and don’t let any of them hit the ground. Eventually need to juggle five or more rings. Demands that you have two styluses and a lot of unnecessary patience. F.
4. Foot and the Ball – Keep soccer ball in the air by tapping the bottom of the ball. But area of correct tapping is too small. D.
5. Sushi – Spear rolling sushi with a skewer. The four rows of sushi roll too slowly. A tad easy. D+.
6. Curlers – The sport of curling with a circular grid and five stones. Requires a light touch. D+.
7. Sky Hunter – Catch numbers dangling on falling umbrellas while avoiding harmful power-ups. Challenging for sure… just don’t try to think too hard about it. C-.
8. Darts – Throw as many darts as you can at a dartboard in thirty seconds. As generic as it sounds. D.
9. Card Castle – Draw triangles to create a card pyramid. Triangles require far too much precision and way too much guesswork. I would rather use real cards. F.
10. Aquarium – Drag a smiling bubble into other bubbles while avoiding clown fish. When the bubble finally bursts, you’re happy to move on. D.
11. Flies – Point at spots for the frog’s tongue to whip in some delicious flying flies. Too easy since the flies only move straight. D.
12. Bat Lander – Bat moves down a rocky shaft as quickly as possible. Collect candy while avoiding rocks. Annoying since the bat moves too slowly to evade rocks, and some candy is placed far too close to them. D.
13. Complicacy – Untangle eight balls so that the strings that connect them don’t criss-cross, in the fastest time possible. Ultimately depends on luck on how close the balls’ placement is to the solution. D+.
14. Serpent – Essentially the same as Snake, where you have to gobble up fruit while avoiding the walls and your ever-growing tail. A straightforward copycat idea. D+.
15. Diamond Box – Get a diamond out of hole in a box with various blocks in it by rotating the box clockwise or counterclockwise. Depends on luck, though, since multiple puzzles are unsolvable. D-.
16. Urban Sky Diving – Freefall from the top of a building, going through hoops that award more points the closer they are to the ground, and open the parachute before you go splat. Brief, like the other mini-games, but one of the few that is actually fun. C.
17. Cookies – Five pairs of cookies, one is missing, pick the missing cookie. Mainly depends on your swiftness in visual recognition. Quite difficult, if just for the fact that the cookie selection screen is spinning. C-.
18. Safeguard – Quickly pick the picture of the plane that passes by before it escapes. Another mini-game based on visual recognition and is difficult, partly since the some planes on the selection screen are angled differently than they appear in the sky. C-.
19. Missiles – Maneuver a jet around a volley of missiles. That’s it, really. D+.
20. Serenade – As you play your guitar for a minute, grab the roses from the ladies while avoiding the trash from the old, hairy men. D+.
[image2]21. Apple Worms – Tap on the radioactively glowing worms, not the, uh, non-glowing ones. D-.
22. Thick-Skulled Romeo – Turn DS sideways, fling Romeo towards an obese Juliet by tapping on the right angle and power. A few tries and you’re done. D.
23. Wisdom – Choose the right answer by matching or solving the visual prompt. Asks about thirty questions but only has ten variations. Far too easy. D-.
24. Speed Chaos – Evade the cars and walls as your racecar drives on the highway. Nothing new, but a challenge nonetheless. C-.
25. Sudo Master – It’s sudoku. D.
26. Sniper – Pull the string and fling the arrow at a moving bulls-eye target. Would have been better if target was
Jonas Brothers the universal concept of generic. D-.
27. Tanks – Defeat enemy tanks after destroying their walls. Have to use stylus to both move and shoot. Never a good idea. But still too easy. D.
28. Perianth – Interesting title for a non-interesting mini-game. Sort pink and purple petals into their pink and purple bowls. Wish you just had a bottle of Weed Away. D-.
29. Elevator Escape – Guy in a bunny costume has to jump out of an elevator right when it hits the ground. Essentially the same as Urban Sky Diving, except it makes you want to jump off a building after playing it. F.
30. Invasion – Space Invaders, except the invaders are idiotic planes, and the stylus is used to shoot and move instead of the D-pad and the face buttons. D-.
31. Fishy Deal – Find the ball under the right cup. The only thing fishy about it is how easy it is. D.
32. Shuriken – Fling shurikens at a stationary target. Even ninjas will be bored. D-.
33. Pin Light – Throw four blue discs at a series of lights. Discs and lights are excruciatingly small. D.
34. Disc Throwing – Throw a disc on a chain like a shot put as far as you can by drawing circles as fast as possible and releasing the stylus. Controls are extremely clumsy. F.
35. Displace – Fling four discs as close as possible to the four circles. D.
36. Fifteen – It’s a slider puzzle that awards you points when a piece is in the right spot regardless of whether the entire puzzle is solved. D.
37. Cloud Jumper – Bunny hops on descending clouds, collecting objects and hopefully not dropping off the screen. D+.
38. Magic Clouds – Sort raindrops and stars between both screens as fast as possible. Not challenging in the slightest. D-.
39. Baskets – Fling colored eggs into their colored nests. But like Basketball, the flinging mechanism is too sensitive. F.
40. Submarine – Dodge ships and islands using a submarine that can’t sub-merge for more than three seconds. Challenging but doesn’t make any sense. D.
[image3]41. Metal Roller – Get ball to maneuver around ascending shelves so that it doesn’t hit the spikes above. Collect ninja stars to gain more points. Why? I don’t know. D.
42. Winter Fishing – Drag fish hook around junk to the fish. Again, not challenging at all. D-.
43. Rocket A – Guide rocket through space into barrels of fuel (in the sky?!) so that the rocket doesn’t stop. Rocket doesn’t move quickly enough to catch all the barrels. D.
44. Juggler – Nothing to do with juggling. Turn three cranks so that three light bulbs stay on… so that it powers the forcefield… so that it prevents aliens from destroying the city… so that you don’t have to play this game ever again. D-.
45. Puzzle – A jigsaw puzzle. D.
46. Magic Sorting – It’s the board game Perfection, except the time limit is too long and the board doesn’t shake if you lose (so what’s the point?). D.
47. Sea Monsters – Aim and light the fuse on three cannons to kill oncoming sea monsters. Unfortunately, the target area of aiming and lighting the fuse is nearly impossible to hit. F.
48. Turtle Marathon – First sentence of instructions: “Why go the long way around the swamp when you can turtle-jump across?” D-.
49. Hyper Space – Shoot enemy planes. Stick to one side. Win. D.
50. Memory Space – Simon Says… D.
51. Road Brigadier – Fill in the holes with the right shape of dirt so that the tractor doesn’t fall into it. Difficult to drag the blocks at times but challenging. C-.
52. Halitosis of Horrors – Brush teeth. I’m not kidding. F-. (Not kidding about that either.)
53. Draw ‘n’ Match – Draw in the squares to match three figures on the top screen. As the squares get smaller, though, the precision is lost. D+.
54. Coco Bouncer – Aim a coconut at random things to collect points. D-.
55. Shuffler – Match three of the same blocks in a row. Put on blindfold. Move stylus everywhere. You win. F.
56. Safebreaker – Spin safe knob to the number that fills in the equation. That’s right, it’s not safe-breaking – it’s math. D.
57. Battleship – It’s the board game Battleship, except there are one-block ships too. C-.
58. Flipit – Choose a rectangular box of puzzle pieces to flip them until the pieces match the picture on the top screen. Actually innovative but only one picture and a bit too easy. C-.
59. Christmas Mania – Match a sequence of four Christmas gifts by selecting a connected group of Christmas gift icons in a grid. Sounds complicated but is actually easy. Just not exciting in any way. D+.
60. Cupid – Shoot a blue bird, then a pink bird, or vice versa. No blue-on-blue or pink-on-pink action allowed. Sigh, just more oppression against avian homosexuality. D+.
[image4]61. Penalties – Kick a soccer ball past the goalie. All luck. D-.
62. Crazy Burgers – Send burgers down four serving lines to satisfy customers. D+.
63. Banking – Keep coins in the air and bag them once they are tapped on four times. A decent challenge that requires all your attention. C.
64. Rocketman – Select angle for astronaut to jump onto rocky platforms. But judging the right angle and power is nigh-impossible. D-.
65. Bridge Operator – Control four draw bridges so that the vehicles pass through. As easy as it sounds. D.
66. Fireflighters – Move trampoline so that firefighters who jump out of one building land in the windows of the victims. It can’t get much dumber. F.
67. Catch It – A crane game with bouncing balls. D+.
68. Lazy Workers – Move trampoline and avoid tarp-ripping hammers so that various fruit items stay in the air. I can’t be the only one confused by this, right? D.
69. Grasshoppers – Guide a grasshopper safely across the pond by selecting the right hopping power. But why have a power gauge that goes from 1 to 9 when the right answer is almost always 4? D-.
70. Gravitation – Choose the right angle and launch power of a rocket so that it doesn’t get pulled into the gravitational field of several planets and crash. Actually requires thoughtful analysis. C.
71. Log Runners – You and a bear are on a spinning log and the bear wants you off. Press up when the center is down and press down when the center is up. That’s it. D+.
72. Treasures – Play Hot and Cold with a treasure chest. Takes less than ten seconds. Sometimes five. Sometimes two. F.
73. River Life – Sort daisies and rubbish in a river into their buckets. D-.
74. Sprint – Swipe along the track to run and swipe up to jump over hurdles. D.
75. Tightrope Walker – Guide a tightrope walker across by tapping on the balance weights when they are off-center. Again, too easy. D-.
76. Food Fight – Swipe spoon to launch food at fruit flies. Lucky if you can hit anything at all. D-.
77. Speeding Roach – Rub the back of a roach to make it run faster. But no matter how hard you swipe, it just doesn’t seem to want to win. F.
78. Cowboy Paintball – Draw pistol as soon as your rival does. D.
79. Colours – Play Mastermind with eight colors but without any saved record of how many colors are in the sequence or in correct position. C-.
80. Tree Climber – Get a hatchling still in its egg to jump onto moving nests. D.
[image5]81. Penguin Flight – Guide a hopping penguin across an icy lake by moving a platform underneath them. D.
82. Bomber Pigeon – Tap on pigeons three times before they poop on the statue. D.
83. Protectors – It’s Missile Command against eyeballs. D+.
84. Incubator – It’s Bubble Bobble with fish eggs. D+.
85. Divorce – Separate bouncing male and female icons between the top and bottom screen. (Worst title ever?) D.
86. Shepherd – Put the fear into sheep with your scary stylus. D.
87. Mad Baker – Nothing to do with baking. A chef is whipping broccoli, sausage, and mushrooms into the air. Catch one of each on multiple plates. Actually challenging. C.
88. Counter – Tap flowers from 1 through 20 between two screens. As inane as it sounds. F.
89. Weights – Balance a set of random weights. Requires quick computation. C-.
90. Urban Skateboarder – Jump. Over. Obstacles. That’s. It. F.
91. Good Neighbours – Tap speakers that light up to annoy neighbor with rock music. No challenge. No rock and roll. No fun. F.
92. Cosmos 911 – Dodge asteroids while rescuing astronauts. D.
93. Defuse or be Fused – Defuse bomb by following the right wire, tangled in other wires, to its end. C-.
94. Alpinist – Salmon ladder your way up by swiping down five times and then swiping up. Over and over and over and over and over… D-.
95. Franken Fry – Switch between red and blue conductors so that the right colored charge goes into Frankenstein. D+.
96. Sumo – Touch your wrestler and swipe back to push him in the opposite direction. Never works. F.
97. Pest Splattering – Swat flies with, err, a swatter, ala the mini-game in Mario Paint. Exploitable since each fly can be swatted up to three times. D.
98. Monuments – Fling rings onto rod-like monuments. Gain points. Yay… D.
99. Volleyball – Hit the bottom of the volleyball to hit it over. But it hardly ever does. F.
100. Doll Dance – Select the right body part on the voodoo doll so that the man doesn’t get killed. Interesting but much too simple. D.
[image6]101. Amazing Dressing – Yeah, the last mini-game is about dressing up a man in a Halloween costume using the right pieces. I’m sure everyone can’t wait. D-.
Now, I could take the easy way out and choose the over-simplified solution to my final thoughts: Find the average grade of all the mini-games. But that would be excusing the horrible, excruciating, looping music, not seeing how many points you need to beat a mini-game at the beginning, and having to go back to the main screen if you ever need to read the rules and controls. Objectivity tells me that the variety of mini-games and the lasting value are positives that shouldn’t be ignored, but subjectivity – and just plain common sense – tells me that showering any praise on 101-in-1 Explosive Megamix would be like calling an Uwe Boll film “watchable”, "lengthy", and a desperately "explosive megamix". You’re better off putting on a blindfold, walking into a rack of DS titles, and picking the game that your face lands on.