Date: 01-07-2011 18:00
Author: Mason King

PDC profile: Mason

I was very excited to hear that StormBASIC, the maker of my favorite Mini, was going to be developing Dr. Minigames. As I got ready to play, I expected this new title to be another classic. Well, that isn't quite how it turned out.

The Basics
Dr. Minigames has you playing a series of mini-games while constantly forcing you to make quick decisions in order to stop from getting a game over. The games single mode presents you with a 5x5 grid, that gets filled up row by row as you fail the mini-games. When a row begins to decent, it has an image on each of the 5 blocks in the row. Those images represent 5 different mini-games to choose. You must select the mini-game you want to play before these blocks reach the bottom of the grid. Once youíve selected a mini-game, you have only 4 seconds to complete it. Being victorious will give you some points, and clears that row of blocks. However, if you fail, the row of blocks will be locked and pile up on the bottom of the 5x5 grid. If you fail five mini-games, then 5 locked rows will fill the 5x5 grid, and it is game over. If you complete enough mini-games, the whole grid will be cleared and advance you to the next harder level.

Mini-play




The mini-games that you play are all 4 seconds long, so I was disappointed that you donít get much time to play before you move onto the next one. To make matters worse, there isn't a large selection of mini-games to play, and the ones available feel all too similar. If youíve played the Hot Pixel demo, or WarioWare, then youíll know what to expect. You are given a simple task in a mini-game that you must complete in 4 seconds, such as bashing up a vase, dodging a space-ship, or awkwardly steering a 2D race car. The games are fun for the first couple of plays, but they soon get repetitive. All the mini-games are also used with only the D-Pad and the button, so there isnít much variety in controls between the mini-games. For example, youíll be punching a vase tapping the same buttons as you would be to dry someones hair, which is why they feel so similar.

Through the 20-odd assortment of mini-games, youíll find slick interfaces, stylish graphics, and an amusing soundtrack. Itís just a shame that the level of quality they put into the menus didn't find it's way into the mini-games themselves. There are 3 difficulty modes to play, which make the tasks you perform in the mini-games easier or harder, as well as the number of mini-games you need to complete in the grid, to advance to the next round. The game lacks any additional modes, so youíll be left with no re-playability once you get tired of the main modeís short offerings. The game does however feel like it would play better with a touch screen, as seen through some of the level designs, such as the constant button mashing.

Final Thoughts
Dr. Minigames is a good attempt at a mini-game collection, with slick and user-friendly visuals, as well as an interesting concept of play with the 'games within a game' style. I was left extremely disappointed however by the content, because of the small quantity of mini-games, the lack of modes, and the lack of variety. I hope StormBASIC return with a better game for their next outing.

The Minis title Dr. Minigames is now available on the PlayStation Network in Europe and North America, and playable on PSP & PS3. I played this game on my PSP for over 2 hours.

3/10
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