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Being only a few seconds long, microgames have simple rules and require simple actions to be beaten. A brief command is displayed at the beginning of each one to aid the player. Mario Artist: Polygon Studio introduces eight microgames, played in succession and replayed until the player fails three times. The WarioWare games expand this concept, featuring a much larger collection per game and several stages hosted by different developers, each typically themed around a different style or control scheme. WarioWare also introduces Boss microgames, longer variants played after a number of regular microgames during character stages, which restore one lost life if beaten. With the exception of those from WarioWare: D.I.Y. and WarioWare: D.I.Y. Showcase, all microgames have three difficulty levels.
In WarioWare, Inc.: Mega Microgame$! and in WarioWare: Twisted!, average microgames are 8 beats (4 seconds, at normal speed) long. In Mega Microgame$!, Orbulon's microgames are an exception, being 16 beats long (8 seconds). In Twisted!, Orbulon's microgames and two of Wario-Man's ones are 16 beats long as well. Also in this game, Fronk microgames are only 4 beats (2 seconds) long and the WarioWatch has a timer for the whole stage rather than each individual microgame. Later games feature double-length microgames in many characters' stages, making Orbulon's special role in previous installments obsolete.
In Super Smash Bros. Brawl & Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS, the WarioWare, Inc. stage is made up of a series of microgames. If the players win the microgame, they are rewarded with item effects, including growing (Super Mushrooms) and becoming invincible (Stars).
The term "microgame" is, according to Mario Party Advance's manual, also applied to any small challenge given in that game's quests. As such, the microgames of Mario Party Advance can be very varying in style, purpose, and simplicity; completing a microgame typically rewards the player with a Gaddget.
WarioWare microgame lists
There are a total of 1002-1164 microgames in the series (not counting WarioWare: Snapped! and Game & Wario). There are also 47 boss microgames in the series (when counting Windbag from Gamer from Game & Wario).
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