A minigame (sometimes formatted as "mini-game") is a short game that may reward coins, items, or higher scores. However, some main games may require completion of a minigame to access a new area or gain a key. The most common form of minigames is from the Mario Party series.
Super Smash Bros. series minigames
Wario Land series minigames
Super Mario RPG: Legend of the Seven Stars minigames
Mario Party series minigames
The Mario Party series has many types of minigames. Most award ten coins, while some award items. In Mario Party, a few minigames can cause a player to lose coins, although this system was changed in later Mario Party games. Since Mario Party 2, players can now practice minigames before trying them out for real. Some minigames can last as long as five or two minutes, but a timer does not appear until 30 or 60 seconds are left.
Originally featured in Mario Party, 1-Player minigames are minigames played alone. These minigames are usually accessed by landing on the Minigame Space. If the player fails, they lose five coins; if the player wins, they win 10 coins, unless it is a different kind of minigame, such as Whack-a-Plant, where players cannot win or lose.
1-Player minigames reappear in Mario Party 8, now called Challenge minigames. If the player wins, they get to spin the wheel to throw a dart to collect the number of coins on the platform the arrow landed on. However, if the player loses, they cannot throw the dart and their turn ends. A Challenge minigame is triggered when a player lands on a Challenge Space. The three Challenge minigames are Pour to Score, Stampede, and Fruit Picker.
4-Player minigames are minigames that pit all four players against each other. In Mario Party, the two games Key-pa-Way and Running of the Bulb require the four players to work together, and if they succeed, they all get coins. However, this concept has not been used in any other Mario Party game and instead only versus games. This system has remained unchanged since the first Mario Party; however, in Mario Party 9, 4-Player minigames are renamed, being called Free-for-All minigames.
1-vs.-3 minigames are minigames that challenge a single player against the other three. They typically come in three forms: the team players trying to take down or hinder the single player, the single player trying to take down or hinder the other three players, or both the single and team players trying to achieve a similar goal, with the single player usually getting some form of advantage. In Mario Party 9, these minigames are called 1-vs.-Rivals minigames.
2-vs.-2 minigames are minigames that have the player paired up with another player. Players often need to work together and cooperate to beat these games. Mario Party 9 is the only Mario Party game (not counting Mario Party Advance) not to feature this category of minigames, but Shell Soccer qualifies as a 2-vs.-2 minigame.
Item minigames are games that a player can play to get an item. They are triggered by landing on an Item Space. If the player gets Baby Bowser, they get nothing. Item minigames appear only in Mario Party 2 and Mario Party 3. In Mario Party 2, the minigame played depends on what board is played on. In Mario Party 3, the Item Space may trigger a roulette to decide a minigame to be played. The below table displays information pertaining to which Item minigame is played on which board in Mario Party 2.
Bowser minigames are Bowser's own minigames. Bowser minigames are often extremely unfair to the players, as Bowser makes all the rules. Bowser minigames are also similar to 4-Player and 1-vs.-3 minigames (where the 1 is the player who lands on the Bowser Space), except that they produce a loser instead of a winner. The loser can lose coins, Stars (if they have one, or more), or items.
In Mario Party, Bowser minigames are minigames where players compete against each other in a 4-Player or 1-vs.-3 minigame where each player that loses must hand over somewhere between 10 to 50 coins. If there are no losers due to the game not ending in the time limit, then Bowser steals coins from everyone.
In Mario Party 4, Bowser minigames are minigames where players compete against each other and the one player who messes up loses. The loser loses either half or all of their coins, or all of their items.
In Mario Party 5, Mario Party 6, and Mario Party 7, there are Bowser minigames where each player must survive attacks from Bowser and/or Koopa Kid (in Mario Party 7) in a given time limit, and each player that does not survive loses. Each loser in the minigames loses either half or all of their coins, all of their items (in Mario Party 5 and Mario Party 6), or a Star (in Mario Party 7). Also in Mario Party 7, there are single-player Bowser minigames, where the one player who lands on the Bowser Space has to do various things to collect a key to escape from a dungeon before the time limit runs out. The penalty for losing is the same as in the multiplayer Bowser minigames.
In Mario Party 10, Bowser minigames are referred to as Bowser Battles. If someone loses, they lose Hearts. Reverse Minigames from Mario Party 9 also return in this game. If someone loses, they will win 20 Mini Stars.
Donkey Kong minigames
Introduced in Mario Party 5, Donkey Kong minigames are minigames run by Donkey Kong, which are often short. They usually have players focus on collecting as many bananas as possible. After a Donkey Kong minigame is finished, players can trade their bananas to Donkey Kong for coins. They can also gain more depending on the DK Roulette.
Three single-player Donkey Kong minigames appear in Mario Party 7: Jump, Man; Vine Country; and A Bridge Too Short. During Party Cruise, if a player lands on a DK Space and is asked to beat Donkey Kong in a single-player Donkey Kong minigame, their reward can be 20 coins, 30 coins, or a Star, depending on what the roulette stops on. If Donkey Kong wins, the player gets nothing.
First appearing in Mario Party 2, Duel minigames are minigames that involve two players playing a minigame against each other. Most usually have high stakes. They are the only type of minigame in any 1-vs.-1 game mode. The challenging player can choose to play for either coins or Stars. This is provided that the challenging player themself has enough to wager. From Mario Party 7 onwards, the winner's prize is decided by a roulette wheel.
Mini Mini-Games are a type of minigame in Mario Party 4. They can be played only by a character that has the effects of a Mini Mushroom via Gates that lead to secret passageways on all of the boards. There are two types of Mini Mini-Games: those that involve winning items, such as Item-Go-Round and Item Poker, and those that involve winning coins, such as Coin Slots and Tropical Fishing. The themes are usually paired with the theme of the board (such as Goomba Poker and Card Matching on Goomba's Greedy Gala).
Battle minigames are minigames that take coins from all the players, then give them back in different amounts based on the results. The number of coins taken can go from 10 (later five) to 50 coins per player. Unlike in other minigames, the rank order is important – a player can still win some coins for being in second place. Like the 4-Player minigames, most minigames are evenly matched between the four players.
In Mario Party 2, Mario Party 3, Mario Party 4, and Mario Party 9, Battle minigames are played when a player lands on a Battle Space. From Mario Party 5 until Mario Party 8, Battle minigames are not triggered for landing on any particular space (except for landing on a Battle Space in Mario Party 6's Solo Mode) but instead played at the end of a turn, like a normal minigame. Here, players are able to vote on which Battle minigame they want to play, out of a list of three Battle minigames. The minigame that gets the most votes after each player has voted is the one played. If there is a tie in the votes between two minigames, the minigame with no votes is played instead.
The scoring for Battle minigames up to Mario Party 5:
If the total number of coins is not a multiple of 10, one random player gets a bonus coin.
In Mario Party 6, the scoring was changed slightly:
In Mario Party DS, there are some big changes. Depending on the turn number ranging from two to 30, the players can pay up to 60 coins, and the scoring is a bit different from the previous installments. The reward distribution is as follows:
Sometimes landing on the space mentioned above will cause a Fire Bro to appear. The Fire Bro only makes last place lose ten Mini Stars, while the winners split the ten of the results:
In Mario Party 10, players can engage in a Battle minigame in three different ways.
8-Player minigames are minigames only in Mario Party 7. They are played with eight players, in four teams of two. With the Nintendo GameCube not having eight controller slots, this must be done by having four controllers plugged in and each player sharing half of the controller. The first player of each team uses and , while the second player of each team uses and . These minigames are accessible only in 8-Player parties.
Introduced in Mario Party 3, Rare minigames are special minigames that do not appear at all in normal Party Mode. They are sometimes very long and have special options that other minigames do not have.
Bowser Jr. minigames
Featured in Mario Party 9, Bowser Jr. minigames are played only when a player lands on a Bowser Jr. Space. These minigames involve two players, a captain and a partner, competing against Bowser Jr. If the players win, they get five Mini Stars each. If they lose, Bowser Jr. steals five Mini Stars each. Bowser Jr. minigames also appear in Mario Party 10. They can be activated only by selecting them from Bonus Games or landing on an event space on Bowser's Board in amiibo party. Players who win get 10 coins or a Star, and players who lose must pay 10 coins. Unlike in Mario Party 9, players who face Bowser Jr. do not receive a partner.
Appearing in Mario Party 9, Mario Party 10, and Mario Party: Star Rush, boss battles are played when the players reach a Boss Battle Space. Each board features two bosses. In these minigames, players must defeat an enemy by working together (except in Diddy's Banana Blast and DK's Banana Bonus), though each one tries to get more points than the others. These minigames have no time limit and end only when the boss health meter is empty. When half of the health meter is empty, the boss develops more diverse ways to attack. Whoever lands the final hit on the boss will receive bonus points.
A category found only in Mario Party 8, the Last category features only one minigame, Superstar Showdown, which is played at the end of Star Battle Arena. The minigame plays out similarly to the boss minigames in Mario Party DS and Mario Party: Island Tour, as it involves the player fighting against Bowser one-on-one.
Featured only in Super Mario Party, Co-op minigames pit all four players in a minigame where they must work together in order to win.
Featured only in Super Mario Party, Team minigames are four-player minigames in which each player's allies also participate. The more allies a player has, the more of an advantage they have over other players.
Featured only in Super Mario Party, Rhythm minigames pit all four players in a minigame where they gain points by performing actions to the rhythm of the song that plays during the minigame.
Mario Party minigame lists
In addition to its trademark short microgames, the WarioWare series feature a small number of long-form minigames in each installment, which are played separately from the microgame sets and take the form of either simple endless games where the goal is to improve own's high score or simple competitive multiplayer. They are typically unlocked by beating a score target in the character stages, which is indicated in the character's story mode description.
WarioWare, Inc.: Mega Microgame$! minigames
They are accessible from "Games" category of souvenirs.
Mario Tennis series minigames
The Mario Tennis game series have all had Minigames of some sort, with most being Tennis-Based, although there are some exceptions.
Super Mario series minigames
Super Mario Land 2: 6 Golden Coins has two minigames that are playable at the Goal after hitting the Bell at the end of a level. One of two games will be played, one being a crane game where the player must pick up an item and the other being a ladder game where the player must hit a block to receive an item.
Super Mario 64 DS minigames
Super Mario 64 DS features a grand total of 36 minigames, which are divided among the game's four playable characters. Two of each character's minigames are unlocked along with the characters themselves, while the remainder are unlocked by catching rabbits. All of the minigames utilize the Nintendo DS's touchscreen.
Yoshi's minigames are puzzle-based.
Mario's minigames are action-themed.
Luigi specializes in "table" games, also known as gambling games. This is the reason the Virtual Console re-release of Super Mario 64 DS got a PEGI 12+ rating in Europe.
Wario has the most diverse collection of minigames; almost no description applies to all of them.
New Super Mario Bros. minigames
New Super Mario Bros. features minigames in much the same vein as Super Mario 64 DS. Some of the latter's minigames are copied exactly for the former; however, most of the minigames are new, and many are multiplayer, something never seen in Super Mario 64 DS's games. Most of the minigames' HUDs also have most of the characters lowercase.
1 on 1
Super Mario Galaxy minigames
New Super Mario Bros. Wii minigames
These appear in Toad Houses within each world:
Super Mario Galaxy 2 minigames
These are scattered across the galaxies.
Super Mario Odyssey minigames
These are scattered among the different kingdoms.
Nintendo Land attractions
Game & Wario minigames
Game & Wario is a game for Wii U that has 16 minigames. These games usually try to showcase the Wii U GamePad's capabilities. All of their titles are based off of how the original Game & Watch games had one-word names.
Mario and Donkey Kong: Minis on the Move minigames
Mario and Donkey Kong: Minis on the Move is a Nintendo 3DS eShop-exclusive title that has four minigames. These minigames use the stylus on the bottom screen. ¾ of these minigames launch an object on the play area.
Paper Mario series minigames
Paper Mario: The Thousand-Year Door minigames
In Paper Mario: The Thousand-Year Door, there are four minigames in the Pianta Parlor. These games require a certain card to play each one.
Super Paper Mario minigames
In Super Paper Mario, these minigames are found in the arcade on floor B1. The first three are unlocked from the start, costing 10 Flipside Tokens, while Hammer Whacker can be played once getting a golden card from Flopside. This mini game costs 20 tokens.
Paper Mario: Sticker Star minigames
In Paper Mario: Sticker Star, there is only one minigame located at Stump Glade.
Paper Mario: Color Splash minigames
Minigames are found in various places in Paper Mario: Color Splash.
Mario & Luigi series
Aside from the Surfing Minigame, all minigames must be played and completed at least once to progress.
Mario & Luigi: Bowser's Inside Story / Mario & Luigi: Bowser's Inside Story + Bowser Jr.'s Journey
In Mario & Luigi: Bowser's Inside Story and its remake, Mario & Luigi: Bowser's Inside Story + Bowser Jr.'s Journey, most of the minigames take place inside various locations in Bowser's body; the Arm Center, the Gut Check, the Rump Command, the Leg Outpost, the Nose Deck, the Memory Banks, and the Chest Station. At certain points in the game, Mario and Luigi must travel to those areas during specific situations:
Besides those minigames, the player can play the Cholesteroad minigame in the Challenge Node, where they are tested into using their acquired Special Attacks to defeat Cholesterons and earn enough points to win prizes. There are also minigames that are played outside of Bowser's body, like Broque Madame's minigame in Blubble Lake, where the player is tested into using their acquired Brawl Attacks to earn points and win points, similar to the Cholesteroad.
In Mario & Luigi: Dream Team, there are total 4 minigames found in the Pi'illo Island.
Mario Party 2