Easy to implement, simple mini-games

So I’m working on another casual game, sort of (but not totally) like match-3 style games like Bejewelled, Jewel Quest, etc.

I’m considering adding a bunch of mini-games, mostly as unlockables. My current thinking is along the lines of Super Monkey Ball, where the mini-games wouldn’t necessarily play like the main game, but they’d re-use graphic elements from the main game, and be things I could code and implement really easily, in 2-3 days each, or so.

Stuff that’s still fun, that perhaps non-gamers (like many casual game players) haven’t seen before. So, I’m thinking in particular about game mechanics from old Atari 2600 games, handheld games (old-school, with LEDs), or even non-video games with simple mechanics that could be conveyed with the graphics from a match-3 style game.

So, things like:

Simon (memory/music game)
Mastermind
Kaboom
Dr. Mario
Maze-navigation (like that beachball Flash game from ~a year ago)
etc.

Or it could be something original, like Monkey Target.

Any ideas you’re willing to share?

  • Breakout

  • That one where there’s cards face down, and you flip them over and try to find matching pairs

  • Tower of Hanoi OR the horizontal version where there’s three pieces of one color on the left, three of another color on the right, and you have to swap them

  • Minesweeper (if it’s legal to make a minesweeper clone)

  • Snake, as in a snake moves around eating stuff and getting longer

I’m a sucker for moon lander clones.

Plastic Martians has a pretty good version of Breakout (Plastic Balls), but it’s not really the same without paddle controls.

Monkey Lander

I’m not looking to play Breakout right this second, thanks, I was just giving Phil suggestions like he asked for :)

Yeah, I know. Tangential discussion.

I like the game where stuff bounces around and you try to cover more and more of the screen until you isolate the bouncing things in as small a space as possible. Also, the puzzles where you have to move blocks around in order to create a path for something to exit are fun.

Qix and what I am going to call Chip’s Challenge, though I’m not sure if that was the first of its type or not.

Canyon Bomber was kind of a weird one that I liked. It was like some kind of inverted, one-button Breakout. If you decide to go with a regular Breakout game, you should do it with a see-saw like Circus Atari did. No reason: I just haven’t seen that lately.

Non-video-game wise, how about a pretty version of Sid Sackson’s Can’t Stop, or something similar but non copyright-infringing. Maybe Cosmic Wimpout, but with cool art on the dice instead of numbers. I like games that really encourage you to press your luck, though I think Cosmic Wimpout might be a little too random.

What’s the deal with Moon Lander? It’s like it tapped into some quirky zeitgeist of a certain subpopulation of gamers. I dug the Hell out of it too and I don’t fucking know why.

Make Asteroids on an endless 2d plane, with trading, combat and sandbox universe stuff. I know 2d elite’s been done, but I don’t think it’s been done as a retro vectorbeam asteroids sequel!

The old bouncing babies game, you have a trampoline and babies are tossed from a burning building (puppies in the EWJ version). You must bounce the babies, puppies, reusable art assets, etc, to safety.

I liked all the minigames in Fable. I also like the lockpicking mingame, a LOT in Oblivion.

Not the same as what you are asking, I know. Just sayin’, I love minigames in games. God of War’s “press these buttons to do a cool kill” was neat too.

Breakout and it’s kin have already been heavily done in the Casual Games space - I’ll probably stay away from that. But keep the other ideas coming :)

I hadn’t heard of Can’t Stop, but googled for it, read a bit about it and like the concept…

Frogger is simple to explain and presumably to execute.

I also enjoyed a game from the Commodore PET days called Artillery where you would angle a gun based on prevailing windspeed and direction, and then specify the number of bags of powder to use to try and obliterate your opponents artillery piece. Each taking turns firing one shot.

I always like Spy Hunter or even more sophisticated car-to-car combat/racing minigames. As long as they don’t get toooooo sophisticated.

Oh oh oh also: Mappy.

Why not just play some of the Mario Party or Wario Ware games to crib a few ideas? Seems like the most efficient way to go about it.

Bump n Jump!

It has? What is it called, and is it any good, and where do I get it if it is?

You mentioned “Simon” and I immediately thought of “Merlin”.