Mini Sports Collection is a very small indie game in the Nintendo eShop which is definitely not worth the price tag; you’ll find something of much higher quality on your phone for free. Unlike other sports games on Nintendo consoles, you will never feel like you are actually playing a sport. Rather, you will find that the sports are just a cover and the game is really just a test of two things: how fast you can mash a button, and how fast your reaction speed is.
The game is a very simple collection of twelve mini games that draw inspiration from sports, yet are mostly unrelated to the sports that they portray. The first listed sport immediately gave a first impression of the game that wasn’t necessarily impressive – the “100-Meter Sprint”, which consists purely of mashing the “A” button as fast as you possibly can. There is nothing else to the game other than this, and though making movements as fast as possible has always been the basic formula of running sports games, such as in the case of Mario and Sonic Olympic Games series, the game doesn’t add anything to it, and doesn’t have anything that makes it memorable that would make it enjoyable. The “Baseball” minigame is almost exactly the same but feels confusing and illogical. After initially hitting the ball by pressing “A” at the right time, you are instructed to move the Circle Pad and the Control Pad as fast as you can – which is incredibly awkward to do due to how they are placed on the 3DS. At the end of these mini games, your score is graded on a scale from C to SSS, but the grading and scoring system is never properly explained by the game at all.
The overall quality of the game is not terrible, but it tends to be inconsistent. Tennis is incredibly awkward, as the character you control seems to inexplicably turn their back to the ball without any input and the game combines incredibly fast movement speed with a need for precise placement. Table Tennis on the other hand, is a fun timing-based mini game that removes the movement that was required in the Tennis mini game. Like the relationship that can be seen in the mentioned mini games, the games often seem to be just built upon each other. This is also the case with the other mini games. Pro Wrestling requires you to press A as soon as the picture on the screen changes, while Fencing is the same except the player is also required to hold the Circle Pad in a certain direction.
The game also allows you to play “quadrathalons”, playing four mini games after the other. The separation seems strangely placed though, for example with the “Reflex” minigames including Archery and Soccer, despite Pro Wrestling, Fencing and even Skeet Shooting being far more reflex based. Locating the “quadrathalons” can also be annoying, as the menu is terribly designed. Despite the menu being two rows of six, the player cannot press the down button to select the game directly below the current selection, but instead can only scroll with left and right. There are also two achievements per game that can perhaps extend your gameplay time a little if you are going for them, but you can completely ignore them if you never go to the options page. You do not even get a notification to tell you that an achievement has been completed, and since many of them are oddly specific, such as “Get 6th place with the same time as 5th” for the 100-Meter Sprint, they are not always something you can complete by accident.
The simplistic nature of the game is perhaps an attempt to feel “retro”, but fails to capture this in an entertaining way. The game isn’t very replayable and really does not present itself as anything unique or new. There is very little possible gameplay time, and you can really perhaps milk a couple of hours out of this game, maximum. It seems as if it could be a decent game to pass the time on your phone while you were on the bus, yet fails to impress as a viable game on the 3DS platform. Some games can attempt the retro dynamic in the modern-day and succeed, but this game is surely not one of them. At the end of the day, your money is better spent elsewhere.
REVIEW CODE: A complimentary Nintendo 3DS code was provided to Bonus Stage for this review. Please send all review code enquiries to firstname.lastname@example.org.
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