Comparison of the Snow Game minigame in Final Fantasy VII (left) and Final Fantasy VII Snowboarding on mobile phones (right)

A minigame (also spelled mini-game or mini game and sometimes called a subgame) is a short video game often contained within another video game. A minigame is always smaller or more simplistic than the game in which it is contained. Minigames are sometimes also offered separately for free to promote the main game. For instance, the Pokémon Stadium minigames involves merely pressing a few buttons at specific intervals, with little complexity.



Minigames occur variously as gameplay features, or as time fillers while levels are loading, or as Easter eggs. In the latter case, they are often called "secret games". In the former case, the successful completion of such minigames may or may not be required to finish the encompassing game.

The Shenmue franchise is interspersed with many mini-games, including full versions of Sega arcade games Space Harrier and Hang-On (both originally programmed by Shenmue creator and director, Yu Suzuki).

Notable examples

The Final Fantasy series is notable for featuring minigames in every entry of the series, ever since the first Final Fantasy (1987), in which a sliding puzzle in the form of an Easter egg can be unlocked while boarding the ship. In Final Fantasy II (1988), a matching game can be unlocked while boarding the ice sled and meeting a certain requirement. Later in the series, Final Fantasy VII (1997) was the first video game to include within it at least thirty minigames, which remains the largest number of minigames for a role-playing game.

The minigames in the game boy advance version of Tron 2.0 are the arcade games Tron and Discs of Tron

Some minigames become so popular that they are eventually published as individual titles by themselves. A notable example is Geometry Wars, which was originally a minigame in Project Gotham Racing 2.

The PocketStation (for Sony PlayStation) and VMU (for Dreamcast) accessories allowed the user to download minigames from the main console onto the pocket device, and often then sync progress in the minigame back on to the console. Two examples of this include the Chocobo World minigame inside Final Fantasy VIII[1] (which is also playable on PC), and 'Chao Adventure', a minigame in Sonic Adventure.

Minigame compilations

Some games, such as the WarioWare series (which are called microgames in the game), UPL's Video Action, some Cinemaware titles like Defender of the Crown, or David Whittaker's Lazy Jones, are made up of many minigames strung together into one video game. Some similar games, such as the Mario Party series, are considered party games, specifically developed for multiplayer. In party games, minigames usually involve performing an activity faster or collecting more of a specified item than other players to win.


See also

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